Outdoors

Hannegan Pass: Trail starts out easy

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."

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