Enjoy breathtaking views along the entire trail to Easy Pass, especially the larches during autumn months. The highest point on this hike sits at 6500 ft.

If you're looking for a beautiful fall hike with breathtaking views and acres of golden larches, this is it. This trail provides a good workout along with miles of photogenic scenery, including glacier views at the top, making the climb well worth the effort. Easy Pass is also (arguably) one of the best lunch spots in all of the North Cascades.

You will want to plan this hike for an early morning, as the small parking lot fills up quickly. The beginning of the trail is fun in itself, as you get to cross a number of small bridges over clear, beautiful water, possibly worth taking a dip in during the hotter months. As you continue through the low, rolling forest you will gain and lose elevation. But don't be fooled... this is simply warming you up for the tougher climbing to come.

After you leave the forest, you are in an open, rocky alpine area where you get your first glimpse of golden larches lining the mountainsides up ahead. Continue into another forested portion of the trail and enjoy the shade, because you will soon be climbing up the remaining switchbacks exposed and out in the open. This last push is the hardest, but keep your eye on the prize right ahead!

Once you have reached the pass, there is a wonderland of larches to explore in every direction. Take out your camera (hopefully you didn't forget to bring a full battery) because you will want to take pictures for hours! Enjoy a long lunch break to cool down from all of your hard work and take in the views before descending.

Also note the changing light from your initial climb to your descent; you may want to look back on the trail as you head down to get some new pictures with different lighting on the flowers and trees. Enjoy!

Pack List

  • Northwest Forest Pass
  • Backpack
  • Water bottle or hydration system
  • Hiking shoes
  • Snacks
  • Camera
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RT Distance 7 Miles
Elevation Gain 2800 Feet
Activities Photography, Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Bathrooms
Forest
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Larchtastic

Although it's anything but easy, this one is definitely worth the effort. I've been on a few different fall hikes now in Washington, and this one is certainly up there as one of my favorites. With just about everything from a forest of larch trees, towering peaks, and one of the most gorgeous valleys I've ever seen, this one is a must and definitely worth seeing for yourself.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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