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Ladder Creek Falls and Gardens in North Cascades National Park is lovely to visit anytime, but the real draw is the light show that runs from dusk to midnight daily.
The luminescent show was started in the 1920s by Seattle City Light Superintendent of Lighting J.D. Ross. The falls were illuminated with all the colors of the rainbow, coupled with music which drifted through the gardens. In 2008 City Light began installing a new lighting system using LED bulbs, and the revived light show debuted in 2011. Visitors can stroll through the gardens and enjoy the falls in various shades and combinations of blue, red, green and white.
Update October 2018: The location has not been maintained for years. Some of the lights work still and some of the trail is impassable at times.
Know Before You Go
The falls and gardens are located behind the Gorge Powerhouse on the right hand side of the road as you leave Newhalem on Highway 20. During winter months, Newhalem is only accessible from the west side; it is just under 3 hours from Seattle. In late spring, summer, and fall, continue up Highway 20 and take in the spectacular views up and over Washington Pass.