Trail Conditions

Eldorado peak high camp
High Camp Eldorado Peak - North Cascades National Park

S. Schissel - NPS

General Conditions

Lower elevation trails are mostly melted out. Most high elevation trails are still have solid to patchy snow due to an above average 2017 snow pack. If you are planning a backcountry trip, be prepared for a wide and ever-changing array of conditions. These include lots of snow as you gain elevation, possible heavy rain at lower elevations, downed trees and debris on trails, storm or meltoff events that might cause high creek levels, debris flows, rockslides, or avalanche hazard. Always check a current weather forecast and snow level predictions, and leave a detailed itinerary with an emergency contact.

A few seasonal bridges have all been installed for the summer season. Check the website for specific bridge and crossing details. Trail crews have been clearing down trees and removing debris from trails.

The trail conditions listed in the table below represent the last known status or typical conditions, but please note that conditions are always changing.

Backcountry permits: Backcountry permits are required year round and are available at the Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount. Open 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., 7 days a week. Or at the park's headquarters office in Sedro Woolley, open 8:00 a.m to 4:00 p.m. daily starting May 26th. See the Wilderness Trip Planner page for trip planning resources. Whenever and wherever you travel in the wilderness, please be safe and touch the wilderness gently. Know and practice Leave No Trace camping and hiking. Please e-mail us if you have trail conditions to report.

 

Closures and Notices

Some areas and trails remain closed due to damage from 2015 wildfires. See the full list.

Buckner Hiker Camp (Park Creek Trail) -- RE-OPENED! Buckner Camp was washed out during flooding in 2001 and in subsequent years and has been re-opened in 2016. The camp is located 0.3 miles north of Five Mile Stock Camp on the Park Creek Trail.

Hard-sided food canisters are required at select backcountry camps and cross-country areas. In order to protect visitors and wildlife and to maintain the wilderness character of North Cascades National Park Complex, hard-sided food canisters are required from June 1 to November 15 for camping at ten backcountry camps and all or parts of five cross-country zones. More information on food storage requirements, including maps of cross-country zones where canisters are required. Full statement on canister policy.

Diablo Lake Trail -- RE-OPENED! Seattle City Light is wrapping up the construction work on their dock facilities, which were destroyed by a rock slide in 2010. You can now hike beyond the bridge, and connect to the Ross Dam Trailhead or (in summer) connect to the ferry boat for a return trip.
 

Trail Name

Elevation &
Trail Type

Reported Conditions

Agnes Gorge
(Stehekin)

Trailhead at 1700', trail's end 2000'

Hiker only

7/11

Free of Snow. Both Anges Gorge and Agnes Creek trails are clear of down trees and debris.

Baker River

Trailhead at 800', trail's end at 900'

Hiker only

6/15

Clear of snow and down trees to Sulphide Camp. The log bridge has collapsed over winter. Other logs can be found to cross, but require a scramble up/down a 10' bank

This trail begins on Forest Service land and crosses into the National Park: dogs are not allowed in the national park and backcountry permits are required to stay at Sulphide Creek Camp.

Big Beaver

Ross Dam Trailhead at 2100'. Big Beaver 1600'. Beaver Pass 3654'

Hiker, Stock

6/29

Clear of down trees and debris from trailhead to Big Beaver Camp, some down small-diameter trees from Big Beaver Camp to Luna camp. Creek crossings around Luna camp are running high.
trail over Beaver Pass is snow free; patchy snow lingers near the pass.

Wildlife, including bears, are foraging--please ensure your food and scented items are stored properly, in a food canister or hung appropriately high.

Boulder Creek
(Stehekin)

Trailhead 1200', Purple Pass 6800'

Hiker, Stock

7/11

Trail is clear of down trees. Expect patchy snow near Reyolds Camp, minor route-finding required.

