Thunder Knob: Easy hike offers good view of mountains

Elevation gain: 635 feet

Round trip: 3.8 miles

Hiking time: 2 hours

Difficulty: Easy

Family friendly: Yes

Best times to hike: Spring and fall

Amenities: Camping at Colonial Creek Campground

Current conditions: Clear

Users: Hikers

Dogs: Allowed but must be on a leash

Highlights: Great mountain views early in the season for minimal effort, and pleasing ones of Diablo Lake

Maps: National Geographic Trails Illustrated map of the North Cascades and Green Trails Diablo Dam 48 (from 2004).

Getting there: Take the North Cascades Highway (state route 20) east from Sedro-Woolley, to the Colonial Creek Campground, about 10 miles past Newhalem. The trailhead is on the north side of the road, near campsite 21.

Start by crossing Colonial Creek, then go through a mossy forest and ascend gentle switchbacks to the rocky summit.

Permits: Northwest Forest Pass required.

Current conditions: Wilderness Information Center at Marblemount, (360) 854-7245. Or go to www.nps.gov/noca and type in Current Trail Conditions in the search window.

Source: “Day Hike! North Cascades” by Mike McQuaide; North Cascades National Park Service Complex