Hello again! I’m finally catching up on the rest of our summer adventures! Back at the beginning of August, my brother and his fiance came to visit, and we had an awesome weekend exploring Seattle, camping in the mountains, and trying to convince them to move here. 🙂
Friday morning we headed up to Diablo Lake, in North Cascades National Park. We hadn’t been up to this part of Washington before – and, to be honest, didn’t really realize that there was a National Park up here! Mount Rainier and Olympic National Parks get a lot of attention, but North Cascades, not so much. I think a reason for that is that a lot of the park you can’t access by road – there’s a lot more backcountry and you have to work to get there! From what little we saw, it’s definitely worth the effort, and I have no doubt that we’ll be doing a lot more exploring up here in the future!
One challenge with car camping is that most campgrounds don’t take reservations; it’s all first-come first-served. The Colonial Creek campground right next to Diablo Lake was one without reservations, and I really had my heart set on camping there. So Friday morning we left very early to make the 2.5 hour drive north. We were in luck and were able to claim a campsite at Colonial Creek, right next to the lake.
After setting up our tents, we went on a short hike to Thunder Knob. It’s a short 1.8 mile hike up to a lookout over Diablo Lake, and the view was incredible!
We stopped to have some drinks and enjoy the view 🙂
After hiking, we headed back to camp to make some dinner. There was a burn ban in Washington for most of the summer, so unfortunately we weren’t able to cook over a campfire, which is one of my favorite things! Instead we brought along J’s backpacking stove to make some freeze-dried meals. Mountain House meals are some of our favorites to take backpacking, so we’d grabbed 4 different flavors to try out. Cooking with the stove was pretty easy (I wrote more about it in this post about our backpacking trip to Goat Lake!), and we had dinner ready in no time. I’m glad we picked a variety of dishes because some were definitely better than others 🙂
We also set up J’s new hammock!
Saturday morning we woke up early and headed back down to the lake to do some kayaking. The water was like a giant turquoise mirror!
We have two inflatable kayaks that we love, and we bring them along anytime we’re headed to a lake. Keith and Jeff headed out first.
J and I headed out next – I forgot my waterproof camera this time, so we risked it by taking an iPhone out so we could get some pics on the lake. Luckily we managed to not drop it in! 🙂
We absolutely love these kayaks from Advanced Elements! They are super easy to inflate and pack down into a pretty small bag that’s easy to store. Can’t recommend them enough if you’re in the market for a kayak 🙂
Pretty sure I could have spent the rest of the day right there….
After kayaking for a while, I decided to jump in for a quick swim – a tradition I started on our Goat Lake backpacking trip.
I stayed in just long enough to snap a few pictures – glacier-fed lakes are really really cold!!!
Keith and J went out one more time in the kayaks before we packed up to head home.
On our way back we stopped at the Diablo Lake Overlook for one last look at the entire lake. I just can’t get over that turquoise color!
I know I say this a lot, but I think this is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. If you’re looking for a good weekend trip near Seattle, definitely consider Diablo Lake! It could even be a great day trip since it’s only a couple hours away.
It was so fun to have Keith and Jeff visit, and I’m so glad we got to share this experience with them! (Sorry again guys, about forgetting flashlights and sunscreen and cooking you freeze-dried food though – we’ll make up for it next time! 🙂 )
This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosures here.
Susannah Dyson says
Gorgeous pictures! The scenery is spectacular!
Ashley Abril says
Your pictures are amazing! I am going to try and go this weekend a long day trip haha. Thanks for all the advice 🙂
Diablo Lake is beautiful especially the color of the water. I love Advanced Elements kayaks too!
Rob recently posted…Kayak Groupon: Deals You Will Love