High Rock (PNW)

August 12, 2018, Ashford Washington

In the summer of 2018, I ventured to the Pacific Northwest to take part in a guided climb of Mt Rainier. The day before the program began, another participant and I decided to stretch our legs, post-travel, with a quick day hike. The folks at the motel we were staying at had an unsurprisingly excellent knowledge of the region and its hikes. They warned us to avoid Rainier National Park, down the road.  They predicted an hour-plus line on this sunny Saturday afternoon in August—just to get through the gates!  Instead, they wrote down a list of turns to take via dirt logging roads to a nearby hike outside the park.  The hike was known as High Rock.  For anyone without the inside scoop, Google Maps can get you there just fine.

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Cascade and Porter

October 6, 2017, Mt Van Hoevenberg Trailhead

Arrival

They say life is more about the journey than the destination, and that’s obviously true of the quest for 46 high peaks.  But as I push on to climbing more of the Adirondacks’ tallest mountains, I really am struck at all the weird places it’s brought me and all the interesting things I’ve seen.  My trip up Cascade and Porter certainly provides an example of that.

The “normal” trailhead for Cascade is right off route 73 just after the stunning drive towards Lake Placid along Upper and Lower Cascade Lakes.  And from that trailhead, it’s roughly 1.6 miles directly up the slopes of Cascade to its bare rock summit. This unusually easy access to a high peak with a gorgeous view makes Cascade one of the most popular hikes in the region.

To summarize: short trail from the roadside.  Gorgeous views. Crowded summit.

But my experience with Cascade and Porter would involve none of those things.

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