USA: WASHINGTON Cascades: I90 to US2, Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Wenatchee

The Central Cascades of Washington are easily reached for spring, summer, and fall hikes and winter snow sports via Interstate 90 and Stevens Pass Highway US 2. Hike, snowshoe, or ski to see diverse ecosystems, mountain vistas, lakes, streams, flowers, ferns, and mushrooms in Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, Wenatchee National Forest, and Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.

Mountains

  • Mountain photos from hikes near Stevens Pass Highway (US 2) include: Baring Mountain, Beckler Peak Trail, Carne Mountain (with views of Glacier Peak, Buck Mountain, Liberty Cap, Fortress Mountain, Chiwawa Mountain and Spider Gap, hiking from Phelps Creek Trailhead), and yellow larch needles in October in the Enchantments (trailhead off of Icicle Creek Road, Leavenworth).
  • Photos from hikes near I90 include: Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, Mason Lake/Ira Spring Trail to Mount Defiance, Granite Mountain (with views of Mount Rainier), Snoqualmie Pass, Snow Lake, Polallie Ridge, Ingalls Pass (to view Mount Stuart, the second highest non-volcanic peak in the state), Western Tanager (Piranga ludoviciana) bird.


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Winter snow

  • Photos from snowshoeing near Stevens Pass Highway (US 2) include: Leavenworth Bavarian Ice Fest and Icicle Creek Road.
  • Photos from snowshoeing near I90 include: Snoqualmie Pass, Kendall Peak Lake, Snow Lake, Commonwealth Basin, and Ingalls Pass (to view Mount Stuart, the second highest non-volcanic peak in the state).


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Water, lakes, streams

Abundant rainfall in the Central Cascades of Washington creates many unique water features accessible from hikes in Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, Wenatchee National Forest, and Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, accessed near Interstate 90 and US Highway 2.

  • Water photos from hikes near Stevens Pass Highway (US 2) include: Skykomish, Lake Serene, Barclay Creek Trail to Barclay Lake under Baring Mountain.
  • Photos from hikes near I90 include:  Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park in the Issaquah Alps (Far Country Falls, Coal Creek Falls), Mason Lake/Ira Spring Memorial Trail to Mount Defiance, South Fork Snoqualmie River, Twin Falls Natural Area, Ollalie State Park, Snow Lake, Rachel Lake, Rampart Lakes, Box Canyon, Ingalls Creek Trail.


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Flowers, fungi, plants

My plant and fungi images from the Central Cascades are documented in each caption, including:

Tiger Lily or Columbia lily (Lilium columbianum), Glacier Lily, Columbine flower, Bunchberry Dogwood flowers (cornus canadensis), Monkeyflower (Mimulus), Columbia Monkshood (Aconitum), Bear Grass (tenax, genus: Xerophyllum, family: Liliaceae), pink thistle with camouflaged Crab Spider (Family Thomisidae), Woolly Chanterelle mushrooms (Gomphus Floccosus), False Chanterelle (Clitocybe aurantiaca), Admirable Boletus mirabilis, Coral Hydnum mushroom (Hericium coralloides), white oyster mushrooms, Pinesap (monotropa hypopithys L.), bracket fungi (shelf fungi), Pine-drops (Pterospora), Western Coral-Root (Corallorhiza mertensiana), Five-Finger Fern (or Western Maidenhair, Latin name Adiatnum pedatum aleuticum), White Veratrum (Veratrum Californicum) leaves, vine maple, larch (yellow needles in fall, genus Larix), Salal (Gaultheria shallon) with water drops, foggy forest on Wilderness Peak Trail in Squak Mountain State Park.


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