Sourdough Mountain and Trappers Peak

The North Cascades is our current favorite hiking destination from Vancouver. Much better than the packed BC Coast Mountains. We didn’t get organized very early but could still book a Snohomish County campground – Squire Creek – in Darrington. Excellent – just like the provincial or national park campgrounds.

We whizzed through the Nexus Lane at the border (despite the apparent Taylor Swift and Blue Jays chaos).

The day hikes we wanted to do were in the North Cascades National Park area – a bit of a drive from Darrington. On Saturday we hiked Sourdough Mountain and Sunday we hiked Trappers Peak.

Sourdough starts near Diablo – a company village for the hydropower projects. It’s a beast of a hike – a great trail but a pretty relentless 1500 m elevation gain. Still, nice forest and good views from the summit. We weren’t blown away by the views given the level of effort for the hike – our Wow hiking book had set expectations very high! There’s an old fire lookout hut, but it’s closed up to the public. It was a hot day but plenty of shade in the forest for most of the hike. No bugs! We took about four hours up and 2.5 down. After the long hike in the heat we were happy to stop in Newhalem on the way back to the campsite – another larger hydro village with a general store – ice cream and cold juice 🙂

Saturdays hike to Trappers Peak starts with a great long driver up the access road to the trailhead. Our Subaru was in its element but despite a few rough parts the road is fine! The first 3-4 km is almost flat along the old logging road – but still pleasant hiking. The trail turned up into the forest, which is a great section with some nice sized trees and a forgiving gradient.

View from Trappers Peak

We emerged at the fork where the official trail goes to the lake and the unofficial trail goes to Trappers Peak. After a short climb the trail hits a steep scramble section that Gill didn’t like to tackle. I headed up and thought the summit was much closer than it was. Hence I scrambled up and down for an hour while Gill waited. The first section is the only part that’s a challenge and if you can get up that you will immediately have great views. It’s a much better summit than Sourdough with fantastic views of Thornton Lakes, The Pickets, and village of Newhalem.

We headed back to Vancouver via a nice beer and food at Otherland Brewing- great beer and veggie kitchen!

Checkout our photos of Trappers Peak hike and Sourdough Mountain hike.

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