Maple Pass #740
Oct 03, 1999
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: Heather - Maple Pass Loop
- Region: North Cascades -- North Cascades Highway
- Agency: Okanogan National Forest - Methow Valley Ranger District
- Trails: Maple Pass (#740)
- Avg Rating: 4.27
I'm pleased to say, ""The larch are out, the larch are out."" With all my hiker buddies out of town I decided to scope out Maple Pass... my requirements for solitary hiking are main roads, open (not deep forested) trails, and this time of year, larch.
Starting in woods, I hit some frozen snow and frost crystals in the open, shaded basin but when the trail rounded the corner the way was again clear well past the Lake Ann junction. After several switchbacks took me to Heather Pass and the start of the larch, snow was still nestled in nooks and crannies out of the sun's path. Fall color was showing at the far end of Lake Ann and the larch was glowing against the far ridge, set off by the snow underfoot. The path from Heather to Maple is do-able slippery mud, clear, or partially snow covered depending on the exposure. Laden with camera gear and a fall cold, I hung out at the pass for an hour or two. Snow patches that will develop into cornices are already in place with patches of snow boot deep in places. I think I was the only hiker who didn't do the loop today, but I opted out of the extra elevation gain due to my cold. The loop which I have done before, in even more snow than this, is well worth it. The larch are nearly perfect, quite yellow with just a bit of green.