My brother-in-law came out to visit us from Ohio and the three of us spent a long weekend in the North Cascades. Among the highlights of his visit were summiting our second mountain—Dirtyface—and traveling the North Cascades loop to show him a few of our favorite stops along the way.
We crashed at our friends’ cabin near Leavenworth the first two nights of our trip, and I found another little camping spot along route 20 on the western side of the Cascades for our final night.
We were not looking for anything fancy, simply somewhere to stop overnight on our way back home. The place I found was reasonably priced, had cabins for rent, and was located near a number of trailheads—perfect!
Glacier Peak Resort and Winery has a slightly misleading name. I know the technical definition of a resort is somewhere people go to seek rest and relaxation, but I think most people apply slightly different criteria when they describe a place as a “resort.”
While this campground offered all of the necessary amenities for us to rest and relax after our drive from Leavenworth to Rockport, it wasn’t what I would describe as fancy. It had a variety of very nice cabins for rent (some with en suite amenities, others requiring you to trek to the communal commode), tent camping and RVs spots, and a small restaurant called The Eatery along the road (breakfast for two included in the cabin rental fee!).
Brian had called ahead to book us a small cabin that could accommodate all three of us via both bed and futon. It had an en suite restroom and kitchenette and a small porch overlooking the backyards of a few other small cabins.
It perfectly met our needs, and after dropping off our things, we grabbed a nice dinner at the restaurant, returned to the privacy of our cabin and made our plans for the next day.
My knees were a bit out of sorts after our Dirtyface Mountain hike. Despite applying all the tricks my doctor recommended, I was still incredibly sore and uncomfortable. I wanted to join Brian and Mark for their morning hike up Sauk Mountain the next day before we returned home, but I really didn’t think it was a good idea to push it when I wasn’t fully recovered. I told them to set off without me, and I would go out in search of my own adventures in and around our campground where I wouldn’t have to contend with too much elevation variance.
The guys left early and I spent the morning at my own pace. After sleeping in, I walked over to the restaurant and grabbed some coffee and an AMAZING cinnamon roll to go. I hung out on our porch, enjoyed my breakfast, read my book, and then started feeling restless and ready to go exploring!
Glacier Peak Resort and Winery has its own modest trail system called the Upland Loop Trail, which offers a forest hike of the property surrounding the resort. I quickly found a nearby trail head and headed off into the woods.
One interesting aspect of this trail is that there are several fitness stops along the path, including places to do push-ups, sit-ups, pull-ups and more. I don’t think these are used often as much of the equipment was overgrown, but perhaps it’s simply difficult to keep up with the summer growth. They certainly made for interesting photography moments!
In addition to walking through the forest, one section of the trail opened up into a gated field. I walked out into the open area and looked out onto the surrounding farms and mountains.
There was an abandoned camper I steered clear of as I walked along a nearby barbed wire fence, enjoying the crackling of the power lines overhead before making my way back into the woods.
After completing the Upland Loop Trail, I crossed route 20 to investigate the River Trail, which winds through 40 acres of forest and field along the Skagit River. I think what I ended up hiking was more in the 2-3 mile roundtrip range as I followed the camping access road, which quickly diminished to trail.
This peaceful walk led me by several occupied camping bays near the road, but before too long they were out of sight and I was alone. I made my way down to the riverbank at one access point to take a few pictures of the river and surrounding mountains. Otherwise, I was content to pad along through the forest and just soak in all of the greenery, moss and ancient trees. My turnaround point was an old, overgrown gate—I wasn’t sure where it led, but it had a lot of character.
After I turned around, I got a message that the guys were finished with their hike and heading back to our cabin. I sped up the pace, met them at the cabin, packed up my things, and after the guys had breakfast (I couldn’t talk them into the cinnamon roll, but I’m telling you, it was amazing!) we headed for home.
I was really happy with our experience at Glacier Peak Resort—the accommodations, the food, and the location, which gave us tremendous access to the national park and the opportunity to get quickly outdoors. I am, however, happy I took a look at their website ahead of time and understood what they meant by resort to ensure I had accurate expectations. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay along route 20, I recommend you give it a try!