Lower sections burned in 2010 Rainbow Bridge Fire and the 2014 Lone Mountain Fire. Blowdowns are common on this trail due to past forest fires.
Brush Creek
(to Whatcom Pass)

Whatcom Pass: 5055'

Hiker, Stock

Snow.

cleared and brushed in summer 2016.

Hard sided food storage canisters strongly recommended at Whatcom Camp due to limited tree limbs and high animal activity.
Bullion Loop
(Stehekin)
Trailhead 1500'
Hiker, Stock
6/29

Snow free, clear of down trees and debris from ranch to the junction above Car Wash Falls.
Cascade Pass /
Sahale Arm/
Horseshoe Basin

Trailhead 3660', Cascade Pass 5400', Sahale Glacier Camp 7600'

Hiker only

No Pets

No Hunting

7/16

Cascade River Road is now open to the Cascade Pass trailhead. Patchy snow lingers on the uppermost switchbacks; the mile-long traverse to the pass is approximately 10% snow-covered, please follow orange route markers to stay on trail and preserve meadows. The patio area at the pass is now melted out.

East of the pass
: Clear of downed trees from Bridge Creek to Basin Creek. The trail to Pelton Basin is still mostly snow-covered, route-finding required.

Basin Creek footlog has been installed for the 2017 season.

Doubtful Creek (on the east side of the pass) is a ford--during early season snow-melt or heavy rain events it can be dangerous to cross.

Sahale Arm: General: FOOD CANISTERS REQUIRED at Sahale Glacier camp June 1 - Nov 15.
The initial switchbacks on Sahale Arm are beginning to melt out, steep snow still covers the upper switchbacks. Trekking poles recommended. The trail to Sahale Glacier camp is approximately 25% snow covered.

Horseshoe Basin: (7/16) Trail is snow free into the basin and can be brushy and wet in places, with at least one wet ford currently. Trail crosses multiple scree fields, use caution when traversing loose rock. No camping in Horseshoe Basin.

Company Creek
(Stehekin)

Trailhead 1200', leaves park at 2500'

Hiker, stock

6/29

Free of snow and down trees for the first 3 miles; trail has not been cleared beyond. Must ford Company Creek at 5 miles. Trail is obscure around Hilgard Pass; expect snow on the north side of the pass.
Copper Ridge

Copper Lookout: 6260'

Hiker only

7/8

From Hannegan Pass to Boundary Camp, the trail is 20% snow-free with steep descending slopes (900' in approx. .7 mile). From Boundary Camp to Copper Lake the trail is 10% snow-free. Ice axe and navigation over snowy slopes is currently required to recreate on Copper Ridge.
No bridge over the northern crossing of the Chilliwack River and Indian Creek, The ford is currently waist-deep, and varies greatly depending on rain or meltoff events. Ford may be impassable in early season or after significant rain events.

General conditions: In summer, no water between Boundary Camp and the ridge. Water on the ridge is available at Copper and Egg Lakes. No water at Silesia Camp once snows melt--must get water at Egg Lake (1 mile round-trip).

Very brushy at low elevations on the north end of the ridge, near the ford of the Chilliwack River and Indian Creek. No reliable water between the outlet of Copper Lake and the Chilliwack River.

Dagger Lake / Twisp Pass

Fireweed 3900', Dagger Lake 5508', Twisp Pass 6100'

Hiker, stock

7/16

Snow free to Dagger Lake and beyond to Twisp Pass. Clear of large down trees, a few small diameter trees easily passable. Trail can be brushy in summer.

Backcountry permits required for overnight stays at Stiletto Lake; dogs not permitted.

Desolation Peak

Trailhead 1605', Lookout 6108'

Hiker only

7/4

The trail to the lookout is snow free until the last 500 vertical feet, where patchy snow still lingers; easily navigable.

Summer: No water source at Desolation Camp once snow is gone. Food storage canisters required at Desolation Camp June 1 - Nov. 15.

