Elevation Gain: 2,000 feet.
Round trip: Up to 8 miles.
Difficulty: Easy beginning, moderate by the end.
Best times: July to October.
Current conditions: Hikers should hit snow partway up, but the spectacular opening section will be open.
Parking: $5 Northwest Forest Pass required.
Highlights: From the beginning the views are spectacular. The beginning section of this walk is one of the first mountain hikes open any season.
Map: Green Trials No. 14 Mount Shuksan or Topo! North Cascades, Mount Baker and Surrounding Wilderness Areas.
Getting there: Take Highway 542 east past the state Department of Transportation shed. Follow the trail, taking in the views of Mount Sefrit and Ruth Ridge. After a mile, you see the white dome of Ruth Mountain, and the trail starts climbing. There is no view from the top of the pass, but you can get a spectacular perspective with a side trip up Hannegan Peak.
Keep in mind: This is an area of high black bear activity. Keep your food secure.
The trail crosses into North Cascades National Park at the pass, so if you're walking with a dog, turn back there.
Source: "100 Hikes in Washington's North Cascades National Park Region."