On Saturday, September 30, I hiked Cascade Mountain with the intention of documenting the crowds through a timelapse video and other photos. Starting the trail in the dark at about 6 a.m., I was the third person to the summit. Above are some photos from the day. The video is still in the works.
At the trailhead, the temperatures were in the 30s and it was raining. I started hiking in the dark but was able to turn off my headlight before long as the sun rose.
In the higher elevations, the rain turned to snow (something I had been looking forward to), creating a magical early morning scene on the summit. Although the cold, wet weather kept the crowds away until late morning, more than 550 people eventually made their way to the summit.
The first crowds showed up around 10:30 a.m.. From that point on, there were always a couple dozen or more people there. There were people of all ages on the mountain that day, including quite a few children and many teenagers. Many of the hikers spoke French.
There were few signs of problems that day. Most people that I saw stayed on the trail but a few ventured into to the subalpine vegetated areas. One person had a drone. I saw no sign of toilet paper or litter on the trail, although most of that is often found in small trails off the main one.
I left at about 1:30, passing dozens of people on the trail on the way out. The trail became quite crowded at times.
At 3 p.m., when I got in my car, there were still a few late arriving hikers heading to the trailhead.
(Note: Please click on the photo to see the full image, otherwise the bottom is cut off.)