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Trail Of The Cedars

Ross Lake National Recreation Area

July 5th, 2010

0.3 miles
40 vertical feet
Total Time: 0:36

Starting elevation
378 feet
Max elevation
437 feet

Rating: 6/10

Directions: From Marblemount, follow Highway 20 east into the town of Newhalem. Turn right onto the main street (I think it's actually named Main Street) just before the big train engine. Park on the street near the end of the road. You can't miss the big "Trail of the Cedars" sign above the trees at the end of the road.   View Driving Map

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GPX File

The Trail of the Cedars is a short nature walk, but well worth it if you have the time. The trail starts under a large sign at one end of a footbridge over the Skagit River. We crossed over the bridge and then started the loop hike on the other side.

Park at the trailhead

Trailhead sign

Bridge over the Skagit River

Skagit River from the bridge

It's a loop hike so you can do it in either direction; we chose the left fork, which is the wider trail and the direction most people probably take it. The trail passes through a lush mossy forest with a forest floor covered with ferns. There are very frequent interpretive signs describing the forest.


Inviting forest trail

Mossy tree

One of many interpretive signs

We saw lots of black slugs on the trail. At the far end of the loop, we reached a small power station. We had actually driven to the power station from our campsite one day, as there's a short gravel road from the Newhalem Campground to the power station. If you wanted to, you could do the hike starting from there.

Water flowing down from the power station...

...goes down this spillway (to prevent salmon from going up to the power station)...

...and then out into the Skagit River.

Another view of the spillway

We continued along the trail, following the water runoff of the power station, which flows into the Skagit River. The path then veers right, heading back toward the bridge. We followed the trail, completing the loop and then crossing back over the bridge.

Fallen tree being reclaimed by the forest

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