Mileage: 8 miles RT
Elevation Gain/Highest: 3300/6900ft
Map: Green Trails Diablo Dam No 48 and Cascade Pass No 80
Favorite Eats After Hike: 5 Bs Bakery
8/16/2015 We left the trailhead in that famous bank of clouds that seems to start almost every hike if you are one of those who likes to get to the TH early and take that gamble that they will disperse in time for views. The switchbacks up were brushy and carrying the heavy burden of dew. It was beautiful to watch as the sun began to burn through the haze, illuminating the trees and rocks. When we got up to where the talus begins, the blue skies were present but the valley was still socked in giving the feeling of being above the clouds. The trail is all rock from here and as you can see in the video, quite daunting to look up at the summit and wonder where they put a lookout. We made our way around the boulders and up to the saddle and were welcomed by the gorgeous blue of the lake below. There was still a bit to go, mostly a boot path and scramble but we were rewarded with 360 views of the North Cascades, including the Boston Glacier and Glacier Peak. Don’t forget to go down from the lookout to the east and find the most amazing outdoor throne, although there won’t seem to be a lot of privacy if you actually need to use it! The hike back out had lost its fog and we had views of the valley to lure us home down those switchbacks.
Directions: From Marblemount on Hwy 20, drive the Cascade River Road just short of 10 miles to the junction with FS 1540. The road will be signed for the Hidden Lake Trail. Drive the steep, rutted, rocky road 4.5 miles to the road end and TH. Parking is limited.