Exploring the North Cascades – PNW VanLife

Damn! Just like that week 2 has come to an end! It’s hard to believe that I’ve only been living back in the van for two weeks now, yet I’ve already done so much since being here in the Pacific Northwest. If you read the last blog post, I spent week one getting things together and this week was not a whole lot different except for the fact that I was able to make a random and extremely last minute trip to the North Cascades National Park with my buddy Sam. It was also the Fourth of July weekend, which made it a whole lot better as my last two Independence days had been spent overseas. After this weekend I’m pretty convinced (not like I wasn’t already) that the PNW is in fact the most beautiful place in the world. It blew my mind that this amount of beauty only exists about 3 hours from a place that I once called home for almost 4 years.

My buddy Sam showed up on the lake that I was on last week during the 4th and after spending a couple of hours on the lake we decided that it was time to take off and we so we sent it on a 3 hour drive North to North Cascades National Park and our first stop on the itinerary was a lake that I had been wanting to witness with my own eyes for years now, Diablo Lake. When we arrived it was a little past midnight so it was pitch black, but we decided that it would be safe to sleep at the Diablo Lake overlook and sure enough, it was, nobody bothered us and we were able to wake up to a beautiful view of Diablo Lake. This lake has to be one of the most turquoise colored lakes that I’ve ever seen and with the morning fog hovering over it, you simply can’t help but pinch yourself! (I’ll be putting together a North Cascades guide with places to sleep and hikes that you shouldn’t miss!)

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After spending a couple of the morning hours at this beautiful Alpine lake we decided to head over to Maples Pass, which is only one of the finest hikes in the North Cascades! The trail takes you through one of the most beautiful mountainous landscapes that I’ve ever seen. I fell in love with this trail because of the amazing views and the colorful flowers that can be seen along the sides of this well maintained trail throughout the whole hike! When you make it about half way up you also encounter a beautiful meadow and an amazing turquoise lake sitting at the base of a mountain in the distance! This trail is one of those that simply never stops surprising you! The biggest reward however is making it top the top of the Maples Pass ridge, which gives you the most amazing views of Lake Ann! I highly recommend making this hike when in the PNW. By the time we made it to the bottom, we were completely exhausted and we decided to call it a night.

The following day we visited these beautiful falls called Nooksack falls and we also went on a very special “Secret Hike”. Unfortunately , along this trail there were signs saying to not geotag the location and I’m going to respect that as so many places have been destroyed because of the fact that they become Instagram spots. So anyways, we made it to the trail head and I had little to no idea about what was going on and what I was getting myself into. Little did we know this trail was going to be close to ten miles long (roundtrip) and brutal! After hiking for about 3 hours and questioning myself the whole time we finally made it this fire lookout at the top of the mountain and what I was about to see my eyes were not ready for! What I saw down below was two beautiful crystal blue lakes sitting side by side each other with some of the sickest mountains in the background! At that moment all the pain in my legs and knees was gone and nothing but smiles came out after that!

Unfortunately, we had plans of smashing out a couple more hikes, but that last one had really beat us up! So we decided to get some rest in the National Park and see how we would feel the following morning, so we did just that! The following morning we woke up and we were both extremely tired and sore so we decided that it would be best to head back down south and allow our bodies to rest. Well on our way down south Sam recommended that we visit one more set of waterfalls before heading home and I thought it would a good idea as well. We make the short one hour detour only to find ourselves on a hike that was way worse than the day prior only difference was the distance! This time we found ourselves hiking the trail with no water, as well as no snacks because everything we had read online had said that the falls was located along side of the highway…. turned out that was a lie! Anyways, we ended up pushing through it and we made it to the top of this incredible waterfall. When we made it back to the bottom we decided it was time to call it a day and head back South because Sam still had an incredibly long drive back to Portland ahead of him!

So guys I hope that you enjoyed reading about my adventures this week and I’m so looking forward to posting a lot more than just once a week on here! Thank you so much for all the constant love and support! I hope to see you guys all here again next week! Please make sure to leave a comment and share this with your friends! Much love!

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