Devore Creek
(Stehekin)

NPS boundary at 2000'

Hiker only

6/29

Trail is free of snow and down trees until mile 3.5. Snow begins to cover trail around mile 4, expect snow at Ten Mile Pass.
Diablo Lake

Trailhead 1200' - max. 2000'

Hiker only

5/21

Suspension bridge is RE-OPENED as of Dec 1, 2015! It is now possible to connect to the Sourdough Trail, Ross Dam Trail, and the ferry boat (in summer).

East Bank /
Hozomeen Lake

Trailhead 1800', Hozomeen Lake (highest pt.) ~2900'

Hiker, stock

7/2

Trail has been cleared of down trees and debris to just before Deerlick Camp. Large tree down just south of camp area. Use caution walking sown or up trunk to connect the trail. Clear of down trees and debri from Nightmare Camp to Hozomeen. Hozomeen Lake trail has been cleared by the trailcrew. It is a great scenic side trip.

Many of the creeks are running full and require wet crossings. Adjust and release pack straps and wear appropriate shoes for safety when fording.

General: Roland Creek can be a wet ford during periods of high stream flows.

Easy Pass / Fisher Creek

Trailhead 3700', pass 6400'

Hiker only

7/4

The trail is good condition and free of large downed trees; streams across trail are running high and may need to be forded. Trail is snow-free until the meadows just under the pass, steep snow may cover the final switchbacks to the pass. Patchy snow at the pass.

Switchbacks decending into the Fisher Creek basin are snow-free and the trail is in good condition. The trail through the Fisher Creek basin is snow-free.

Three new footbridges on the trail including one crossing Logan Creek.

Flat Creek
(Stehekin)

1700' - 2000'

6/15

Very brushy beyond the park boundary. Log crossing of West Fork Flat Creek at mile 3.
Fourth of July Pass

Thunder Creek 1200', 4th of July Pass 3500'

Hiker only

7/4

Trail is snow free and in good condition, High snow melt has swelled seasonal creeks.

No campfires allowed--please bring a campstove if planning to backpack to Fourth of July Camp.

Goode Ridge
(Stehekin)

Trailhead 2200', ridge 6600'

Hiker, stock

7/2

Cleared of down trees to 2/3 up the switch backs. Expect patchy snow on the last mile of trail.

Summer: Water only available for the first 1.5 miles. Carry adequate water past this point to stay hydrated.

Hannegan Pass / Chilliwack River

Trailhead 3000', Hannegan Pass 5060', Canadian border 2000'

Hiker, stock

7/10
Hannegan Pass trail is snow free until the Hannegan camps, where patchy snow begins. The pass itself is melted out.

General: There is a cable car over the Chilliwack River north of US Cabin Camp--gloves recommended, car can be heavy to pull oneself along.

Pets and hunting are not allowed in the National Park. Trail north of Bear Creek Camp is abandoned and is a difficult bush-whack cross-country route. Little Chilliwack Camp no longer exists due to the changing course of the Chilliwack River.

Happy Panther

1700 - 2000'

Hiker, stock

5/21

Clear and open.

Hidden Lake

Trailhead 3700', Hidden Lake: 5700', Hidden Lake Lookout: 6,700'

Hiker only

Pets not allowed in the National Park

7/12

Road is open to the trailhead,
trail is in good condition. Lingering snow patches cover trail above 5000' with snowbridges beginning to form, use caution when crossing. Snow covers trail just before the scamble to the lookout, trekking poles recommended. The Lookout is in good condition and open.

Backcountry CAMPING PERMITS are REQUIRED past the saddle and down to Hidden Lake. Reaching Hidden Lake requires traveling over a very challenging and steep boulder field--not easy!

Food canisters required in Hidden Lake Cross Country Zone June 1 - Nov. 15. Reaching the lake requires descending a steep boulder field--no trail to lake shore. Pets and hunting are not allowed beyond the ridge or down to the lake.

