Lake Ann Maple Pass Loop
The feeling of exhilaration from being in the mountains is unsurpassed. Sweat and strain, fresh air and a cool breeze, a lake reflected and gathering clouds: these are all part of what makes the trip Great.
The Maple Pass Loop trail starts at Rainy Pass, on the North Cascades Highway. Ascending through the brush and out into the sun a first view whets your desire for more.
Swinging around the head of a small basin you soon plunge back into the cool forest.
Now the climbing becomes more insistent. The trail angles up along the side of a ridge and switchbacks heavenward. Lake Ann beckons below, her silvery waters calling.
Heather Pass appears and you keep climbing, but now the wonder of the view cancels any thought of your body.
You are in the mountains!
The clouds invade the valley as you view the world from above. Its time to start heading down.
Bright colors, my favorite thing!
Its difficult to keep walking…despite the threatening skies, I just want to sit amid the flowers.
I see the skies opening in the near distance…
The thunder and lightening are not far off now.
The trailhead for the Loop is easy to find, its on the North Cascades Highway at Rainy Pass. From Seattle head north on Interstate 5 to exit 230 and go east, along Highway 20, aka the North Cascades Highway. Rainy Pass is about 2 hours drive from the interstate. There are plenty of signs directing you to the parking area. Expect a lot of people on the trail! On a weekend you may see more than 100 cars in the parking lot.