North Cascades National Park has so many hike flavors ranging from easy to complex ones that are long, rough trail paths or some of them are accessible only during seasonal parts of the year. Thunder Knob is one of the common accessible trail path that is not very easy to miss on your way to Diablo Lake. We did not plan ahead of hiking in North Cascades and Thunder Knob was just an accidental visit after viewing the majestic Diablo lake.The trail head is off the Highway 20 and is a 4 mile round trip hike.
The Knob trail begins at the north loop in Colonial Creek Campground. As it was a July 4th weekend, we could see pretty much all campsites occupied and active users everywhere. There is a Colonial creek flowing right near the campsites and gives a very nice ambiance of the free flowing water sounds and chirping bird sounds.
The north head of the trail starts by crossing a bridge over Colonial Creek. The trail begins through a rocky pathways with a mix of flat surface and steep inclines. We did find it little challenging at the beginning of the trail but wanted to complete the full hike to enjoy the beautiful vista points. So we were kind of determined to finish the hike to see the Diablo Lake from the top of the Thunder Knob.
The landscape changes as you hike up the trail and you can visibly see the soil pattern and observe very tall pine trees at every corner of the trail path.As you get closer to the end zone, you will see Diablo Lake viewpoints and the views are totally amazing. There are benches available at the top of the viewpoint and you kind of get a feeling “Mission Accomplished” as you approach the benches :-). Sit back, relax and enjoy the views before you head down the trail.
While the Diablo Lake Overlook point can be reached directly via car, hiking thunder knob trail gives you a different perspective of the lake and a good workout too !. Whether you hike or visit by car, the beauty of the lake is truly outstanding and makes you appreciate the nature’s wonder in this beautiful planet.