The Best Views in the National Parks: Forbidden Peak

North Cascades National Park, WA
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North Cascades National Park, WA
forbidden peak

Photo by Ethan Welty

You can find good mountain views all over the park system, but this 8,815-foot summit puts you in the scene, afloat on a stormy sea of snow and stone. Even more impressive: the view on a moonlit night, which photographer Ethan Welty shot from a bivy ledge just below the summit, looking south to 10,541-foot Glacier Peak (center) and Mt. Rainier (distant right). The technical, full-day climb on the West Ridge is considered an American classic. Get a guide or get the skills. Trailhead 48.489344, -121.090272; off Cascade River Rd. Season June to September Guide Various companies offer trips for around $1,000/person. Permit free; in-person only