a bit more than 7.5 rt (I forgot to turn my gps back on after a long beer break on top)
gain: 2360 ft
max: 6997 ft
Me and my tent
gpx track, use at your own risk: Maple Pass
Parking: N48 31.003 W120 44.149
I was meeting others on Saturday for a hike up Cutthroat Pass so I decided to go over on Friday and do a short overnight on Maple Pass.
I wasn’t in a hurry so I didn’t get to parking (N48 31.001 W120 44.171) until around noon. Even though it was a Friday, the lot was full and I parked on the side of the parking road. I passed a group of 21 heading down the trail shortly after I headed up so it probably emptied out for a few minutes before those cars were replaced.
I have been up here several times in the past. Last year I came up with the butterfly group, this is one of the meadows we survey. Today was just for fun though.
The trail starts over by the kiosk, at this point you will have to make the oh so debated choice of clockwise or counterclockwise. I went counterclockwise up past Lake Ann to Heather Pass then to Maple Pass. The trail starts in the forest with nice switches to help with the gain. Once you pop out of the trees the views start and never stop.
As you gain elevation you can see Lake Ann and the Isle of Ann. Those desiring can take a side trail to Ann early on on the trail. There is no camping at Ann nor within 0.25 mi of Heather nor Maple Passes.
The hike continues up higher until it comes to Heather Pass which has a view of Lewis Lake, an unbelievably blue lake.
That mountain there in the background is Black Peak, it is on the short list. Possibly the very short list like maybe this next weekend, deciding between that and maybe Ruby Mountain. Or perhaps Thorton Peak…aw, the choices.
Continuing on up, the trail gradually becomes more subalpine like.
I was spending the night so I had pretty much covered all the short distance I had to cover but was in the no camping zone best as I could tell. It is not marked at all so you really have no way of knowing between Heather and Maple whether camping is allowed or not. I just didn’t know. So to make sure that I was out of the no zone I decided to go up over Maple Pass and go the 0.25 mi beyond. Spent quite some time at the pass just enjoying where I was.
On the other side of the pass I found a spot to call home for the night and set camp, cooked dinner and enjoyed the sights. Just a note, there were much more appropriate (to me) places between the two passes that would be better sites to put a tent…dirt and rock areas but the no camping within 0.25 mi of the passes was highly publicized and it was entirely unclear where the areas that were considered the passes proper were.
Sunrise the next day was amazing. I slept great from 9 – 2, then a wind kicked up and I kept waking up. I had not put on the fly (haha) so when I awoke I watched the amazing star show. I finally gave up on the restless sleep and got up at 4:45 and watched the sun rise. Some clouds were moving in so the pink was bouncing off them as the sun came up.
When I was packing up I found this guy in my tent on my kerchief. I have no idea where he came from nor how he got in but only one of us survived the night, perhaps the other was rolled over on in the middle of it.
I had packed up, had coffee and was hiking by 6:15, I really enjoy quiet morning hikes. On the way out I disturbed this momma bird hiding in the wildflowers.
There was a view of Rainy Lake on the way out.
Great short hike and excellent spot to call home for the night.