North Cascades – Washington

West Entrance | Ladder Creek Falls | Thunder Knob Trail

Date of Visit: July 6-7, 2013

How we got there: Drove from Seattle, 2.5 hours. First days of our Seattle to Chicago road trip.

Lodging: Totem Trail Motel


  • Thunder Knob Trail – Easy/moderate 3.6 mile out and back hike with 425 ft elevation gain. Panoramic view of Diabo Lake and mountains.
  • Ladder Creek Falls and Gardens – Short walking trail behind the Gorge Dam powerhouse winds through gardens with views of the falls. At night the area is illuminated with colored lights as well (we were there in the daytime).
  • Cascadian Farm – A great stop for some ice cream and organic berries on your way to or from the park.

Tips: There’s a steep curve to the activities here, you’re either day tripping through on the road or going way off the beaten path and rugged.

Next time: Visit Stehekin on remote Lake Chelan, accessible only by boat or floatplane.