Heather - Maple Pass Loop

30 reviews #1 hike out of 1110 in
6.4 mi
Distance
2 hrs 52 min
Time
terrain
2,051 ft
Elev Gain

Overview

The Heather - Maple Pass Loop is a trail in the North Cascades of Washington. Choose your direction based on whether you like to conquer the steep portion at the beginning or end of your hike. Counter-clockwise is the popular choice and means a gentle climb toward the passes above Lake Ann with stunning views of Black Peak ahead of you.

Getting Started

While traveling east on Highway 20, you'll find the parking lot for this trail shortly before Washington Pass on the west side of the highway. A Northwest Forest Pass is required here, since this corridor is on national forest land. The trail begins at the south end of the parking lot.

Heading east from the parking lot, you'll encounter one switchback before contouring southeast toward Lake Ann. At the 1.25 mile mark, you can optionally take a 0.6 mile detour to the shores of Lake Ann. As you continue past this junction, the trail climbs through wildflower patches toward Heather Pass, where a spur trail takes climbers to Black Peak.

From Heather Pass, the trail turns left and contours toward Maple Pass. Marvel in the views as you gain the ridge that marks the border of the North Cascades National Park. Shortly after Maple Pass you'll hit the hike high-point, a shoulder of Frisco Mountain.

The trail continues to the northeast from here, following a ridge between Lake Ann and Rainy Lake. Near the end, a few switchbacks drop you back down to Lake Ann's outflow Bridge Creek before the trail heads north to the finish.

Take care when hiking this route early in the year. Snow can be found on the high passes into July, and could be hazardous on some of the steeper slopes.



    Rate this Hike

    user_profile
    7 months, 2 weeks ago
    Zzz .

    user_profile stars
    1 year, 1 month ago
    This hike used to be one of my favorites, really sad to see what has started happening to our wild places. Cars lined up for a mile on HWY 20, others parked illegally within the massive lot. Tons of people walking on the heather meadows-- which is really fragile area. Others playing music out loud. A drone was flying over head... the total lack of regard for others is heartbreaking.
    ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 year, 4 months ago
    Super crowded, lots of trash on the trail, off leash dogs, loud music blaring.

    user_profile
    2 years, 1 month ago
    Larches! Fall colors! Views! Meadows! Snow! Mud! This hike has it all. We arrived at the trailhead at 10am, and people were being directed to park along the road since the lot had filled up. Not a problem, though, as a friendly ranger was directing and said it was fine to park on the road. Take 100 people and spread them out over 7 miles, it's not too bad. And this hike is so wildly popular because it is one of the best around. We chose counter-clockwise to go with the popular route, and I like the way the views open up this way. The larches ranged from a light green to a light yellow, and were lovely. It was warm enough that we ate along the top ridge without a problem, didn't even need layers. The views were epic, clear, and dramatic. Fall foliage out in its splendor. The sun had also turned a lot of the snow into slush, and only in a few places did we use Yak Tracks. I was glad to have them and poles, though plenty of people were making it without. The route along the top is easy to navigate through the snow (about 1/2 inch to 1 foot deep along the sides of the trail, but packed down on the trail), although it does seem to go over a bit of heather. There was some slippery mud on the steep trail down, but poles kept us upright. I can't recommend this hike more. Even on a crowded weekend we found the natural world a place of wonder.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    2 years, 2 months ago
    Beautiful fall colors hike!
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    2 years, 4 months ago
    There isn’t a lot better bang for your buck than this hike. Under 8 miles gets you views of dozens of names peaks and two huge glacial lakes. We went counterclockwise and I think it was much nicer than clockwise if your knees can take the steep downhill. The trail is in great shape and conditions are perfect for a hike right now.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    3 years, 1 month ago
    Started around 8am on what seemed like a not very busy morning. Did the loop in clockwise fashion as I like to get the steep part out of the way, and also hike the opposite direction of the majority. Weather was good and some larches still in full gold dress. Clear views to Black Peak, Glacier Peak, etc. No snow on trail yet, but some areas of frozen ground. It became pretty evident that it was indeed a busy day on the trail as we were on the 2nd half, coming down beside Lake Ann. The parking lot overflowed out onto Highway 20. Early start was perfect.
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 month, 2 weeks ago
    ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    2 months ago

