Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Hiking Trip Reports Cascade Pass and Sahale Arm

Trip Report

Cascade Pass and Sahale Arm

North Cascades

Trip Report By

WTA Member

50 

Hiked Aug 1, 2014

Type of Hike

Multi-night backpack

Trail Conditions

Trail in good condition

Road

Road suitable for all vehicles

Bugs

Bugs were an annoyance

Snow

Intermittent snow - not hard to cross
Hiked up and camped at Sahale Glacier Camp on Friday and Saturday nights. The short snow fields that you cross along the Arm are inconsequential. Otherwise the well-worn trail is easy to follow, except the last half mile to camp where you scramble steeply up over unconsolidated scree and dirt. Bugs, mainly deer flies, were occasionally annoying at the camp, and manageable with DEET. Friday night we watched in awe as a thunderstorm approached from the south and chased us into our tents. Fortunately the lightning never got closer than about a mile away, otherwise we would have exited our tents and found low ground. We spent our time at the camp just sitting and admiring the view that never gets old and welcoming dayhikers and climbers bagging Sahale's peak. We enjoyed socializing with our campsite neighbors both evenings and mornings, sharing trail stories, food and drink while we were treated to two spectacular sunsets. A bear was photographed by one of our party in a meadow up above Cascade Pass. We were visited by several goats, and a small marmot rummages around camp all during the day, seemingly unfazed by our presence. Ground squirrels were quick to police up any crumbs, and mice popped out of the rocks after sundown. Be sure to put all your food in the bear canister (required for camping, and can be borrowed from the NPS in Marblemount). One note about permits -- if you want to be all but guaranteed a required overnight camping permit, get to the Marblemount Wildlife Information Center before 7AM the day BEFORE your trip. I got there at 6:30AM and others showed up soon thereafter.

Comments

Sahale Glacier Camping

Thanks for a great report! Did you really have to get a permit a day before? I am planning to do overnight trip, but I figured that if I go on a weekday then I probably have a good chance of getting a permit first thing in the morning. Is bear spray necessary? Thanks in advance!

Posted by:


Indoorphobia on Aug 05, 2014 03:18 PM

Reply to Permit question

During the week you have a greater chance of getting a permit the day of your hike. However, if you're really set on camping up there without any other options in mind, best to get it the day before.

As things worked out, a few of the folks that camped around us were able to get the last permit of the day -- and they felt luck.

Best to simply call the WIC in Marblemount and get their thoughts on it.

Bear spray is absolutely not necessary. The one bear that was spotted was well off the trail, and I'm sure the relatively large number of folks on the trail deter them from hanging around.

Posted by:


KenWP on Aug 06, 2014 01:03 PM

Sahale Glacier Camping

Thanks for a great report! Did you really have to get a permit a day before? I am planning to do overnight trip, but I figured that if I go on a weekday then I probably have a good chance of getting a permit first thing in the morning. Is bear spray necessary? Thanks in advance!

Posted by:


Indoorphobia on Aug 05, 2014 03:18 PM