North Cascade–Maple Pass Loop, Thunder Creek Trail

On a clear day, we can see snow covered peaks of Cascade Mountains from a nearby park, and I’ve been wanted to get a closer look of those  peaks.   So we made a short trip to North Cascade National Park in July.

We camped at COLONIAL CREEK CAMPGROUND the first two nights.  It is a nice campground right on Diablo lake.  The campsites by the lake were all taken, but we found a quiet site up in woods.

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It rained the first night, and was cloudy the following morning, so we decided to do the Thunder creek trailDSC_0384As it is obvious from the name, the trail runs next to Thunder creek.  DSC_0389You walk through ancient forest for a while, and start to see some peaks through the trees.  We decided to turn around after 3.5 miles to get ready for Maple Path hike the next day.

Maple Pass Loop Hike

The weather was perfect the following day, so we woke up early, and drove to Rainy Pass.  As it is suggested in “Day Hiking North Cascade” by Craig Romano, we did the hike counterclockwise.

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I’m glad we did this hike counterclockwise.  The ascent was steady, but gradual.  We hiked up 2000 feet, but It didn’t feel that hard since we had to stop frequently to admire the breath taking views.  (Lake Ann down below.)

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I think this is Maple Pass (Elev. 6600).DSC_0454

DSC_0457 DSC_0464We thought we were at Top , but the trail continued to climb.

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The highest point of this hike at the shoulder of Frisco Mountain (Elev. 6850)DSC_0494 DSC_0496

Descent. The snow disappeared suddenly.DSC_0498  Lake Ann on the way down.DSC_0506

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We walked about 8 miles.  I fell three times in the snow, and coming down was hard but we came out with our knees intact.  I’m totally grateful we can still do this!

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