Jack Mountain Trail

East Bank Trail (2000') to NPS boundary (5900'). Little Jack summit at 6750'.

Hiker only

6/10

Expect snow above 4000' and some down trees.

Trail is not maintained on a regular basis, some sections can be overgrown, eroded and rough in some places. Very limited water on trail, carry plenty in order to stay hydrated on sunny days.

Lakeshore Trail
(Stehekin)

Elevation 1200'

Hiker, stock

6/29

Snow free and clear of down trees and debris.
High rattlesnake activity, particularly on sunny days.
This trail was burned over in 2010, so new blowdowns are common.

Little Beaver
(Ross Lake to Whatcom Pass)

Ross Lake 1600', Stillwell ~ 2500', Whatcom Pass 5200'

Hiker only from Little Beaver to Stillwell.

6/29

Trail is snow free to Beaver pass. Trail is brushy with down trees throughout, with water running on trail past Perry Creek camp. Perry Creek and Redoubt Creek are early season wet crossings despite footlogs; these can be difficult to cross with this season's high snow melt.

Bear Canisters are strongly recommended for camping at Whatcom Camp. Hanging food requires a highline due to the limited trees.

McAlester Lake / South Pass

Fireweed 3900', McAlester Pass 6000', South Pass 6300'

Hiker, stock

7/7

Several down trees. Patchy snow between McAlester Lake and McAlester Pass; tent-pads at High Camp and McAlester lake Camp still snow-covered. Snow covers the forested trail on the south side of the pass, route-finding may be required. Trail from Bowan camp to Stehekin Valley Road has patchy snow and a number of down trees, as well as a few wet creek crossings.

South Pass trail is snow free.

McGregor Mountain
(Stehekin)

Trailhead 1700',Heaton Camp 7000'

Hiker, stock

7/4

Clear of down trees and snow-free to the bowl below Heaton Camp; solid snow above. Trekking poles or ice axe recommended to reach the camp, ice axe required to reach summit pyramid. A snow moat is opening below summit pyramid, which may become impassable until winter snowpack receeds. Food storage canisters are recommended for camping at Heaton Camp -- hanging food can be diffcult here. No fires allowed at Heaton Camp.

Monogram Lake / Lookout Mountain

Trailhead 1300', Monogram Lake 4872'

Hiker only

7/13

Trail to the NPS boundary is snow-free, with a number of down trees on the trail. The last half mile to Monogram lake is covered in patchy snow.

Lookout Mountain (USFS): General: Last flowing water source is ~1/2 mile past the trail split to Monogram Lake. A small pool of water is just below the lookout.

General: Pets and hunting are not allowed in National Park. FOOD CANISTERS are required for camping at Monogram Lake June 1 - Nov. 15. Backcountry Permits required for camping at Monogram Lake year-round. Look for new tent pads and separate cooking areas. Do not camp on the lake shore.

North Fork Bridge Creek

2800' to 4200'

Hiker, stock

6/21

Clear of down trees from Bridge Creek trail to Grizzly creek. No possible ford of Grizzly Creek early season.

General: Crossing Grizzly Creek requires a ford of 3 channels -- all can run high and fast and can be unsafe to ford during early season snow-melt and after large rain events.

Trail is often faint and hard to follow in northern-most 2 miles. Grizzly Creek Camp rebuilt in 2012 south of Grizzly Creek ford. Due to repeated flooding of Grizzly Creek, Grizzly Creek Stock Camp is permanently closed--stock should use Walker Park.

Pacific Crest Trail
(Bridge Creek Trail)

(Bridge Creek Camp to State Route 20/Bridge Creek trailhead)
Bridge Creek

7/7

Snow free and cleared of down trees. The ford of Bridge Creek at South Fork to reach the Rainbow Lake Trail still not passable due to high water levels and swift moving water.

Maple Creek footbridge has been installed for the 2017 season. The horse ford of Maple Creek is not advisable due to high water levels.

