Among the many peaks that comprise the Cascade Mountain Range there are a few prominent mountains that lie within Snohomish County. Entering Snohomish County, either from North or South I-5, Mount Pilchuck, Three Fingers, Glacier Peak and White Horse can be seen with a clarity only dreamed of in other parts of the United States.
The tallest mountain, within the county, is Glacier Peak at 10,541 feet and is just one of Washington’s “hidden volcanoes”. Winter time lends itself to snow riding, sledding and snow shoeing hikes through the many trails. In the summer there are no shortages of activities with camping, sight seeing and driving through the scenic areas with breath taking views that will awe anyone.
Residents of Snohomish County find one of the most fun winter day trips on the Mountain Loop Highway, Mount Pilchuck. Utilizing its close proximity to town, residents find it a perfect family destination. From sledding, snowman making and scenic drives, Mount Pilchuck has so much to offer which can bring a family closer together. In the summer it has many camping areas that are right on the Pilchuck River and are perfect for fishing and relaxing.
The Mountain Loop Highway has more than one mountain to enjoy. In the summer, day hikes are some of the most common activities. Two of the best hikes are the Big Four Ice Caves and Mount Pilchuck lookout. The image to the right is of White Horse, near Darrington, during early December.
Mount Rainier is the tallest of all the peaks in Washington standing at 14,411 feet and is one of many active volcanoes in the Cascade Mountain Range. As one of the most photographed mountains, Mount Rainier is as much of a Washington State icon as it is a recreational destination. The picture to the right was taken from the top of Crystal Mountain Ski Resort on a sunny winter day. Mount Rainer treats onlookers to many different views; whether that is a silhouette in the rising sun, in a orange to purple hue in the setting sun, or a bright and brilliant snow white mountain. In the summer time, pack the family up and travel down Highway 410 to enjoy the views of Mount Rainer and the surrounding mountain peaks.
The most famous of all Washington peaks is Mount St. Helens. On May 18, 1980, triggered by a 5.1 earthquake, Mount St. Helens erupted with a force never seen in the United States. Destroying over 200 miles of vegetation, Mount St. Helens is a mountain that has changed Washington’s landscape forever. But since that faithful day in 1980, the vegetation has grown along with the mountain, mountain cam, and has since rebuilt a large portion of itself. Visiting the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center, and the Johnston Ridge Observatory you will be treated to a world class view inside the crater. The observatory is “named after the vulcanologist David Johnston, who was camped out on this ridge observing the volcano when it blew. His final words were “Vancouver, Vancouver, this is it,” http://www.mountsthelens.com/.
In the North Cascasde Mountains, rising to an elevation 10,778 feet (Washington third largest peak), sits glorious Mt. Baker. Back in 1998-99 winter season Mt. Baker set the United States record of the most snow fall in a single season at 1,140 inches. The Mt. Baker resort is located near by and boasts some of Washington’s best snow riding. Also in the North Cascades, and at the base of Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan, sits Baker Lake full of recreation and good old fashioned camping.
These are just some of the adventures that await you in the Cascade Mountain Range so if you have some time this year, make some plans to go to the mountains and spend some just don’t forget the camera.
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