Winthrop, Washington

Snowshoe Heather Maple Loop Pass

7.2 Miles Total - 2000 ft gain - Loop Trail

Originally added by Austin Johnson

360º views that go miles deep into the North Cascades National Park

If you have a whole day, then this trip is for you. Being three hours from Seattle has its perks. You get the views without the crowds. This hike is perfect for snowshoeing while the road remains open. Once closed it becomes extremely hard to get to, so make sure you get there while you can.

Being that it is a loop, there are two ways you can go about hiking this trail, clockwise, and counter clockwise. We chose clockwise. Going this was allows for a more gradual climb up the ridge. You are hiking in trees for the first couple miles but there are still many views on the way up. Once above the tree line, the views stretch for miles in all directions. You see jagged peak after jagged peak. 

You will see Rainy Lake (to the east) and Lake Ann (to the west) as you are climbing up to the top of Maple Pass (the high point). This makes  a great lunch area where one can enjoy the views of the surrounding peaks. There are to many to name. At this point, you have put the hardest part of the trail behind you and start to make the gradual descent down. Along the ridge to Heather Pass you will be met with awe inspiring views in all directions. As you start to hit the steeper part of the path, be warned. This area right after the ridge line is riddled with avalanche chutes. At one point we came across an area where the path was just wide enough for one person to pass at a time, and if one fell there is a 200-400 foot drop

Overall fantastic hike. DO NOT GO IF YOU ARE UNPREPARED. Many people in mostly tennis shoes and the occasional boot were hiking up late. Some didn't even have water. This is not safe. So please, do yourself a favor and come prepared. You will be much happier and make everyone else less worried.

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Tags

Photography
Snowshoeing
Hiking
Bathrooms
Easy Parking
Forest
Groups
Lake
Scenic

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We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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