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USA Maple Pass in the North Cascades, Washington

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This spot is one of the most scenic day hikes in Washington's North Cascades. A loop hike, it borders North Cascades National Park. Surrounded by large jagged peaks in every direction, and dotted with lakes and glaciers, it's hard to put the camera down and keep walking.

Photography Tips

While any time of year is great for this spot, arguably the best time to go is early October. The lighting is better than in mid-summer, and fall brings on an incredible tapestry of color, especially in early October when the larch trees are at their brightest gold.

Travel Information

About a three hour drive from Seattle, take I-5 north, then highway 20 east to the parking lot at Rainy Pass (the drive is beautiful too). The loop hike is about 7 miles (~11 kilometers) with 2000 feet (~600 meters) of elevation gain.
Crowd Factor A decent amount of people
Best Timing Fall
Sunrise & Sunset 07:37 - 16:10 | current local time: 06:23
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Spot Comments (11)

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Dex Horton
Dex Horton 05.01.2016
Fantastic colors!
Phillip West
Phillip West 08.01.2016
Thanks! There was a lot of smoke from nearby wildfires that day, it makes me wonder how much more the colors would have popped without it!
Reemt Peters-Hein
Reemt Peters-Hein 20.03.2015
Top shot!!
Phillip West
Phillip West 20.03.2015
Thanks Reemt!
Manuel Becker Team
Manuel Becker 18.03.2015
This view and your photo are so awesome Philip, thanks so much for sharing this wonderful spot!
Phillip West
Phillip West 18.03.2015
My pleasure Manuel! I added a second photo from the same place, it's hard to take a bad photo there.
Manuel Becker Team
Manuel Becker 18.03.2015
Oh, please don't diminish your beautiful photos! I really appreciate your work. Do you have some more spots in that region? If yes I would love to recommend you to our coop partners, a big German magazine which is publishing our best spots in every issue, if you want to. You get more details on our coop page at www.locationscout.net/coop. We are also sharing your beautiful spot in the next few days on facebook as promised. If you have any link to your website or a fan page we would like to advertise a little bit for your photography by adding that link to that post.
Phillip West
Phillip West 20.03.2015
I do have a few more spots I can add from the region, and a whole lot of landscapes from Washington State in general. I'll get to adding them! I'd also be delighted to have the recommendation if you were to do so. It looks to be a quality magazine upon browsing their website. Thanks for the facebook post! Photography has always just been a fun hobby of mine, so I haven't actually made a website yet. I need to get to that as well!
Manuel Becker Team
Manuel Becker 20.03.2015
Oh I would love to see more spots from Washington State! I've only seen the big cities in USA so far, so this would be awesome if you could share some of them. The current issue of the magazine arrived this morning. I will share some photos on Facebook in the next few days so that everybody has a better understanding of the quality of this awesome magazine.
Phillip West
Phillip West 13.07.2016
Well, it's been quite some time, but I do finally have a Facebook page! In case you were still curious, it's here: https://www.facebook.com/PhillipWestPhotography/
Manuel Becker Team
Manuel Becker 13.07.2016
I am already following you and I am curious about any new shots! ;-)

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Thank you Phillip West for creating this photo spot in USA.
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