Meadows Campground

View to Meadows Campground from the Pacific Crest Trail by Allan J Jones Photography
View to Meadows Campground from the Pacific Crest Trail

Just east of the North Cascades National Park are the Paysaten Wilderness and Hart’s Pass. Hart’s Pass is over 6100′ and we were looking to get high enough to escape the heat that was in the forecast for the lowlands. I had visited Hart’s Pass many times over the years and especially liked the dark skies and the quiet. Meadows Campground is just about a mile past the pass and was my favorite for sitting around the campfire until after dark … and then setting up the camera for time exposures of the night sky.

It had been since 1995 since I had been to the Hart’s Pass area, however, and I was unaware that a large fire had swept through Meadows Campground in 2003. The fire burned hot enough to sterilize the soil, extending the amount of time necessary for recovery. (Recovery time is already long at such high altitudes, given the short growing season.)

The campground is open, but all the trees are burned … and the ones near campsites have been cut to keep them from falling on people. It is just a bare desolation. I was so stunned by the devastation that I couldn’t compose a photo while in the campground.The photo above looks down into the campground area from the Pacific Crest Trail.

(Note of caution: the road to Hart’s Pass is very narrow (single lane in places) and very rough with washed out areas and a lot of rocks. Not a good choice for a low slung passenger car … and it’s closed for RV’s and trailers. There is also one section with a significant drop on one side… not a road for people with vertigo issues.)

Camera: Nikon D810
Lens: Nikon 28-300mm set at 28mm
ISO 100    1/400 sec    f/10

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