Explore the most popular backpacking trails near Maple Falls with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Amazing hike! As others have said, snow on the trail very early on and got to knee deep at the top of the pass. We went on a clear sunny day and lucked out with gorgeous views.

I wouldn’t go too much later in the season as I suspect the trail with be harder to follow with the snow cover-come prepared.

Also a word of warning, the snow was falling off the trees in the undergrowth-so much so that we had our rain gear on for the first hour. So just be wary and bring rain gear.

hiking
19 days ago

Rained off and on with snow on trail about 4,000 ft. About 8" or so deep the last hour of hiking. Wished I'd had my boots and not trail runners. Beautiful hike! Rain cleared out and the clouds moving in and out made more some dramatic scenery.

hiking
1 month ago

October 14, 2018: Trail starts off through endless, viewless switchbacks through the forest. The trees eventually give way, but so do the switchbacks! Well above treeline the trail just goes straight up; it's like the trail builders said screw this. Saw a bunch White-Tailed Ptarmigans stomping around on the snow field just before the summit. Gorgeous views, with Shuksan and Baker fairly close.
No snow yet.

hiking
1 month ago

We stopped at random and found this trail off the highway. We only hiked about 2 miles in and had to turn back due to time issues- but those 2 miles were filled with beautiful forest scenery.. something from a fairytale. Those 2 miles I would list as moderate hiking- note we didn’t hike the whole trail.

trail running
1 month ago

Hiked/ran this trail for the first time on Sept. 29th. Trail wasn’t super crowded. We saw maybe 10 other people, a few on horses. No bugs today. The weather was a bit crisp, but the fall colors when we came out of the trees at the top were stunning! Nice view of Mt Baker as well. Lovely trail. Distance was pretty spot on with my gps watch. I’ll definitely do it again if I’m back in the area.

9-10-18 The sign at the trailhead says 3.2 to the top, however the top is not the top but more half way, there is another 3 miles to the actual summit. Took us 6 hours to hike. According to our Fitbit it was 13 miles Round trip . It was raining and not too slippery absolutely beautiful and lots of blueberries and huckleberries!! Absolutely a must do hike. Will do again on a nicer day. Pack warm clothes!!!

Really spectacular views but the trail to Hannigan Pass is hot, hot, hot with little or no water. Rough trail with lots of rocks and scree crossings. Once to Hannigan, you can do the peak or drop to Boundary Camp. Reservations are required. Note, this camp is the LAST place you can take your dog. Continuing on to Copper Ridge you enter the National Park where dogs are not allowed. Another 4 miles of ups and downs brings you to Egg Lake. You will drop almost 300 ft to.get to your campsite, also reservations required. Frim Egg lake you can launch anassault on Copper Ridge Lookout,.about 3.6 miles and 1400 ft elevation. We hiked up in the evening to catch the sunset and then hiked down using headlamps. Very few snowfields are left, none impeding travel. The views are tremendous but there is a price to pay. Try to avoid the climbs and the hike back from Hannigan pass during the heat of the day. It is BRUTAL!

Great views from up top
Bugs were pretty thick:)

camping
3 months ago

We love this trail soo much! Beautiful view at our campsite already and the view at the peak just surpassed it!!! We went to the peak just a bit lower next to Goat peak as we didnt feel comfortable crossing this sliding patch of snow by the end. But we saw 98% of the 360 view from that peak and 10% from another angle and was happy with that.

hiking
4 months ago

Easily my most favorite hike in the North Cascades. Message me if you have any questions.

7/18/18-7/19/18: I hiked up Welcome Pass late on the 18th, camping about halfway up, then continued on the High Divide Trail along the ridge. The views along the High Divide Trail are incredible, and I can only imagine how much better they would have been on a clearer day. I continued on to the Damfino Lakes Trail, reaching the little cabin at the end, resting for a bit, then making my way back along the same route. It ended up being about 1.5 miles the first day and 20+ miles the second, which was fairly tough.

