Snowstorm over Bonanza Peak


Bonanza Peak is one of the highest non-volcanic mountains in Washington’s North Cascades and is said to be very dramatic looking. This isn’t really it; I think Bonanza Peak proper is out of sight in the clouds to the right. The visible peaks are probably satellites on Bonanza’s spur ridges. The view is from the trail up the Railroad Creek valley to Hart Lake, from Holden Village. This was our day off from trail work in the village, and Dorothy and I had been hoping to hike up to Holden Lake on the side of Bonanza for the celebrated view of the peak. It was cold rain until we got high enough for it to be snow instead, at which point we bailed and I followed a lower trail to Hart Lake and saw this view. Some of our group did get to Holden Lake and reported that they couldn’t see anything and that “it’s mid-winter up there.” We later learned that this snowstorm basically closed the high country for the season, and Pacific Crest Trail through hikers had to go the last miles north along the sides of highways.

It of course became clear and sunny the next day, although probably not warm enough to melt the new snow. Which is no doubt still up there, buried under lots more snow.


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