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Colchuck Lake, Enchantments

Where to Hike in 2015: North Cascades

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Where to Hike in 2015
Copper Ridge Sunset

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.

Where to Hike in 2015
Chilliwack Salmon

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.

 

Sahale Camp:

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!

Where to Hike in 2015
Morning at Sahale Glacier Camp

 

Horseshoe Basin:

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!

Where to Hike in 2015
Horseshoe Basin

 

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.

Where to Hike in 2015
Lake Ann from the Maple Pass Trail

 

The Enchantments:

Where to Hike in 2015

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.

Where to Hike in 2015
Colchuck Lake, Enchantments

 

May this hiking season be your best ever!

For me, photography and outdoor travel have always been linked. In 1976, I planned my first trip on the Pacific Crest Trail. Two of my friends accompanied me - we hitchhiked from Eastern Pennsylvania to the Cascade Locks in Oregon and hiked south through most of Oregon on the trail. I borrowed a friends Nikkormat for the trip and tried hard to capture the look and feel of what I saw. Since that first trip on the PCT I have traveled broadly (50 states, 50 countries), yet no matter where I was living - in the US or overseas - I always felt a tug back to the Pacific Northwest. Finally settled in NW Washington, I am at home and have an abundance of outdoor photographic subjects. My favorite places are the North Cascades and the Olympic Coast. I'm currently offering photography classes in Bellingham, Burlington and Marysville as well as doing photo tours.

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