The ascent up Welcome Pass was brutal and felt a lot longer than the 2.3 miles it really was. Once I reached the ridge, however, it was all worth it. The views were incredible when I could get them, but the majority of my hike was spent within a cloudy mist. The whole High Divide Trail has numerous snowfields of varying sizes which were easy to cross with trekking poles and boots. I’d imagine that the majority of the snow will be gone within a few weeks. The snowmelt has created some nice lakes and streams to collect water from along the trail. There’s a lot of contouring on the trail and some really beautiful views of Mount Baker and the surrounding valleys and mountains. There are a few dangerous sections a few miles (westbound) into the High Divide Trail that are narrow and cross rocky slopes that have partially collapsed and look liable to continue, but I passed them unscathed with a bit of caution. Damfino Lakes Trail has a lot of debris and fallen trees from the winter months that haven’t been cleared, likely because the access road to the trail is closed right now and has been since late September of last year, as I gathered from the broken trail register’s water-damaged log sheets. A lovely and challenging hike for a single day!

At present, the “directions” button for this hike will take you to the closed service road and you will have to turn around because the trailhead is another 9 miles past the closure. This may change in time, but for the short-term, follow the written directions instead, which are correct. The map of this trail is also not quite correct, as it includes Damfino Lakes and High Divide, but not the ascent/descent of Welcome Pass itself, which (at least at the time of posting this review) begins at the eastern terminus of the route on the map here. There is also an excellent and again quite steep hill to the right of the junction between High Divide and Welcome Pass that is unnamed. It is worth the climb! With all three trails combined, my round-trip was roughly 22 miles. It’s all excellent and very worthwhile!

hiking
4 months ago

Snow Starts on the relatively easy to follow ridge from 5100ft to the switchback at 5700. From there, the traverse is in good condition until you get to about 5900 and take the "right" up to the summit....which is a steep, consolidated snow slope. Snowpack would have been good for crampons + iceaxe in the morning, but I turned back at this point. Wildflowers and birds were everywhere, and the views are wonderful on the way down. Great early season recommendation by the Glacier Glacier Public Service Center Rangers.

I'm amazed there are so few reviews. This was possibly the most spectacular view I have ever experienced! Forgot my phone on the hike so sorry no pics. Killer hike but fairly short to the pass, 3- 4 miles, then it's all view no matter where you roam. Peaks every which way you turn. the snow made it that much more spectacular. There was no snow on the hill climb. That would have made it impossible. We went on a mostly sunny day. I will come back.

Very snow heavy about 2.5 miles in - amazing view at the top though. Incline the whole way up. and lost the trail - needed to follow tracks and map. Slid down on my butt for the first two miles back down. Was a fun hike but difficult with the snow

snowshoeing
6 months ago

The road to the trail head has a large patch of snow covering it still which our low clearance car couldn’t take so we walked the 2.4 miles to the trail head. The majority of the road is dry though. The trail is beautiful, quite steep then hits a lot of snow around 3500 ft. We followed someone’s trail through the snow but lost them at around 4100. Since we weren’t familiar with the trail we turned around. We probably were close to the clearing but snowshoeing started to become more difficult as the snow was very soft and we would slide on steeper sections. We then attempted to go to the old lookout but also too snowed in and didn’t see a trail. All in all it was a lot of fun, our first time snowshoeing on a trail like this.

We got about halfway up before getting into the snow. By about mile 4 the snow was up to our hips and we were all tuckered out. We would have gone farther if we'd had our snowshoes.

Saturday, September 09, 2017

Up, up, up. The hike lives up to its name - Excelsior "ever upward". But so worth it at the top. 360 degree views including Mt. Baker.

hiking
Thursday, August 17, 2017

This is our 4th hike up Excelsior Pass in the past eight weeks ... moving higher as snow disappeared. Yesterday we made it to the Peak. Beautiful and few bugs.

hiking
Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Trail is in good condition and no snow even on the last scramble.

