Explore HWY 20 - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

HWY 20 Map
1 hour ago

We did this clockwise. Loved it for the following reasons: only 3 miles to the ridge so yes it is steeper but you are up quicker. You are in the trees for 2.25 miles, (nice and cool). You have beautiful views of Rainy Lake. The trail surface is pine needles without any rocks! Regardless, absolutely stunning scenery on this loop. A few remaining minor snow patches. The mosquitos were aggressive the entire way, except in the stronger breezes, and the black flies nasty at the top and upper ridgelines. If you go up counter clockwise, be prepared for alot of sun on sunny days.

1 day ago

Really great views for such a short and fairly easy trail.

4 days ago

Fairly easy hike with beautiful views. Bummed we didn't see any mountain goats but saw some marmots! Definitely recommend.

Just got back from an overnighter at Yellow Aster. Absolutely amazing night for it. Still quite some snow, but it is quickly melting. Just wear your sturdy boots and you'll be fine. Glad we were going down on the Saturday because a lot of people were going up :). Seriously one of the best hikes ever!

5 days ago

Hiked Friday 13th. We foolishly left our video camera and tripod at the trailhead with all of our family vacation videos on it. We were able to do the entire loop starting clockwise with just hiking boots. Had to be careful along a few snow fields but it was truly amazing. I’m 47 and not in the best shape... it took us 5 hours with lunch at the summit. The husband and teen daughters had to wait for me slowly walking uphill but I did fine on the downhill. It was the best family hike ever, except for losing our prized footage on the camera. Please email me if you found it.... we would be so appreciative. We didn’t realize it was gone until we reached Mr Ranier NP today. :0( Wendyteach@yahoo.com

Hiked Sat. 7\14\18. Lot just about full at 8am (vault toilet at TH very clean & well maintained) yet all the way to the top we only saw 3 hikers who were on their way down, pretty amazing for a weekend. Beautiful hike, incredible views. Trail was in excellent condition hardly any snow. The creek crossing about 30/40 min. up is a little challenging, water running too fast to walk across even if you had sandals but the logs placed across the creek about 4ft above the water worked fine, just be careful, hiking polls not helpful here as you can't really place them. Definitely recommend this hike!

July 12th, 2018: Excellent hike! The road to the trailhead was totally clear of snow and debris, though quite covered with potholes. The trail is a steady moderate climb with several stream crossings for roughly the first two miles, then breaks the tree line shortly after there is a fork for hikers and climbers. The hiking trail from here on out is more steep with lots of scree to keep things interesting. We were able to reach just below the highest point on the ridge but didn’t make the last 100 feet or so due to some residual snow. Wonderful view of the glacier, the valley below, and the surrounding mountains. Weather was perfectly warm and there was little wind, even at the top. A great hike that I’ll hopefully do again soon!

on Maple Pass Trail

7 days ago

Today (7/12/18) I completed the loop going clockwise. It was a totally spectacular hike! I first encountered snow on the trail roughly 1.8 miles from the trailhead. Once I reached the ridge there were more and much larger snowfields. I brought crampons with me, but I never needed them. My poles were enough to help provide stability (with careful footing). The views were some of the best I’ve ever experienced and will definitely go on this hike again when I am in the area.

Overall great hike! Come prepared

10 days ago

Hiked on 7/3/18. This hike is incredibly scenic surrounded by peaks. It has a beautiful meadow with amazing 360 views and lots of wild flowers. We were lucky enough to spot 8 mountain goats, 2 were babies, clamoring down the climbing trail towards us. We also saw a few marmot climbing about the rocks. The lake is beautiful. There were several others hiking this day and I see why it’s a popular trail. That is the only draw back.

Easy Day hike for smaller children. We took our four month old on the trail and it was just the right length, time and elevation gain.

I had to turn back today due to not having the right gear. If you’re going in the next week bring crampons an ice ax and be prepared to traverse a rather steep snowy slope. I recommend a climbing helmet as there were rocks falling from above. 4 miles into the hike the snow turned soupy like instant potatoes and slid from under you. This is a great trail I will be returning too very very soon:

First the road is not that bad. I’m sure in spring it’s a mess. It after mid June this road is very passable for all vehicles just watch for potholes etc. The trail itself is not hard. I am an asthmatic with no right ACL and this trail didn’t pose a problem for me. What makes it hard is the immediate climb after the first bridge crossing followed by switchbacks that last until the first water crossing. There are 4 of them by the way, well at least this year so far as it was a heavy snow year. The last two are the more dangerous ones. I found that if you walk a little mower along the bank you will find a shallower manageable pool. There are a lot of vistas but wow! Is all I have to say when you get to the glacier. I was fortunate I had a blue sky day and Mt. Baker was amazing as was the glacier. This trail does split just below the fourth crossing to the right is the climbers route for the Baker summit and to the left is the overlook.

Con... this hike is rated at 5.5 miles out and back. Wrong!!! Try closer to 7 miles.

11 days ago

Hiked on 7/6 but only able to get to Heather Meadows due to snow. We didn’t bring trekking poles, but it still looked sketchy so we didn’t want to risk it. Still a beautiful hike with lots of wildflowers. Can’t wait to go the entire loop again!

JULY 3, 2018: I LOVED THIS HIKE! the views are incredible and there are so many different things to see on your way up. we started at around 5:30am and finished around 8:30. the trail was not too hard and was definitely worth it. would highly recommend!

Great hike! Stream crossings are exciting and can be hazardous, trekking poles are very helpful. In the end, you are rewarded with the most amazing glacier view!

