Washington's Cascade Mountains The Central Cascades

Central Cascades is a popular Seattle playground for hiking, backpacking, climbing and skiing.The Central Cascades offer an extensive array of outdoor recreational activities less than two hours by car from Seattle, one of the Pacific Northwest's largest metropolitan centers.Hikers can be at any number of popular trailheads within an hour or two and by noon can be miles into wilderness areas far from the crowds, traffic, asphalt and noise of the big city. Any summer weekend will find dozens of trails populated by solo hikers, families with small children, backpackers and, on some trails, even horse-packers. Trails range from easy 5-mile round trips to an alpine lake to moderate hikes of 10 miles or more.Skiers, too, find relatively quick access to the slopes as several ski resorts also are within an easy drive. It is not uncommon to head for the slopes after work and ski until 10:00 PM and be home again in time for a good night's sleep.Climbers can have breakfast at sea level and enjoy lunch at an elevation of 5,000 to 7,000 feet on any number of peaks within the Central Cascades.

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