Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Heather and Maple Passes

"...as the morning spread upon the mountains"

I haven't been able to do as much hiking as I would have wished, both because of the weather and because I've been very busy.  I did get away on September 16th and met two friends from eastern Washington at the Heather-Maple Pass trailhead which we hiked together.  I was early and also did an extra two miles to and from Rainy Lake, and easy trail that starts at the same location in the Cascades.  We had hoped to catch the autumn color, especially the larches changing, but we were early and only saw the beginning of the wonderful change from green to yellow that the larches undergo at this time of the year before dropping their needles.  The weather could have been better - it was a bit cloudy and dull but at this time of the year a hike without rain or snow is welcome.  The trail through the passes is a 7.2 mile loop with a 1 mile side tail to Lake Ann.  In all I would do about 10 miles with 200 feet of elevation gain.

sunrise along the North Cascades Highway

along the trail to Rainy Lake

unidentified mushroom

Rainy Lake

unidentified mushrooms

Heart-leaved Twayblade

Slender Rein Orchis

Sticky Asphodel

Cascades Aster

back at the trailhead

unidentified grass

on the trail to Heather Pass

Lake Anne trail

Cascades Aster

Lake Ann

we would later be hiking the ridge above Lake Ann

 Mountain Bog Gentian

insect gall on willow leaf

back to the main trail

coral fungus

Subalpine Fir branches

dead snag

Lake Ann from the main trail

Clark, a fellow hiker

autumn color near Heather Pass

 Heather Pass


 Lewis Lake and Black Peak

 Lewis Lake


Black Peak

Alpine Larch

Heather Pass

 autumn color

Lake Ann from Heather Pass

Liberty Bell group from Heather Pass

Heather Pass

Corteo Peak

Heather Pass

trail to Maple Pass

Liberty Bell group to the north

Maple Pass

Cutthroat Peak and Whistler Mountain

starting back down

Alpine Larch

Cutthroat Peak and Whistler Mountain

 autumn color

 Lake Ann again

Alpine Larch

old trees

Pacific Silver Fir needles

 Panorama from Heather Pass