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Trip Report: Maple Pass Loop

Sunday Bryan and I wanted to get out and take in the amazing 75 degree temps, sunny skies, and changing autumn colors.  We set out on US20 through the North Cascades to the oh-so-popular Maple Pass loop trail.  It is a solid 3 hour drive and with not getting the earliest departure out the door we didn’t make it to the trailhead until 11:30am.  Boy was the drive beautiful though!  With arrival at the trailhead we could tell it was going to be a fairly busy hike with all of the cars in the parking lot.  Bryan and I hit the trail at 11:45am.

Part of this hike’s gloriousness is that it is a loop.  There are 7 total unrepeating miles that don’t ever leave you bored.  The suggested route is counterclockwise, which we did and most do.  The trail is fairly steady the 3.5 miles to the top, never too steep and not all that gradual either.  Bryan and I really made good time.  The trail was in great condition and the temperature was perfect.  We started in the forest, which was cool and quickly made our way to walking along Lake Diablo and then scaling up to Heather Pass and then hiking the ridge.  We passed several people but were never once passed.  At 1:15 we hit our lunch-ing destination.  We found the perfect spot to view all of the North Cascades from the top while we sat and talked and ate our Subway sandwiches and pretzel M&Ms.  We took our time and didn’t hit the trail again until 2:30.

Selfie 1
Selfie 1
Selfie 2 at lunch
Selfie 2 at lunch
Glacier Peak and all the massive North Cascade mountains!
Glacier Peak and all the massive North Cascade mountains!

Post lunch we still had a few feet of elevation to gain to get to the real summit before descending down to the car.  Most of the trek down was in a very beautiful forest thick with trees and nice and cool.  We had good views of Rainy Lake below us.  We made it back to the car at 3:45, so we obviously took our time on the way down.  Total distance of 7 miles and 2000 feet of elevation.  A much easier hike compared to the one we did a few weeks ago.  But boy was this hike beautiful.  The larches are golden in color now and pop in the sun, the colors are just so pretty on the mountain side.

Selfie 3 after lunch
Selfie 3 after lunch
Rainy Lake
Rainy Lake
Our descent
Our descent
Selfie 4...can you tell Bryan got a new camera?
Selfie 4…can you tell Bryan got a new camera?

Bryan and I had a fun 3 hour drive back to Seattle.  We had two pitstops to make.  The first was at Cascadian Farms.  You may know some of their brands of cereals and yogurts and one of their farms is right on US 20 so we stopped to share a raspberry chocolate chip milk shake.  Our second stop was at Mountain Pottery, a spot Bryan spotted on the way to the hike.  Bryan has been wanting another ceramic bowl since he loves his so much.  We met the owners and makers and they brought us in their studio where we picked out one new bowl and two new coffee mugs that just came out of the kiln.  Their designs are with mountains on the sides of them and are very pretty, albeit too expensive.  Nevertheless we purchased them.  Once back to Seattle we headed straight for Annapurna to indulge in their mango mazza, lamb curry, garlic naan and a chai tea.

Taking my picture while ogling Lake Diablo on the drive back.
Taking my picture while ogling Lake Diablo on the drive back.
Chicken mango mazza!
Chicken mango mazza!

Great fall Sunday!

Chelsea

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