North Cascades Fall Color and Early Winters (pics)

I grew up in Connecticut; we prided ourselves on our fall color, like all of New England. When the maples turn, you can see them from space. I was born in Denver and the Rockies hold a special place in my heart, I've gone back to see the aspens, also a beautiful show. Here in the northwest, a strange tree called larch is the start of our show.

Larches are deciduous conifers - I didn't know there was such a thing. We have two kinds, the alpine (larix lyalli), and the western (larix occidentalis), both of which grow in cold places. They drop their needles every fall, and grow new ones in late spring. Every October, hikers here go on a pilgrimage, a larch march, to see them sing the song of winter.

Here are some photos from the last two weekends.

"My" section of PCT, no maintenance needed at this time. 🙂


Cutthroat Lake trail.


Hikers at Blue Lake.


Settling in for the long winter ahead.


Whistler, Cutthroat, Early Winters.


Washington Pass. This road took almost a hundred years to build, and stays open about five months in a typical year. Fantastic bike route, great skiing, a climber's paradise.








  • Silentpadna
    Silentpadna Posts: 1,306 Member
    I sure wish that I would have gone there when I lived there. Spent most of my growing up years in the Seattle area and then 15 or so more of my adult life there and yet missed so much of what it has to offer.

    Beautiful area up there. Brother is in Bellingham - gonna have to get up that way soon.
  • littlegreenparrot1
    littlegreenparrot1 Posts: 694 Member
    How lovely.

    I dream of doing the PCT.
  • Thehardmakesitworthit
    LOVE LOVE LOVE. even just seeing the images brings a peaceful sigh......
  • middlehaitch
    middlehaitch Posts: 8,484 Member
    Beautiful pics, as always, and I love the larch, such a humble but unique tree, but all I can ever think of is the MontyPython skit ‘the larch’.

    Not denigrate the path we both walk either side of the border, just pulling in my British heritage and age. Brings a smile to my face.

    Cheers, h.
  • cheriej2042
    cheriej2042 Posts: 241 Member
    edited October 2019
    How beautiful the tree colors are! I do miss that. We just have the leaves fall off the trees we have until March. The air always looks so crisp and clean too.
  • travelingmermaid25
    travelingmermaid25 Posts: 14 Member
    The photos are absolutely gorgeous. In September I went to Washington and Oregon and did some amazing hikes. I loved seeing all the moss covering the old growth trees; it was so lush and beautiful, nothing quite like it back east.
    Thanks for posting.
  • simcon1
    simcon1 Posts: 209 Member
    edited October 2019
    I love these! And was just at Cutthroat Lake on Sunday, so here’s another photo for the group!
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,968 Member
    Fantastic picture, @simcon1! It's such an impressive wall behind the lake, and lovely grasses surrounding the water.

    You probably drove by my car on your way home. 🙂
  • steeliebob
    steeliebob Posts: 55 Member
    Further west and just above sea level.... The vine maples are bringing lots of color to the gazillion shades of green in the rainforest.