Beautiful views and the lake is gorgeous. Hiked this yesterday 7/6 and the mosquitos were intense. Definitely come prepared for a lot of bugs.

Went all the way to Cutthroat Pass today 7/5. The trail is in excellent summer shape. It was mud and snow free until about a 1/3 mile from the pass. At that point there were just a handful of snow patches here and there that were easy to navigate through or around. There is a larger snow field right below the pass that obscured the last little bit of trail but it was easy to navigate. Really beautiful views the whole way but the view from the top is truly incredible-360 degrees of mountains and alpine lakes. A must do in the North Cascades for sure.

Also of note, the total mileage is a little over 11 miles.

There is still some pretty sketchy snow at the top but I would imagine it should be gone soon. Definately worth the views!

14 days ago

Hiked on 7/3 clockwise (turn left at the trail head). The trail leading up to Maple Pass was pretty easy to follow, couple of snow fields, but nothing too long. Plenty of footsteps to follow. The ridge leading up to Maple Pass is snow free, this is the part with the best views. Maple Pass is snowed in, and the last couple of feet to get on top of the pile of snow are on an almost vertical snow wall (10 feet high?). Snow seemed stable. Continuing on after Maple Pass it is all snow 1/3 of the way, many footprints and animal prints. We were able to find the path, but it required time. There was a part that looked dangerous, closer to where the snow field ends - all snow on a slope. This is where many people climbing the counterclockwise direction turned back. It looks more dangerous looking up, than down. We had just hiking boots and trekking poles and were able to make it through this part with extra care, but I wouldn't recommend it. This part is about 10 minutes walking time. If you just want to reach the top, it would be easier to start clockwise and then head back the same way.

One of the most beautiful hikes.
The Forest Service road is heavily potholed, but readily passable in a car if driven prudently. Departed the trailhead at 8:55 under sunny skies, with only two other vehicles present. The first ~ 1 mile of trail is clear, but then the snowfields take over. Trekking poles were most helpful. About a 1/2 mile past the turnoff for the Tomyhoi Lake Trail, we put on microspikes as the snowfields steepened. At 3.1 miles, the trail crosses a high bench where the results of a fall appeared serious, so we opted to turn around. On the way back down, we turned to see the route that we had taken, and a marmot crossed our descent path. Bugs weren't too bad, but the sun off the snow fields was brutal.

Very snow covered still in early July. Making it extremely difficult to follow the trail but some magnificent views of you stick with it.

17 days ago

Attempted 7/2 around noon. Giving this a 5, despite having to turn back due to trail conditions. The trail got pretty difficult to follow towards the peak due to snow, and my GPS stopped working halfway up. There were lots of footprints veering off in different directions that I felt iffy about following. The snow was also very unstable and soft. Still, this hike is beautiful and definitely one I’ll be returning to. There were forest service crews working on clearing the parking lot when I exited the trail. The didn’t seem too thrilled about the cars parked along the road leading up to the parking lot, but also didn’t explicitly say that it was an issue.

17 days ago

Hiked on 7/1 ...Amazing hike .. still some snow at the initial part .. and at the top as well. Had to search for the trail track when you reach towards the peak . The hike is at the higher side of moderate .. with constant elevation gain .. but the views from the top of rainy lake and lake Ann are amazing and worth the hike .. hardly saw people though we started late at 2 pm and took our time reaching the top .. could not complete the whole loop due to snow on the peak and seemed unsafe (looks like you can do whole loop starting July when snow melts) .

Unfortunately getting past the lake up to the pass would be really difficult right now- all mud and snow beyond the lake. However, the 2.5or so miles to the lake are breathtaking. BTW yesterday we lost a brown zippered glasses case holding prescription eyeglasses out of our pack on this trail. Any info? Call 206-419-4105

amazing hike, be prepared for a lot of snow crossings, and pay before you drive up the rather crazy rough entrance road (cars not recommended). also, at the first bridge section you will have to cross a massive fallen tree from the last storm

Wildflowers the entire way, no bugs! Gorgeous full waterfalls all the way. Fairly good shape entire way although couldn’t get to the end as an snow/ice bridge was large over one of the last creeks, and we didn’t wish to scramble down and around...all in all, a great early hike.

22 days ago

Great Hike! Pretty much clear of all snow. If you want some better views take the left trail when It splits 1.5 miles in and hike the "climbing" route that leads to the basin of the spires.

We hiked this in late June. There was snow on trail a few miles in, but it wasn't bad. There was one difficult and dangerous stream crossing due to high run-off volume in early season. The fast moving water through harsh rocks and makes for a potentially fatal fall. The most stable crossing in this area is balancing across a few decaying logs. Besides that, trail conditions were relatively shoddy. There were a few downed trees on trail and part of the trail was flooded. Overall, a pretty trail marred by years of neglect.

Hiked in mid-June. Snow in parking lot, but was able to park close to the south trailhead. Mild snow for the first 0.5 miles until you reach the fork. Take a right towards Maple Pass (signs are well marked at the fork). Snow free trail for the next mile, then there was deep snow for the remainder of the trek. Highly recommend trekking poles and crampons/micro spikes with gaiters. We bushwhacked our way up the ridge, as you can see the trail only intermittently. Some route finding needed. We were able to hike 3+ miles in, just prior to turning north and looping back. There is still heavy snow that completely covered the trail and we couldn't safely continue across the exposed 50+ degree mountain side. Still made for an excellent hike, and you're rewarded with some of the best views of the Cascades once you reach alpine. Note- We saw the biggest marmot we've ever seen near the pass. Even as an in-and-out (without being able to complete the loop due to snow conditions) this trail is exceptional!

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