Happy 4th of July!
Today we took a day trip to the North Cascades National Park. Specifically, we went Thunder Knob Trail, which was 10 minutes north of the North Cascades Visitor Center.
This national park is located a 2 and a half hour trip north of Seattle. The drive is just beautiful. 2.5 hours in the car is a long time, especially with little kids. Mr. 1 fell asleep for about an hour, and Mr. 3 just looked out the window the whole time.
You are surrounded by mountains and follow several rivers along the way. The Skagit river and the Sauk river stood out to me the most. I even bothered to learn their names on this trip, because they were so pretty. The Sauk river was nearly bright blue due to the mineral deposits coming off of the nearby mountains.
When we arrived at the parking lot, we had a quick picnic and were on our way.
Thunder Knob Trail is a 3.6 mile hike round trip with an elevation of 425 feet. The National Park Service describes the trail as great for kids. I think older kids would do great with this, and we saw several families with children older than the age of 10 speed by us.
The path had a mild incline and a few rocks to stub your toe on, but overall it was a really good trail. It was wide enough to hold hands at most places.
Mr. 3 and Mr. 1 walked for a short while, but Mr. 1 kept walking back down the path or off of the path altogether. Mr. 3 kept asking to be picked up because he was tired. We rested a few times and enjoyed views like the one above.
I love my Ergo baby carrier. The biggest problem with it is that it only holds one child. It’s hard to know how far you’ve walked on a hike like this, but I carried the 45 pound toddler for about an hour, and the 25 pound toddler for most of the rest of the 2 hours. My shoulders are a little sore afterwards, but who wouldn’t be carrying that weight for 3 hours?
We finally made it to the top to enjoy this spectacular view.
Special shout out to the nice family that gave us a bottle of water at the top of the hill.
Here is a hiking tip I learned today: Put your extra water bottles in the backpack, NOT the car. They are not helpful in the car because you will not be able to drink them.
The hike back down was easier, since Mr. 3 did a fair bit of walking by himself. At the bottom by the stream he resumed his favorite activity of throwing rocks and pinecones into the water.
Overall, I’d say that we all had a good time and got a lot of good exercise.
Some other things I learned today:
- Oso is spanish for bear, according to my husband.
- Pack more food and water than you think you need, because walking makes you hungry and thirsty. (Also, save the cheerios for the car ride home! We don’t normally let them eat in the car, but it was such a long drive and eating cheerios saved us 30 minutes of crying on the last leg of the journey.)
Do you have any pro hiking tips to share?