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robinmotion
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PostTue Jul 28, 2020 8:34 am 
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Anyone been through North Cascades (and Marblemount, for the walk-up permits) since they opened this summer?

My girlfriend and I are headed up there SOMEWHERE for a week, this Saturday, and have the flexibility to do something in North Cascades ... but I don't want to add to an already overstressed system and rangers. And if it's anything like the cascade range here in Oregon, people (less experienced ones) are flocking to the beautiful spots and doing their part to trash them.

Our current plan is to head up Billy Goat Pass, then make up our trip as we go based on trail conditions, but NCNP has been calling my name for quite a while ...

We would be getting in line for permits mid-day on Saturday, to start hiking the following day.
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Riverside Laker
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PostTue Jul 28, 2020 12:30 pm 
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We hiked up Billy Goat Pass a week or two ago to Burch Mtn, mid week and it wasn't terribly crowded. Maybe 6 cars at the parking area. Few turn off to Burch, but there's no good camping (i.e., no water).

On the other hand, the popular day hike trails on Hwy 20 were mobbed on our way home Saturday, cars parked up and down the highway. There's definitely been a big surge in hiking the past few years.
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slabbyd
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PostTue Jul 28, 2020 1:07 pm 
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Donít know how many days you have but the 13ish miles to Larch Pass is just ok.  Beyond there things get spectacular.    I heard something about three hour waits for permits in Marblemount.
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Foist
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PostTue Jul 28, 2020 1:24 pm 
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I was about to post a topic with a similar question.  I'm less worried about the trails -- I'm just interested in hiking with the kids to any old spot by a river -- and more just worried about crazy wait times at the WIC in Marblemount. I saw someone on WTA post about a 3-hour wait, although that was on July 3 (probably the busiest day of the year so far).  We would be going this Friday.  Has anyone gone there to get a backcountry permit on a Friday in the last couple weeks?
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Cyclopath
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PostTue Jul 28, 2020 1:32 pm 
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It's not just the wait times, it's also the limited number of permits.  Camp permits tend to be more or less competitive based on how nice the scenery is.

Really get there as early as possible.  There are roadside campgrounds in Marblemount and Newhalem that would let you be in line when they open.  Park rules let you reserve a spot one day ahead.

If you went that route, Sauk Mountain is a spectacular day hike while you wait for your permit (eg if it starts 'tomorrow').  It's not on many people's radar because it's so short, but the views are jaw dropping.
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Foist
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PostTue Jul 28, 2020 1:57 pm 
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Thanks but not very useful with young kids involved.  With the kids, I can't get there first thing when they open nor am I going to try and find a car camping spot on thursday night.  Like I said, not looking for anything popular.  Has anyone actually been there mid morning on a recent Friday?
I've done Sauk Mtn. It's nice.
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robinmotion
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PostTue Jul 28, 2020 3:39 pm 
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Thanks, that's good to know! We have 4-5, so our plan is to get past Larch and then putter around, seeing what's snow-free/maintained/navigable.
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