Washington’s North Cascades National Park, in the northwest corner of Washington State, has some of America’s most beautiful mountain landscapes. Nature photographers who have not yet discovered this wilderness will find countless waterfalls dropping from ridges below jagged peaks and hundreds of glaciers, more than any other national park. Miles of trails through dripping rain forests connect jewel-like alpine lakes. Rainstorms blowing in from the Pacific are blocked by the North Cascades Range. Rain falls on the west side of the Cascades, creating a moss-covered rain forest. The highest point along the road through the park is called Rainy Pass. More snow falls here and piles up into deeper snow packs than in any other national park in the lower forty-eight states. A few miles east of the summit, ponderosa pine forests cover dry mountains rolling down toward the Columbia River Valley. Driving eastward, away from the Cascades, you’ll see dry, rolling hills receding into the distance.
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Notes and images from Bob Hitchman.