North Cascades National Park, WA

Heather – Maple Pass Loop – North Cascades – Hike Washington

Heather – Maple Pass trail is a 7.2 mi heavily trafficked loop trail around Lake Ann, according to Washington Trails Association. It’s dog-friendly, and a Northwest Forest Pass or National Park pass is required. Fall is usually at its peak in Washington the second and third week of October in case you are wondering.

On Sunday, October 13, we woke up a bit earlier than usual knowing it would get dark fast this time of the year. After 3 hours of driving, we got to the trailhead (nearly full parking lot) and started hiking at 11:45 am. We went clockwise direction, and the decision to bring along some trekking poles definitely helped, especially with so much snow up at the top.

Diablo Lake Lookout – just 20 minutes away before the Maple Pass trailhead.

On WTA, there is a constant debate in terms of which direction is best: clockwise or counterclockwise, and I do think it’s up to your preference whether you want to climb first and take the leisure way down (clockwise) or avoid slipping and sliding down the snowy hill at the top but that would include sudden drop in elevation on the way down (counterclockwise). If you have microspikes, bring them as they will improve your whole experience.

We took lots of breaks for photos and finished 8.2 mi long hike at around 5:30 pm. Winter definitely started early in the mountain, so hiking a week earlier (second weekend of October) would have been ideal for better trail conditions: less muddy and less snow. Regardless, the trail was in a burst of orange, red, pink and brown, and snow added such great contrast. Views of Lake Ann and yellow larches are unbeatable, definitely!!!

first sight of the larches after half an hour hike in. I was very excited!
Lake Ann

OUTFIT: spring leggings: OUTDOOR VOICES | bra top: GIRLFRIEND COLLECTIVE | heat-tech: UNIQLO (gifted) | mega-fleece half-zip sweater (last year style): OUTDOOR VOICES (new style this year) | bag: PATAGONIA | trekking poles: borrowed, not sure the brand |socks: SMART WOOL | boots: KEEN | hat: PATAGONIA

READ MORE OF MY BLOG SERIES, ‘HIKE WASHINGTON’:

Rachel Lake | Colchuck Lake | Hidden Lake Lookout (my most fav. hike of 2018) | Chain Lakes Loop – Artist Point, Mt. BakerPanorama Point – Skyline Trail, Paradise, Mt Rainier Lake Serene | Goat Lake | Lake 22 | Rattlesnake Ledge

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Photos by TOAN CHU PHOTOGRAPHY

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An Trieu

Currently based in Seattle, Style & Senses is my digital life and style journal of all things that inspire my senses and beyond. Hope you stay inspired, as always! - An Trieu.

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