Tim and I went up to the North Cascades to meet up with my longtime buddy Michael. We packed in the North Cascade Mountain Range, specifically in the area of Sahale Glacier, Pelton Basin and Doubtful Lake.
This is a trek that Michael and I did last year. It is sensational. The elevation gain is from 3500 ft to 7800 feet. You are literally camped out on the side of a glacier that drops down through a scree field to Doubtful Lake. The jagged snow peaked mountains that surround you are astounding to look at. You can climb the glacier, but it is a technical climb. We opted to look at it’s amazing beauty instead.
You need a wilderness pass in order to camp at any of the sites. They can be found at the Marblemount Ranger Station and are issued on a first come first serve basis, though you can request them in person 3 days prior to your stay. These hikes can also be done as day hikes. There were plenty of day hikers on the trail on Saturday morning, but the week leading up to it was nice and quiet.
This is our route for 3 days of hiking.
Trail Head: Cascade Pass Trailhead – 3640 ft
Cascade Pass – 5384 ft – 3.7 miles
Pelton Basin – 4800 ft – .5 miles
Cascade Pass – 5384 ft – .5 miles
Sahale Glacier – 7600 ft – 2.2 miles
Doubtful Lake – 5385 ft – .5 miles from Sahale Arm (1.5 miles)
Sahale Glacier – 7600 ft – 1.5 miles
Cascade Pass 5384 ft – 2.2 miles
Trailhead – 3640 ft – 3.7 miles
It was wonderful, invigorating and absolutely breathtaking. The wind at Sahale Camp was incredible overnight. The camp sites are like fortresses inside of man made rock walls. Though they were high, they didn’t block the intensity of the wind pounding down on the tents.
We saw goats, deer, marmots, mice, ptarmigans, hawks and bumped into many people who were sighting bears. We did not see any bear however. The wildflowers were still blooming as well.