Cool blue lakes, rugged peaks, and luxury lodges abound in this majestic Northwest range
Bang for the buck: It’s what we love about shimmering Blue. That, and the feeling you’re walking straight into a coffee-table book. A steady, family-friendly 2.2-mile climb from the North Cascades Highway brings you to an aquamarine bowl that’s surrounded by larch and sits below the granite jawline of Early Winters Spires—a dramatic backdrop for a rest, snack, or bracing dip. $5 day pass; N. Cascades Hwy./State 20 between mileposts 161 and 162; www.fs.usda.gov/okawen.