The Last Best Weekend of Hiking
It was the last best weekend of hiking. Larches at their peak brilliancy. Red huckleberry bushes with a few remaining berries. Lots of sun, but not too much snow. Cool, but not yet frigid. Where did hikers go? And what did they have to say? A look at Trip Reports.
It was the last best weekend of hiking. Larches at their peak brilliancy. Red huckleberry bushes with a few remaining berries. Lots of sun, but not too much snow. Cool, but not yet frigid.
WTA has 62 Trip Reports and counting from the past weekend. There were a lot of hikers on the trail, especially on the most popular fall color hikes. More than 100 cars packed the Heather-Maple Pass Loop along the North Cascades Highway. For good reason, too, as this trail is spectacular, with larches poking out of the snow at the passes and broad mountain views to the north and south. >> Read jeffbottman's account here.
Many posts from the weekend boasted great photos. Some Trip Reporters, like snow Cat, focused on the little things that make fall hiking so unique: the mushrooms, berries and leaves along the Icicle Gorge trail. >> Read about snow Cat's rainy day hike on Friday.
Other photographers captured the fall color in all of its glory. Steph Abegg hiked the Easy Pass trail and photographed the trifecta of larches, blue skies and snow. It was sure pretty out there! >> See Steph Abegg's photos here.
There are some great tidbits of advice for those who can get out to hike this week - or maybe this weekend if the rain and snow hold off. Whitebark suggests Railroad Grade, reporting that Mount Baker "positively gleamed in its coat of new snow. In contrast, the meadows around the Railroad Grade were still green, and there was no snow on the trail almost all the way to the climber's bivouac camp."
From Evergreen Mountain Lookout, JKnapper posted, "Surprisingly, there were still a handful of straggler lupine, aster and bluebell wildflowers. Watch out for big game hunters. It's a good idea to wear bright orange outerwear this time of year."
And with snow on the trail, several hikers brought along traction devices for their boots - or they wished they had. Especially in the morning, the trails are getting quite icy. And speaking of ice, it is COLD in the mountains these days. Expect a major temperature drop as you gain elevation. Bring layers you can put on or peel off. For more tips on hiking as fall turns to winter, check out WTA's Late Fall Hiking Tips.
Have fun. Be safe. And come back and add a Trip Report of your own.