Don’t Miss this Gorgeous Fall Hike - Maple Pass Loop

Location:

Okanogan National Forest West

Pass Required:

Northwest Forest Pass or $5 Fee

Features:

Hiking, Flowers/Leaves, Lakes, Mountain Views

Adventure Highlights

  • Stunning Fall Colors

  • Majestic Mountain Views

  • Optional 2 mile extension for beautiful lake views.

This magnificent view of Lake Ann makes the short detour absolutely worth it. ©  Miguel Vieira

This magnificent view of Lake Ann makes the short detour absolutely worth it. © Miguel Vieira

Gorgeous fall colors and epic views make this 7.2 mile moderate/difficult trail loop a must visit as the hiking season draws to a close. ©  Jennifer C.

Gorgeous fall colors and epic views make this 7.2 mile moderate/difficult trail loop a must visit as the hiking season draws to a close. © Jennifer C.

Maple Pass Loop Trail #740 is widely cited as one of the most stunning fall hikes in the Northern Cascades. It is a 7.2 mile loop with an optional side trail to the beautiful Lake Ann. The area is renowned for its beautiful fall colors, although the magnificent mountain and lake views are stunning year round. The trail is rated moderate/difficult, so make sure you come prepared!

Heading counter-clockwise, the first mile or so is a fairly easy hike that passes through a lovely avalanche meadow, eventually leading through some woods to the junction with the side trail that leads to the picturesque Lake Ann.

Further up the trail at Heather Pass, there are several trails that meander through more meadows, and offers access to Lewis and Wing Lakes, although it is recommended only for experienced route finders. However, simply sticking with the main trail will not be disappointing, with each new view-point seemingly more beautiful than the last. Keep in mind that the hike beyond Heather pass is quite steep, but the views simply can’t be beat.

If you are looking for a beautiful hike before the weather turns sour, this one is surely one of the most varied and unquestionably beautiful hikes in the area.



MAP & DIRECTIONS

Getting there: From Seattle, take I-5N to WA-530 East, turning onto highway 20 at Rockport. After you pass through Marblemount, continue into North Cascades National Park for about 50 miles. The Rainy Pass trailhead and rest area will be on the south side of the road, with parking for about 40 cars. The Maple Pass trail begins about a quarter mile east of the parking lot.

Amazing fall colors make this hike a great one to end the hiking season on as the weather starts to turn. ©  Jennifer C.

Amazing fall colors make this hike a great one to end the hiking season on as the weather starts to turn. © Jennifer C.


Ian Floyd