There are no shortages of great hikes from the North Cascades Scenic Highway. The Maple Pass Loop rules supreme among them. In 7 short miles, this trail will treat you to old-growth forests, alpine lakes, alpine meadows, open ridges, and stunning North Cascades vistas. Throughout most of the summer, you will see along this trail a fantastic floral show as well.
The well-beaten and well-maintained trail begins immediately in a stately, ancient forest of fir and hemlock. Huckleberry bushes crowd the understory. In early summer find the usual culprits: Twinflower, spring beauty, and vanilla leaf bring life to the forest floor. Elderberry, gooseberry, currant, hellebore, and thimbleberry make their presence known as well.
© 2004 Art Kruckeberg with Karen Sykes & Craig Romano/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.