    user_profile
    2 months ago
    ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    2 months, 3 weeks ago
    ★ ★

    user_profile
    11 months, 1 week ago

    user_profile
    11 months, 2 weeks ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 year ago
    ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 year ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 year, 1 month ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 year, 1 month ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 year, 1 month ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 year, 2 months ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 year, 2 months ago

    user_profile
    1 year, 3 months ago

    user_profile
    1 year, 4 months ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    1 year, 11 months ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    2 years ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    2 years, 1 month ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    2 years, 1 month ago

    user_profile
    2 years, 1 month ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    2 years, 3 months ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    2 years, 3 months ago

    user_profile
    2 years, 4 months ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★


Public Tracks

user_profile
Lindsey 3 years, 5 months ago
MAPLE PASS
<html xmlns:fo="http://www.w3.org/1999/XSL/Format" xmlns:msxsl="urn:schemas-microsoft-com:xslt"> <head> <META http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html"> <meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8"> </head> <body style="margin:0px 0px 0px 0px;overflow:auto;background:#FFFFFF;"> <table style="font-family:Arial,Verdana,Times;font-size:12px;text-align:left;width:100%;border-collapse:collapse;padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <tr style="text-align:center;font-weight:bold;background:#9CBCE2"> <td>MAPLE PASS</td> </tr> <tr> <td> <table style="font-family:Arial,Verdana,Times;font-size:12px;text-align:left;width:100%;border-spacing:0px; padding:3px 3px 3px 3px"> <tr> <td>SHAPE</td> <td>Polyline</td> </tr> <tr bgcolor="#D4E4F3"> <td>RTE_CN</td> <td>7776.004574</td> </tr> <tr> <td>ID</td> <td>740</td> </tr> <tr bgcolor="#D4E4F3"> <td>NAME</td> <td>MAPLE PASS</td> </tr> <tr> <td>SEG_LENGTH</td> <td>7</td> </tr> <tr bgcolor="#D4E4F3"> <td>SECURITY_ID</td> <td>0617</td> </tr> <tr> <td>DESIGNED_USE</td> <td>HIKE - HIKER/PEDESTRIAN</td> </tr> <tr bgcolor="#D4E4F3"> <td>SHAPE_Length</td> <td>8140.473955</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Min_Elev_ft</td> <td>4837.65047</td> </tr> <tr bgcolor="#D4E4F3"> <td>Max_Elev_ft</td> <td>6952.846855</td> </tr> <tr> <td>Mean_Elev_ft</td> <td>5889.749635</td> </tr> </table> </td> </tr> </table> </body> </html>
user_profile
klkeeley58 2 years, 4 months ago
Maple Pass Loop counterclockwise
New favorite hike in WA. Loop allows you to see waterfall going into Rainy Lake. See waypoint for amazing tent site. Yes it’s crowded but seriously awesome.
user_profile
ganzen 5 years, 5 months ago
Bridge Creek, WA, USA
http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/maple-pass Gain: 2000 ft. Highest Point: 6650 ft. 7.2 miles, roundtrip
user_profile
jodyrutl 2 years, 1 month ago
Maple Loop Pass (10/6/19, 11:47:37AM)
W Anna. Accidentally “paused” recording so mileage/time isn’t accurate. Beautiful hike!
user_profile
annawolheter 2 years, 1 month ago
Heather-Maple Loop Pass(10/6/19, 11:25:50AM)
Hiked with Jody. Beautiful fall colors with snow on top. Sunny perfect day.
user_profile
christophersobanek08 1 year, 4 months ago
Maple Pass Loop 7/13/20, 7:14:59AM)
Ice axe, crampons, one pole, mountaineer boots very helpful
user_profile
Oenophile 1 month, 3 weeks ago
user_profile
Furnas 2 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
gneate69 2 months, 2 weeks ago
user_profile
Jeff Rich 4 months, 3 weeks ago
user_profile
kjessica93 1 year, 1 month ago
user_profile
pennyrosen 1 year, 1 month ago
user_profile
doquinn 1 year, 1 month ago
user_profile
htecker 1 year, 1 month ago
user_profile
terran.maynard 1 year, 2 months ago
user_profile
danibrinz 1 year, 2 months ago
user_profile
darcyrbarry 1 year, 2 months ago
user_profile
