Monday, June 16, 2014

Hiding in Newhalem

Highway 20 goes by on the north side of the green in Newhalem. The good stuff is hiding about 2 blocks south. Even closer than that is the Visitor Center for the North Cascades National Park and the Skagit River Project (what Seattle City Light calls their complex of dams and powerhouses.)

A block south of the Visitor Center, the suspension bridge over the Skagit for the Trail of the Cedars is hidden by lush foliage.

The trail winds through a mixed species forest to the Newhalem Powerhouse and returns in about a mile. Pets are permitted on a leash. There are a number of signs along the way to introduce the various species.

Next to the Gorge Powerhouse is another suspension bridge and trail. This one is to Ladder Creek Falls and the remnants of the once famous Newhalem Gardens. Once full of tropical plants that were wintered in a greenhouse,

all that is left now are the northwestern flowers that have survived with minimum care.

We really were fortunate to be here at this time while all the flowers were blooming.

The trail is a loop that includes cement sidewalks and stair, gravel trail, split cedar bridges, and stone stairs. It passes by the visitor gallery of the Gorge Powerhouse but you don't get any mechanical pictures today. I'm pleased to see the trail is still open. I could see some lawyers deciding it was too much risk to City Light.

The flowers came in all colors

but were sort of hiding from the rain drops.

Ladder Creek Falls was a series of small pools and drops in a very narrow ravine. It was really beautiful and well worth the walk.

It was too big to get into one picture. For decades it has been lit at night but a sign said the lights were out of order.

The barn of the day was sighted on the Old Concrete - Sauk Highway. Loved the yellow moss on the end.


  1. You probably don't want to hear this...Seattle's new mayor today is offering the new head of Seattle City Light a 45% raise....I thought he was going to be better than the last, wrong....And they can't even repair the lights in that little park. I visited when everything worked and you were able to tour the small power station and one of the tunnels.
    The sun is out here in Chelan.....

    1. We're fortunate to be enjoying sunshine in Anacortes today although it never got to room temperature. Still, a beautiful day! Once you get away from the front side of Newhalem, it is really starting to show signs of neglect. Glad I did the big tour in the 60's when the town was full and the place was polished.

  2. Ah!..Were you able to ride the inclined railway, the boat tour, and the most excellent chicken dinner?..The price was almost nothing and everyone was happy!
    My Boy Scout troop had a week trip towards Colonial Creek as they were building the highway. I will never forget that trip,If we ever meet up I'll share it with you.
    And I did end up getting rained on the other day.
    Take Care,

    1. Yes, Yes, and Yes. They still have the boat tour, but no chicken dinner and I think the inclined railway is no longer used on any of the tours. I did an overnight hike with a high school science class in that area when they were first starting to extend the road for the North Cross State Highway (a name I didn't see used anywhere on this trip.)