North Cascades National Park, Washington

Today’s journey was to take us from Mount Vernon through the North Cascades National Park, along the Cascades Scenic Highway Route 20 as far as Winthrop.

The route is certainly scenic as it follows the route of the river through the valley surrounded by mountains, and excitingly our first glimpse of the snowy peaks.

Stopping at the visitor centre at Newhalem Creek we enjoyed views of the mountains before walking the River trail through the woods which had obviously been devastated by fire in parts, along the banks of the fast flowing river. We thought as we first saw it we were back on the Amazon at the meeting of the waters, as half the river was beautiful turquoise and the other muddy brown.

Just a little further along the road we stopped for a picnic before walking the falls and gardens behind the Gorge hydroelectric plant, which harnesses the power of the water to produce electricity. Crossing the bridge which overlooks the Gorge Creek Falls we were way up high, above the river.

As we climbed further into the mountains the air became crisper, the mountains showed more snowy peaks and we stopped at the Diablo Lake overlook to take in the beautiful views, whichever way you looked there was turquoise water, snow capped mountains and spring flowers.

We intended to stop at the Ross Lake Overlook and take the Happy Creek Forest Walk, however the entrance to the car park was blocked. With six foot high snow!

As were rainy Pass and the Washington Pass Overlook!

We did manage to stop at the roadside however and capture the huge bend in the road, and one of the many cascades of water tumbling out of the mountains as we started our descent from the mountains into rolling countryside.

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