This year’s warm start has me already thinking about backcountry trips. From the way it looks now, we may be heading for a wonderfully long hiking season this summer! The North Cascades offer so many opportunities for long and short trips; it’s hard to know where to start when making the summer wish list. Here are a few ideas on where to hike in 2015.
Copper Ridge – Whatcom Pass Loop:
This 3 to 5 day trek through the North Cascades National Park is one of the must-do trips in the Pacific Northwest.
Starting from the Hannegan Pass Trailhead, the loop visits Copper Ridge, plunges down to the Chilliwack River (filled with salmon in early August) and then loops around and back. A side trip to Whatcom Pass and the Tapto Lakes is highly recommended.
This hike is frequented by day-hikers, but to truly appreciate its glory, you need to spend the night there. You’ll need a permit and will have to carry a pack up, but it’s infinitely worth it!
Horseshoe Basin is much less visited, though close by Cascade Pass. The circle of granite fangs draped with glaciers and waterfalls and filled with wildflowers is a sight to behold. Be sure to pay a visit to the Black Warrior Mine!
Maple Pass – Lake Ann Loop:
This 7 mile loop trail is a favorite for a reason: It’s awesome! Camping is possible along the route, you can bring your dog and no permits are required. This hike is especially beautiful in late July- early August (because of the wildflowers) and also in early October for catching the larch trees turning color.
Who doesn’t want to be Enchanted? Gnome Tarn, Isolation Lake, Prusik Peak, Perfection Lake. These are all places you have got to visit. October brings orange larches, a spectacle not to be missed. Permits to stay overnight are offered through a lottery, which ends on March 3rd.
May this hiking season be your best ever!