October 4, 2010 – Larches near Maple Pass

Larches near Maple Pass

Monday, October 4, 2010


Hey everyone. I hope your weekend was as amazingly awesome as mine. But I doubt it was. Sorry.

I took advantage of our second consecutive nice-weather-Saturday to head up to North Cascades National Park. I picked out the Maple Pass Loop trail, and omg omg omg it was fantastic. The trail guide suggested that there’d be some good views, but WOW. Definitely in the running for the most incredible trail I’ve ever hiked. Stupendous views nearly the entire length of the trail. And it wasn’t even that much of a butt kicker. (7.2 miles, 2000 vertical feet – enough to make you feel like you got some exercise, but it definitely won’t kill you.) And the color. Oh my god the color. I figured some of the bushes and such would be turning nicely, but I had no idea that it would be to that degree. And the larches. Holy effing crap, the larches. Based on past experience, I figured the larches were still a couple weeks away. But no, they were right at the peak. So that was a totally unanticipated bonus, as if the rest of the trail wasn’t amazing enough already. If you were hoping to get out to see some larches this year, DO IT NOW! They may not last too much longer. If you can take off during the week, I absolutely encourage you to do so, you’re running out of time this year to see color like this!

I suppose I should mention: larches? Yeah, they’re these pine trees, you see. But unlike just about every other kind of pine tree, they actually turn in the fall and drop their needles. You’re looking at larches in today’s picture. They turn sort of an aspen-like gold, and when the sunlight hits them just right, it’s downright glorious. Especially when you’re wandering around in a high-alpine wonderland in a sea of golden glow. Oh man, it’s a sight to see. And this is a great trail to see it. You start out at around 4900 feet, and you top out just under 7000. It’s a relatively easy way to get up to the high country, my kind of hike.

You’ll definitely be seeing more from this hike over the coming weeks/months. I’m just getting started going through the pics, although I’ve still got to go through most of the pics from my other hikes this summer too, so, umm, it may be awhile. But it’ll be worth the wait!

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200. Focal length: 31mm.

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One Comment

  1. avatar
    Bill Hess October 4, 2010

    Hi Dave –

    Without a doubt, that sounds like a great weekend. I thank you for the message that you dropped on my blog and apologize for not responding earlier. You may have noticed that I haven’t responded to any comments at all, lately.

    I am just so continually busy that I can’t push myself to add one more task and answer comments.

    As to the Blogger’s Choice awards, I doubt that either one of us will win. Not far down the list is at least one blogger whose readership numbers at least in the hundreds of thousands, if not the millions and all she has to do is put out the word to her readers and you and I will both be blown out of the competition.

    Still, it is kind of fun to be in there, but puzzling at times, too. I have been stuck at one number for quite awhile and not even my polar bears could bring in even one more vote above that.

    As to your special request, I appreciate the thought, but I will never take up landscape photography, per se. The landscape is always there in my work, standing above and around all that is happening on it, so that is how it shows up.

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