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Is June 20 a good time to visit North Cascades NP?

California
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Is June 20 a good time to visit North Cascades NP?

Hi. I would like to visit the North Cascades NP around June 20 if the weather is good enough around that time of year. I am thinking of staying at the Ross Lake Resort (the floating cabins) and boating on Ross Lake.

Is this a good time to visit the park? Or will it be too rainy or cloudy for the visit? Any advice is much appreciated!

Port Angeles, WA
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for Olympic National Park
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1. Re: Is June 20 a good time to visit North Cascades NP?

There will still be a lot of snow on the trails. Summer comes very late to the PNW, well into July. Snow can and does linger into August. You can still have a great time, just be prepared.

California
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2. Re: Is June 20 a good time to visit North Cascades NP?

Thank you, kaleberg. What is the chance of a sunny day around June 20?

Also, with snow on high-elevation trails, should I just plan on boating on Ross Lake and seeing the viewpoints along Highway 20? Will the trail to Rainy Lake or Gorge Creek Falls be snow-free by then?

western WA
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3. Re: Is June 20 a good time to visit North Cascades NP?

Pretty high chance of a sunny day, but no guarantee. Ross lake is amazing. Check out the Hozomeen water taxi service (expensive, but worth it).

western WA
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4. Re: Is June 20 a good time to visit North Cascades NP?

If you are only going to be here for three days, going to Rainier and to the North Cascades is probably pushing it.

California
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5. Re: Is June 20 a good time to visit North Cascades NP?

Thank you! I plan to spend two days at North Cascades (including Mount Shuksan/Picture Lake in the Mt. Baker area) and two days at Olympic NP, but will drop Rainier from the plan due to time constraints and high likelihood of Rainier being hidden in the mist. Sounds like a reasonable plan?

Seattle, Wa
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6. Re: Is June 20 a good time to visit North Cascades NP?

You're highly unlikely to have sun on June 20, though Ross Lake will still be beautiful in the clouds and mist, You should also expect snow on the Rainy Lake trail, though it's so short and well-trodden that there will probably be a well worn path of footprints in the snow. In general there is no alpine access at North Cascades in June, but you seem to have found a good alternative (staying on Ross Lake) to have a nice visit anyway. You'll probably find many feet of snowbank on the highway but pullouts will have been cleared (it's possible the beautiful Washington Pass overlook road won't be cleared yet, but you can park at the gate and walk up). Bring warm clothes--by no stretch of the imagination will it be summer or even spring up there as most people think of it.

If you really want sun and melted trails, your best chance is to stay just east of the park, in Mazama.

Note that Ross Lake and the highway are actually in Ross Lake Nat. Recreation Area, not in the national park.

Seattle, Wa
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7. Re: Is June 20 a good time to visit North Cascades NP?

Okay, I just saw your last post. The road to Picture Lake/Artist's Point doesn't open until August in a normal year. There is zero chance you will get there in June, unless you plan to park at the Mt Baker Ski Area (where you will still see skiers hiking for their turns) and snowshoe. Even then, Picture Lake will be under snow.

Seattle, Wa
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8. Re: Is June 20 a good time to visit North Cascades NP?

Here's some fun photos of the DOT opening the road to Artist's Point in late July of last year. Last year they began the task on June 21, when there was still 25 feet of snow on the highway near Picture Lake.

flickr.com/photos/…

Poulsbo, Washington
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9. Re: Is June 20 a good time to visit North Cascades NP?

You may want to rethink the North Cascades so many of the places you are mentioning are not going to be accessible. You will get no where close to Mt. Shuksan and Artists Point. Going to Mt. Baker in June does not make a lot of sense.

California
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10. Re: Is June 20 a good time to visit North Cascades NP?

Thank you both for your advice about North Cascades and Mt Baker in June. I guess going to Mt. Rainier/Paradise area in June is also a bad idea?

I am used to the California weather and have forgotten when summer really begins in the Northwest :-)

Given the advice and information, I will cancel the trip to North Cascades and focus on Olympic NP, where rain and mist might actually add to the experience in the rain forests, it seems. And spend the reminder of the time touring the Oregon coast back to California.