I will never forget coming over the ridge just below the summit of Trapper Peak and seeing the jagged Pickets for the first time. It's a remote mountain range and few places offer such glimpses. So I was mesmerized. I literally dropped my pack and sat staring in awe for nearly an hour. We scrambled to the summit just in time for sunset and watched the sky change behind towering Mount Triumph before setting up our tent. It was a frigid night but we bundled up to take night shots and tried to count the billions of stars overhead. We snuck in less than four hours of sleep before we braved the cold again to watch the sunrise over Newhalem, a tiny town below. It's become one of my favorite winter camping spots and my go-to for introducing friends to the North Cascades.
If you have the energy in the morning, keep going to Thornton Peak, X Mountain or even glacier-covered Mount Triumph.
Trapper Peak can be a day hike in the summer, a winter backpacking trip or a peakbagging weekend when combined with nearby summits. Something for everybody and a new experience every time!
When you're off the mountain, stop by Birdsview Brewery in Concrete, WA for tasty burgers and beer.
Visit the Wilderness Information Center for a permit, map or to ask questions about trail conditions.
Drive 16 miles past the trailhead to a viewpoint and gaze at the famous blue waters of Diablo Lake and Diablo Dam, which at 389 feet was once the tallest dam in the world.
Contributed by Stacia Glenn @staciangeliques