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Author Topic: Visiting the Cascades for fall Color  (Read 1752 times)
Praki
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« on: September 05, 2012, 05:33:20 PM »
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I will be in Washington State in the third week of September. I have heard that the larches turn golden in September near Lake Stehekin. Any specifics regarding the locations of these groves and best time to go will be very helpful. Some of these are supposed to be around Washington Pass. Look forward to your replies.
Thanks.
Praki.
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Peter McLennan
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« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2012, 06:21:32 PM »
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That's pretty early for full larch colour, at least in my area. I live in the Kootenays, several hours east and north of the Cascades.  Full larch colour is mid October at elevations similar to the Cascades.
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Vladimir Steblina
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« Reply #2 on: September 06, 2012, 11:27:30 AM »
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As mentioned that is a bit early for larch turning color.  That said, it has been a dry summer and I have noticed my aspen already starting to turn due to lack of moisture.  Not sure how this will affect the timing of the larch.

There is no Lake Stehekin,  It is Lake Chelan and Stehekin is at the head of the lake.  It is a long ferry trip to Stehekin, plus an even longer hike to get up into larch elevation.  Stehekin is a nice place to visit, just not for larch.

Washington Pass area and the North Cascades Highway (hwy 20) is probably your best bet if your not into backpacking.

Just west of Washington Pass is Rainy Pass that has a fairly short hike to Lake Ann.  You need a trailhead pass from the Forest Service to park there.  They are $5/day.  Lake Ann is fairly high elevation and has some nice larch in the area.

The area is scenic and well worth the visit.  Lots of good photography opportunities in the area. 

Here is my blog posting on the area.http://usbackroads.blogspot.com/2010/09/highway-20-mazama-washington.html

Here is the Forest Service information on Lake Ann Trail:http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsinternet/!ut/p/c4/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gDfxMDT8MwRydLA1cj72BTJw8jAwjQL8h2VAQAzHJMsQ!!?ss=110617&ttype=recarea&recid=59285&actid=51&navtype=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&position=BROWSEBYSUBJECT&navid=100000000000000&pnavid=null&cid=null&pname=Methow+Valley+Ranger+District+%28North%29+-+Lake+Ann%252FMaple+Pass+Loop+Trail+%2523470

There is also a hiker site that usually starts a Fall Color discussion about this time.  Here is their link:  nwhikers.net
You can do a search on "larch colors" and you will get a posting of the threads from previous years.  Make note of the dates!!

Give a call the Forest Service at the Methow Valley Ranger District in Winthrop for additional information before you leave: http://www.fs.usda.gov/okawen

Hope this helps.  Don't worry about catching the peak color.  That area is great for wandering around and taking photo's anytime of the year.  And if your lucky you just might catch the early color.
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Justan
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« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2012, 09:01:43 AM »
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It is late summer in the Cascades. We’ve had over 40 days without rain, which is nearly a record for the area.

The area around Mt. Rainier is a good place to visit. The Sunrise and Paradise locations are in bloom with countless wild flowers. If you’re interested in getting to the high country without the work, Crystal Mountain has a gondola that will whisk you up to about 7,000’ of elevation and provide to-die-for unobstructed views of Mt. Rainier and pretty much everywhere else. On a clear day you can see peaks from nearly Canada to the north to Oregon to the south. There are also countless wild flowers and hikes around Crystal. Additionally, There are several forest service roads that lead to wonderful hikes. There are a number of really good bike rides and hikes in the area that follow the White River along old growth to a variety of valley floor destinations. These are a lot easier to do and therefor much more enjoyable for the occasional hiker…

To my knowledge there are no larches in this area.

If you’re interested in a trip to the coast it is typically *gorgeous* this time of year. Foggy mornings leading to sunny afternoons (weather providing, of course) Ruby, Realto, Kalaloch beach and others in NW washington are very primitive- like going back in time primitive - which for many amounts to nearly life altering experiences to visit, and tourism is well past the peak, this time of year.
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Praki
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« Reply #4 on: September 08, 2012, 05:24:14 PM »
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Thanks to all three of you. I will look at the sites recommended by Vladimir and plan accordingly. You are right about Chelan! Hopefully will post images. Thanks again.
Praki.
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