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


 Fireweed


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

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