Exploring The North Cascades

The Curves of Diablo

The Route from Concrete, WA to Diablo Lake, WA is a scenic one any time of the year, but Fall Season adds a very colorful touch to it. Trees and leaves in all their Fall Splendor line both sides of the road and that particular day with the overcast conditions and a hint of fog hovering over the road made this route especially alluring. Riding through these roads and taking in the scenery is a delight and meditating. Concrete to Diablo is around 57 miles (92 km) and you pass through the towns of Rockport, WA, (Where the other route merge with SR 20), Marblemount, WA and Newhalem, WA.

Fall colors lined both sides of the road

A quick stop at small picnic area on the way

I wish I could talk more about these places, but I have never in my drives through this route stopped at any of these towns. Although I can tell you that Newhalem is where you find the Visitor Center for the North Cascades, which also I have never visited 😦

Now the reason why I always skip through these towns is because of the drive after Newhalem. When you exit Newhalem, you will be greeted by a sign post warning of high winds and falling rocks. Past these signs are curvy, scenic mountain roads which is the kind that gives me goosebumps thinking about. There are places on the way where you can stop as well from where you will get glimpses of Diablo Lake and you will see Gorge Lake on your side most of the way. Below are some pictures from my favorite spot to stop on these roads.

After the photo session, it was back on the nineT and the drive towards Diablo lake resumed. You approach Diablo lake from a high elevation and descent rapidly towards the lake and cut across Gorge Lake via a short bridge. The water was still and I could see the features that Diablo Lake is well known for. 

There is one almost like a ritual that I do every time I come to Diablo lake. I never go to the Diablo Lake Vista point directly. I always stop near Colonial Creek Campground and spend some time near the waters below. There is something soothing about this place that one can spend hours lost sitting here. The mountains, lake, and just the peace and calmness around. And the place was also quite empty this particular day. I spent some time here till I noticed a few flakes of snow floating around and which got me thinking maybe it is time to move on. The ride was only going to get harder as we go on as we were about to enter the mountain pass and I had to cover as much distance as possible before the weather took a turn for the worse. If it snowed, the broken clutch lever and the fact that I’m only on two wheels would make things worse. 

Every time I’m on this route, I stop here to relax. I find this place very soothing

Back on the NineT, we began the climb towards the Vista point. This is the road which takes you to the famous view that you will see all over the internet and this is also a motorcyclist’s delight. Steep curvy roads where you can open up the throttle, lean in and listen to the engine roar. It is a short climb though and there is good number of parking space here (At least I never had trouble finding parking here)

The Diablo Lake

By the time I was done taking pictures, it was around noon and I was slightly behind schedule. As I got back on the saddle and slowly crept to enter the main road, a few more flakes of snow come floating in. In the direction of my travel, I saw a lots of clouds and a snowy mountain looming and I found myself muttering – “This is going to be crazy!”

The way forward….

Submit a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s