The promise of seeing Diablo Lake’s turquoise-colored waters was enough to lure us from Seattle into Washington State’s North Cascades National Park. The intense hue comes from minerals and rock ground down by the surrounding glaciers and carried into the lake. To have a look at Diablo Lake (actually a reservoir), we drove along Highway 20, pulled into a parking lot, and walked a few hundred feet to a viewing point. Instant gratification.
Not all vistas were as easily seen as Diablo Lake. When our Jeep could take us no further, we set out on foot along the Cascade Pass Trail. For nearly four miles we navigated forested switchbacks, rocky slopes, wildflower-laden meadows, and patches of summer snow, steadily trekking upward into alpine country until we finally reached our destination: Cascade Pass and its view of peaks and glaciers.