cassidyaugust 1 year, 2 months ago
user_profile
Kyle 1 year, 2 months ago
user_profile
Jags 1 year, 2 months ago
Hik
user_profile
Grant 1 year, 2 months ago
user_profile
kylacheatley 1 year, 3 months ago
user_profile
rdorer 1 year, 3 months ago
user_profile
smithmx 1 year, 3 months ago
user_profile
bkandah 1 year, 3 months ago
user_profile
jomamahn 1 year, 3 months ago
user_profile
kurtenspencer 1 year, 3 months ago
user_profile
Camilo500 1 year, 3 months ago
user_profile
rbtcochran 1 year, 3 months ago
user_profile
AndyBoisseau 1 year, 4 months ago
user_profile
olson.geoff 1 year, 4 months ago
user_profile
kirajamros 1 year, 4 months ago
user_profile
brianfay20 1 year, 4 months ago
user_profile
Cale Hoopes 1 year, 4 months ago
user_profile
farberluke 2 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
cspringer3 2 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
lauranelson.lmp 2 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
jayduf 2 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
genge0144 2 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
jj2tucker 2 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
Yaz Obara 2 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
bowmanbunch 2 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
lobel 2 years, 2 months ago
user_profile
karenrue 2 years, 2 months ago
user_profile
smcnally 2 years, 2 months ago
user_profile
erin.fennern 2 years, 2 months ago
user_profile
carolkent2 2 years, 2 months ago
user_profile
nikkisaccounts 2 years, 2 months ago
user_profile
MrHoff 2 years, 2 months ago
user_profile
moralescomva 2 years, 2 months ago
user_profile
ron.hartliep 2 years, 2 months ago
user_profile
Kevin 2 years, 2 months ago
user_profile
dtagawa81 2 years, 2 months ago
user_profile
Svetoslav 2 years, 2 months ago
user_profile
TempusPuget 2 years, 2 months ago
user_profile
Daniel 2 years, 3 months ago
user_profile
Rachel Davidson 2 years, 3 months ago
user_profile
twhavener 2 years, 3 months ago
user_profile
Boydlw 2 years, 3 months ago
user_profile
danlmv 2 years, 3 months ago
user_profile
heyscottbrooks 2 years, 3 months ago
user_profile
Mariah 2 years, 3 months ago
user_profile
bmgordon 2 years, 3 months ago
user_profile
jessica.falcon05 2 years, 3 months ago
user_profile
nlwhitson 2 years, 3 months ago
user_profile
bsnook11 2 years, 3 months ago
user_profile
kara.nester7 2 years, 3 months ago
user_profile
calamity01 2 years, 4 months ago
user_profile
mccoyje 2 years, 4 months ago
user_profile
samclark37 2 years, 4 months ago
user_profile
kylekarpack 2 years, 4 months ago
user_profile
Pointman1 2 years, 4 months ago
user_profile
david67steiner 2 years, 4 months ago
user_profile
michaelmattiphoto 2 years, 4 months ago
user_profile
muirc 2 years, 4 months ago
user_profile
biztin 2 years, 4 months ago
user_profile
kwilson9 3 years ago
user_profile
Andy Crampton 3 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
angelatravels 3 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
Amber Chang 3 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
Jim Blanchard 3 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
m.kenia 3 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
msilat 3 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
spikesc 3 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
Albert 3 years, 3 months ago
user_profile
Kenneth 3 years, 4 months ago
user_profile
Paxton Hall 3 years, 4 months ago
user_profile stars
Jacob 3 years, 5 months ago
user_profile
lizzy2k6 4 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
Svetoslav 4 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
Jake Pfaffenroth 4 years, 3 months ago
user_profile stars
Rushwald 5 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
Benjamin Hockenberry 5 years, 2 months ago
user_profile
Clem 5 years, 3 months ago
user_profile
amarsters 5 years, 4 months ago
user_profile
littletree 5 years, 5 months ago
user_profile
nslemmer 6 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
Russell Bennett 6 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
Jeremy Osguthorpe 6 years, 2 months ago
user_profile
charleshalljr 6 years, 2 months ago
user_profile
Mike 6 years, 4 months ago
user_profile
Michelle 10 years, 2 months ago