North CascadesDesolation Peak is in the North Cascade Mountains of Washington state, about 6.2 miles south of the Canadian border and in the Ross Lake National Recreation Area
Our hike started from Deer Park Campground at 5,400 feet, straddled the saddle between two ridge peaks covered in pines and cedars, before opening up to Sound-of-Music-like alpine fields. At the first mile we passed by Maiden Peak with vast views of the Olympic’s northern range—the Needles stabbing up at the sky. To Desolation point was seven miles and we made the way there in over three hours, climbing through wildflower fields, shale-covered ridges, and breathtaking views. Along the way we spotted an Olympic Marmot basking in the sun outside of its den, slipping inside when we came by. We limped back into the campground. The day capped off twenty-seven miles of hiking over the three-day weekend.
After we ferried back home to the other side of the Sound, we arrived at Triplehorn Brewery to enjoy ice cold beers and sit on their immensely long picnic tables. We ordered their Imperial IPA, a hearty and very alcoholic beer that hit the spot and the head a little. Triplehorn Brewery does not have a kitchen but instead utilizes its big parking lot to host food trucks, so we enjoyed brick oven baked pizza. We toasted to the miles and the marmot, and enjoyed our reward, hard earned after three days in the mountains.