Posts Tagged: Maple Pass

October 22, 2010 – Maple Pass, North Cascades National Park

Maple Pass, North Cascades National Park

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wow, it’s Friday already?? That week went quick. To celebrate, here’s a shot that I took while hiking a couple weeks ago. I realized a couple days ago that, as happy as I was with the pictures that I got from this hike, I’ve so far only posted one here on the blog. So, here’s number two. Yay! In the interest of full disclosure, this one wasn’t my favorite shot that I got from the day, not even from that general part of the hike. But, this is the one that got the most comments of “ooo, I like that one.” Personally, I think it’s messy, since I didn’t do a great job of not having random little branches poking into the frame. Now that I’ve pointed them out, you’re probably all focusing in on them, which is probably getting in the way of you enjoying what you previously probably thought was a nice little picture. Ah well.

This was taken from very near Maple Pass, which is in North Cascades National Park, accessed via the trail that has the somewhat obvious name of “Maple Pass trail”. I don’t know what the name of that mountain is, but my best guess (based on looking at the map) is Black Peak. As you can probably tell, the fall colors that day were stupendous. Although, it’s not the same kind of color that you see elsewhere (like in New England, where I was last weekend..) At least in this part of the state, in the high country – it’s all pine trees. But, there’s a lot of little bushes and such that change colors pretty dramatically, and once you get really high, you start to see more and more of these larches, which are pine trees that actually change color and drop their needles. I knew there would be some along this trail, but I thought we were a couple weeks to early to see them this colorful. Apparently we nailed it right at the peak. Go us!

Have a great weekend, everyone! Try to get outside to see some color if you can. Out here, I’ll be hunkered down due to weather. But I’d bet you’ve got some good color going on where you are, I want to see pictures!

Notes: Canon EOS Rebel T1i, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens. 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200. Focal length: 29mm.

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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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