Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Destination: Diablo Lake

Goodell Creek Campground Site #21

Trusty Coleman Tent
Fall is here
Gorge Lake Viewpoint
 Log crossing at site #27
Kyle taking the smaller log
Catherine looking at Diablo
You can't see it, but I definitely have a giant bag of potato chips in my hands lol

Man and his best friend
Diablo Lake
The entire gang!

Location: North Cascades National Park
Dates Camped: October 21-23, 2016
Hiked: Thunder Knob Trail 4 miles out & back
Difficulty: easy
Miles Driven: 240 miles roundtrip from Seattle

This past weekend, Sarina's little sisters were in town from MN so we decided to keep it easy and car camp somewhere. We both have been wanting to see Diablo Lake and checking weather, only a slight chance of rain, we thought it would be the perfect weekend to head out that way.

Friday evening, 3 separate cars headed out to Goodell Creek Campground, we all got there around 8:30-9:00 PM. After driving around the campground loop twice, we settled on site 21 (truly we blindly picked a site because we couldn't see anything in the dark). With the help of a strung up Kelty tarp and an EZ Up, we stayed mostly dry while setting up camp in pouring rain and off to bed we went.

I remember looking around in the dark Friday night and stating, "I think we are next to a cliff. There seems to be a drop off near our site..." Well, we wouldn't know our surroundings till the next morning.

Saturday morning we woke up to gray skies, but no rain, which is always a good thing. Next to our campsite was the Skagit River. What I thought was a cliff, was really a small drop to the river. It turned out to be a great location. Also, because it's October, we didn't have to pay any site fees. We had to bring our own water, and pack out our trash but that's not a big deal. Usually it's $16/night. The campground had decent vault toilets too.

A few more people drove out from Seattle Saturday morning, we made pancakes and bacon for breakfast, and hit the road shortly to explore some more of the North Cascades National Park (no entrance fee for this park btw!). We hit up the visitor center, stopped at Gorge Lake viewpoint, and headed to Thunder Knob Trail head for a short hike near Diablo Lake.

The hike itself was pretty easy. The beginning, we had to do some navigating due to the walking bridge being down for the season, but we found our way. We had to walk through Colonial Creek Campground, cut through campsite 27, and cross a log, then we reconnected with the Thunder Knob Trail. With minimal elevation gain and less than 2 miles one way, we made it to the top pretty quickly  and had a great view of Diablo Lake. We took some pictures, ate some snacks, and headed back to the car.

After the hike we stopped at Diablo Lake viewpoint, which is just a drive up sightseeing spot. Diablo Lake is famous for how turquoise the water gets. It truly is a beautiful sight.

Once we were done soaking it all in, we headed back to the campground for a much needed sandwich. A couple of people left in the afternoon, and the rest of us camped out for another night, made chicken quesadillas and s'mores, and enjoyed a campfire. Luckily it did not rain as hard as it did the night before. The weather was between the 40-50's. We packed up camp the next morning and hit the road back to Seattle. Another great weekend spent enjoying the outdoors.

Until next time North Cascades!

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