Tag Archives: Maple Pass-Heather Pass Loop
By Michael Lanza
On my first trip to North Cascades National Park, I was sure I’d found heaven. The hard-earned views of a sea of jagged spires and snow- and ice-covered peaks stretching as far as you could see instantly cemented the place as one of my favorite mountain ranges. I’ve returned many times, backpacking, climbing, ski mountaineering, and dayhiking and backpacking with my family.
But not many hikers and backpackers know much about Washington’s North Cascades, one of America’s least-visited national parks. And the season for heading into the backcountry there is upon us.
Check out the gallery of photos below; I think it will persuade you to put this park high on your list. Find links to my stories about the North Cascades below the photo gallery. Continue reading →
I enjoy your photos and stories tremendously. My wife and I travel the last two weeks of August every summer, and, unfortunately, so do a lot of other people. We like long dayhikes, viewing wildlife and, most of all, quietly enjoying amazing natural surroundings. We often find the national parks way too crowded. It’s pretty easy to lose most of the crowds by hitting the trail, but as soon as you’re done hiking you are often faced with crowds, lines, and traffic.
Last year we spent our summer vacation in the Sawtooth Mountains and loved it. So many great hikes in a ridiculously beautiful, but not crowded area (by the way, Goat Lake was our favorite hike of the trip). Can you recommend any areas similar to Stanley, Idaho, and the Sawtooth Mountains—a quiet area with all the natural beauty of a national park? I know you speak fondly of the Wind River Range. Is there a centrally located small town that would make a good base for a vacation in the area? Anywhere else you can recommend?
Brooklyn, NY Continue reading →
We are thinking about a trip to North Cascades National Park in late August or early September. We will have about four days for a backcountry trip. I would love to camp one night at Sahale Glacier Camp. It looks more like an out-and-back trip. Any suggestions on how to incorporate Sahale into a three- to four-night trip in that area? Just my wife and me, 10 miles a day max, preferably seven to eight miles a day. Thanks for the help. You responded to an email I wrote last year on Grand Teton National Park. We did the Teton Crest Trail—it was great. Thanks for the advice on that trip.
Hartselle, AL Continue reading →
By Michael Lanza
The wind and horizontal rain battered us and the fog reduced visibility to 50 feet at times as we hiked up Sahale Arm. We struggled into the maelstrom with rain jacket hoods cinched snugly, our heads bent forward into the wind. Bullets of cold rain pelted my cheek.
It was mid-July in Washington’s North Cascades National Park, but it felt like mid-October—no surprise in the northernmost and one of the wettest mountain ranges in the contiguous United States, where 110 inches of precipitation falls annually on its western slope. My friend David Ports and I were headed up toward some of the most severely vertical mountain scenery in the country—though that morning, it didn’t look like we’d get treated to any of it. Continue reading →