I’ll be upfront with you. To call Sahale Glacier a Seattle photo op is a bit of a stretch. But if you’re willing to work for spectacular views, then this is totally worth a trek from the Emerald City.
When I say work, I first mean driving. The hike to Sahale Glacier starts at the Cascade Pass Trailhead (map), which is about a three-hour drive to the North Cascades. Secondly, you have to grind on the hike. The trail to Sahale Glacier first takes you to Cascade Pass, and then continues on to the mountain. Yup, mountain. This is a 12-mile roundtrip hike with 4,000 feet of elevation gain. The last chunk of the hike is a steep scramble up a rocky path.
If that’s biting off more than you can chew, the hike to Cascade Pass is a 7-mile roundtrip with 1,800 feet of elevation gain. Honestly, the views are spectacular on the trail to Cascade Pass. But…the photo opportunities get even better on the way to Sahale Glacier.
All along the way, you’re surrounded by stunning peaks. There are also waterfalls and Doubtful Lake, a beautiful alpine lake at the base of Mount Sahale. If you’re there at the right time of year, you’ll also see plenty of colorful wildflowers and even some fresh huckleberries.
* I couldn’t fit the image on the blog post, but I think this panoramic photo showcases some of the stunning beauty along the way to Sahale Glacier.
If that’s not enough for you, the hike to Sahale Glacier also provides wildlife photo opportunities. When I was backpacking there (which requires a backcountry permit), I saw a black bear, mountain goats, marmots, pika and a family of grouse – among other creatures. It truly made for one of the best backpacking experience of my life!
Now when I think of the perfect Washington hike, Sahale Glacier comes to mind. It has everything our wonderful state has to offer: stunning views and amazing wildlife. It’s truly a photographers dream. It takes some effort to get there but Sahale Glacier is a prime Seattle photo op.
Have you ever hiked to Sahale Glacier? What did you think of the photo opportunities? We’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment below or connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Vimeo. You can also visit Moarly Creative for more ideas on awesome Seattle photo ops.