I really enjoyed the trails in the Manning Park area when I was there in July and decided to head back, but this time going for a longer outing at lower elevations. The Cascade Recreation Area seemed like a good option for a long loop.
Starting from the Cascade Rec. parking lot on Crowsnest, I took the Whatcom Trail over Punch Bowl Pass and down to Paradise Meadows, then the Dewdney trail to Hope Pass, Hope Pass Trail back to Crowsnest and then the highway to where I parked.
|First view of Snass SW2 from the Whatcom Trail headed toward Punch Bowl Pass.|
|Looking back south from just below the pass. Silvertip back right, Marmot in front, Rahm, Custer and Redoubt back center (I think).|
|Near Paradise Meadows on the Dewdney Trail.|
|Not that my feet were dry before this, but still a dumb choice :)|
|Tulameen River crossing.|
|Holding Creek crossing; ice cold and it'll soak you all the way up to your manpris!|
|More nice meadows.|
|Snow on Dewdney heading east toward the FS road.|
|Slogging along the FS road going to the Hope Pass area.|
|Looking southwest from the area around Kettle Mountain.|
|My lonely footprints from the FS road to Hope Pass-Nicomen junction. Trail was easy to follow, though.|
|Hope Pass-Nicomen Lake trails junction.|
|Descending the Hope Pass Trail.|
|Quite a bit of mud in the snow-to-dirt transition areas.|
All the trails were in good shape too. Some blowdown on Whatcom and quite a few moderately-brushy areas on the middle portion of the Hope Pass Trail, but otherwise everything was really nice.
I had originally planned on taking the Skagit Bluffs Trail back to the parking area, but since the snow had slowed me down and I had to take the long way around Hope Pass I was much later than expected and chose Crowsnest as a quicker alternative. It's not the safer option, probably, but it was getting late.
Overall a good day.