The beginning of October on our way back from eastern Washington we decided to hike the Maple Pass Loop in the North Cascades to see the Larches in color. Maple Pass is along the North Cascades Highway near its highest point and is ordinarily a fairly easy hike.
We discovered, however, that winter had come early. We started out on bare trails and were soon hiking with snow all around us. Not much further along there was packed snow on the trail and before we reached the top of the pass there was two feet of snow on the trail.
The Larches were still colorful but mostly covered with snow and though the views of the surrounding mountains were awesome, hiking was more and more difficult and we finally gave it up. If we had brought snowshoes and poles we probably would have continued.
Along the way, however, we had opportunity to photograph the Sumac, the snow-covered trees and all there is to see on a snowy day. The Sumac was especially beautiful, but the snow turns everything into a wonderland, though it also makes photography difficult.
(possibly Ramaria vinosimaculans)
More Snow and Ice