Cascade Pass


SEPTEMBER 20, 2008   I found this CHS graduation hike to Cascade Pass challenging, but not because it was a strenuous hike.  I had eagerly anticipated this hike for weeks, but the weather gods did not smile on us this weekend, and neither did the road gods.  Cascade River Road was closed at El Dorado Creek for road repairs beginning September 15th, adding a 3-mile road walk to reach to the trailhead, so our destination was downgraded from Sahale Arm to Cascade Pass.  Low lying clouds completely hid the scenery, effectively turning this from a hike with amazing views to a mere hike in the woods on a foggy day.  My challenge was how to overcome my disappointment and where to find the joy in this hike. Eventually it became obvious that since there were no views the beauty would have to be found in the details, and soon I was finding unexpected bursts of fall color, pleasing textures in the lichen-covered rocks, and spider webs so laden with mist that they seemed to be strung with jewels.  Several fat marmots grazed in the talus slopes within a few feet of the trail and seemed to be as interested in us as we were in them.  And like all CHS hikes, the pleasure of hiking with good friends made this a memorable hike. 

13.4 miles

2300' gain