All Trails and WTA list both the distance and elevation change different from one another. Be prepared for 11 mile round trip with 4000 feet of elevation change if you want to finish this trail.

hiking
Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Good climbing trail, a cardio builder. Took us around two hours 15 minutes to high divide. As far as climbing trails go, not too shabby.

hiking
Thursday, July 13, 2017

I wanted to head up to Mt Baker for a mid week hike and I called the Galcier Service Center and said I was looking for a tough hike with no special gear required that would take me to a high elevation. This hike was a perfect match. YOU HAVE TO GO ALL THE WAY UP THOUGH! Apparently the maintained trail ends at about 5100' and its a great view. The hike is mostly in a nice forest with a very nice trail. Then you pop out and start to see the sky. This section is really overgrown and if there happens to be any rain you will be soaked just from the contact of the brush. The hike to this point is about three out of five starts. For that five start experience you should continue to the top, which you think you might see but its actually hiding just behind that peak.

After the maintained trail ends there is some snow on the trail but where its flat and the trail is easy to find. Out footprints going were already hard to see on the return down. After about 15 minutes of hiking from the 5100' level the trail takes you into a valley and there is a crossing where there is a small section of no snow to cross, even though we did cross where there was snow. There are a few switchbacks then the trail goes straight up to the left side of the ridge that you can see. On this ridge you now see Yellow Aster Butte and Winchester Mountain. There are total 360 degree views. Once you reach this ridge its just a casual walk compared to what you just climbed to the summit.

In about 20 minutes you will be on the top of Goat Mountain. This part if very flat and a great place to relax.

Overall, all you need is water, sunblock and poles and some confidence to make this hike a great journey. I think it took about four hours up with a stop for lunch and photos and about three hours down for a total of seven hours RT. This hike has some incredible photo opportunities so make sure you dont miss anything.

hiking
Sunday, July 02, 2017

NF-32 is passable in a sedan, but go slowly to avoid potholes. The trail is in good condition but be prepared for snowfields below the summit. There are several minor creek crossings but all offer dry passings. Be mindful to stay on trail during the final extremely steep push to the summit. It is very easy to mistake the higher and closer peak on the right as the trail summit. However, this peak quickly becomes inaccessible due to brush and loose rock.

hiking
Thursday, June 29, 2017

The gravel road to the trailhead has some deep potholes, but nothing a sedan can't either handle slowly or navigate around. Parking was no problem, although I arrived at almost 3pm on a Wednesday. The fully-maintained trail does start steep, moderate for a bit, then steepen up again. The last 100 yards were the greatest challenge with melting snow, mud and muddy terrain on the steepest incline of the trek. We didn't fully summit because there was enough snow and wind to make it dangerous. Views were spectacular with most of the major peaks in sight. Clouds covered the rest. Plenty of meltwater waterfalls along the way to keep the dog cool and hydrated. I'd say maybe every 10-15min she got a drink, because most of the trail switchbacks through the streams.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

27 May. Some snow closer to the top which we weren't prepared for so we turned around early

snowshoeing
Sunday, February 12, 2017

Great trail to snowshoe, well marked and easy to follow until just before leaving the forest into the upper bowl. Really grateful for my heel lifts though. Great views at the top!

hiking
Saturday, December 03, 2016

Beautiful beyond my expectations

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Extremely enjoyable. Not for those with chest pain or chain smokers. Great trail

hiking
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

We day hiked from base camp at Mirror lake, down the Cold Creek Trail to Twin Lakes, then up to Mount Catherine and back on the PCT to Mirror. The hike from Mirror to Twin Lakes was super steep, and tons of downed trees. Very slow going. The trail back up to the Mt. Catherine trailhead was much better. BTW, check the WTA site or a GreenTrails map for updated trails as All-trails doesn't show the proper route to Mt Catherine.

Monday, June 20, 2016

kicked my butt but i did and going again

hiking
Tuesday, June 07, 2016

This is the Goat Mountain trail north of Mt Baker, not Goat Lake as described in another review and it is something like 11 miles round trip to reach the actual summit. The official trail ends on the ridge around 5100ft and was still snow covered this weekend but is melting quickly. I continued on from the ridge and made it to just below the west summit and enjoyed some great views of surrounding peaks. The scramble above the main lookout ridge became pretty steep and narrow in places with several snow crossings but offers some great views.

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