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

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you dont need high clearance/4wd when the road is dry, but it definitely takes some slow speeds and maneuvering. it's also pretty steep and there's only room for one car most of the time.

as for the trail, it was gorgeous! lots of wild flowers waterfalls, 360 views once you get a couple miles on. there are a lot of water crossings and at some points the trail was more of a creek bed so I definitely recommend waterproof shoes.

hiking
9 hours 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.

This hike is really hard. As someone that lives in Ohio where we don’t have much elevation gain. This hike kicked my butt but it was so beautiful. I had trekking poles to help through the snow but my bf didn’t. We both did fine.

hiking
1 day ago

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

A fun day hike for the family. Bring your bug repellent. The mosquitos are vicious. The views are well worth the minor inconvenience of insects.

Awesome hike. Downloading the gps was helpful over some of the snow patches as none of us in the group had done this one before. Seemed like most of the snow would melt soon. Trekking poles would have been helpful but managed without.

Road up to trailhead is in good condition. Potholes as expected but plenty of room to maneuver around. Busy parking lot, make sure to get up there early! Trail is in great condition. Tennis shoes will get you to the top no problem now. A couple of very small snow patches to cross but nothing to be overly cautious about.

hiking
5 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!

hiking
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

on Maple Pass Trail

hiking
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.

hiking
10 days ago

hard but amazing views and definitely its worth it!

Great trail! Good views on a clear day throughout the hike and beautiful lake. Didn’t make it to Anderson, but camped at Watson for one night. Beautiful surroundings with many little waterfalls on the far side of the lake. Snow on parts of the trail as of 07/07/18, but still able to see the right way to go. Got down to probably 35 degrees in the night.

hiking
11 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.

hiking
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!

hiking
12 days ago

beautiful hike on 4th of July! snow up to the meadow is very compact. follow the pink ribbon to stay on the trail. we continued past the meadow and up the peak for lunch which was beautiful. bring poles or prepare to "ski" down or, as I did, sled on my bum! it feels a bit exposed at some snowy areas with drop offs on the side, but totally doable and super fun.

hiking
12 days ago

made it to 4592 ft but had to turn around as we weren't prepared for the snow on the trail. Will go back again to complete whole loop. Its beautiful! July 6th a bit too early this year.

hiking
12 days ago

Did this hike on July 3rd. It was a beautiful day in the NCNP, easy parking. We clocked 7.8 miles round trip and 1750 ft elev gain. The best way to do this hike is to look up the ferry schedule and hike in one way (wish we had known this ahead of time.) Cost is $10 cash per person. I even saw several people with dogs planning to take the ferry, but I don't know the rules.

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.

As of 1.5 weeks ago the trail is still snowy for several miles & the lakes are frozen.

hiking
14 days ago

Absolutely beautiful. It’s pretty steep on the way up but it is totally worth it. Definitely would like to go again.

hiking
14 days ago

Beautiful trail, great stop offs and candid moments. The top is silencing and you’ll wish you had a picnic dinner with you to enjoy it. Just stunning!

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

hiking
15 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.

Rocky bumpy road to the trail head recommend a high clearance vehicle but not needed if you want to risk it. Starts with a nice wooded area and the switchbacks continue through the meadows with nice flowers until you hit snow. Even though it can be done without spikes it will be nice to have them and my trekking poles proved vital in the snow. Once near the lookout prepare to climb over big boulders leading to the lookout. Once at the lookout you will have some tiny visitors looking for a snack. Totally worth the trip for an amazing unforgettable view. As of yesterday July 4th the lake was quite frozen with some snow.

My wife and I took our twin daughters in Kelly Kids carriers as far as we could go without snow spikes and axes as well as factoring in overall safety. Had to turn around at about 5800' elevation when it got too step and slick for us. Until that point the views were incredible. Wish we could have had a bit less snow so we could have seen Hidden Lake.

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

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