Since 2012: Bridge over Bridge Creek one mile south of SR 20 collapsed and was replaced with a temporary foot log and stock ford. Stock headed to Fireweed Stock Camp must ford Bridge Creek twice between Hwy 20 the camp.

Pacific Crest Trail
(Old Wagon Trail and Agnes Creek Trail)
(Bridge Creek Camp to Glacier Peak Wilderness)

NPS Boundary 1700' - Bridge Creek 2300'

Hiker, stock

7/6

Old Wagon Trail: Trail is clear of down trees and debris to Bridge Creek. The spur trail to Shady Camp is brushy. Bears frequently seen around Bridge Creek Camp area. Proper food storage is essential at all times around Bridge Creek Camp.

Agnes Creek Trail: Clear and open.

South of the Park, in the Glacier Peak Wilderness (USFS): Since 2014: Due to hazard trees, it is not safe to camp at Hemlock Camp. Alternative camps include 2.4 miles south of Suiattle Pass (just before entering Sitting Bull Basin), Cedar Camp 2.8 miles north of Hemlock Camp, and 1.9 miles up the South Fork Agnes Creek Trail. The bridge over Agnes Creek at Hemlock Camp is out of service.

7/6
Report of deep snow over Suiattle Pass. Ice axe and route-finding required.
Panther Creek

Trailhead 1800', Panther Camp ~2000', Fourth of July Pass 3500'

Hiker only

6/15

Trail from Panther Creek TH to Panther Camp is in good condition. There are a few down trees. Creeks along the trail can be easily crossed.

A quarter mile east from Panther Camp there is a creek crossing that requires traversing a large snow mound. The snow mound covers running water, and is obvious when traveling EAST on the trail. When traveling WEST, the snowbridge is completely hidden from view. The snow bridge is firm, but with hot weather will melt quickly. USE EXTREME CAUTION.

The trail between Panther and 4th of July camps is snow free and in good condition.

General: Panther Camp was rebuilt and relocated in 2012 and is 3.7 miles from the trailhead (~0.5 miles southwest of the old camp). New bridge built in 2013 over Panther Creek.

Park Creek Pass

Trailhead (Stehekin River)2300', Pass 6100'

Hiker, stock

7/4

Solid snow begins at the switchbacks just past Buckner Hiker Camp, all the way to Thunder Basin on the North side of the pass. Steep snow still covers the trail over the pass, route finding and snow travel skills recommended.

Buckner Hiker Camp (washed out in 2001) has re-opened, 0.3 mile north of Five Mile Camp.

New down trees are common in the area affected by the 2015 Goode Fire. Do not linger in the burn area due to tree hazards. The brushiest sections of trail were cleared in late summer 2016.

General: Footlog installed over Park Creek at Two Mile. Two Mile Camp re-located to the eastside of Park Creek. Trail is not recommended for stock due to crossing of Park Creek at Two Mile and to rough trail tread.

Purple Creek / War Creek

Trailhead 1200', Purple Pass 6900', War Creek Pass 6500'

Hiker, stock

7/3

Purple Creek Trail: Snow-free and cleared of downed trees. Rattlesnake sightings common along trail, use caution.

Snow on War Creek Trail: Several trees down, only a couple pose any challenge for navigation on foot.

Summer: Only water source is at crossing of Purple Creek 2 miles from Stehekin. Very slow-flowing spring near Juanita Lake--the lake is stagnant and not an attractive water source in late season.

Campfires are not allowed at Juanita Lake Camp--bring camp stove for cooking.

Pyramid Lake

Trailhead 1100', Lake 2600'

Hiker only

7/4

Trail cleared of snow and downed trees to lake.Snow begins at uppermpost bench after passing the lake.

Please help protect the Natural Research Area. CAMPING or FIRES not allowed at Pyramid Lake or along Pyramid Creek.
Rainbow Creek
(Stehekin)

McAlester Pass 6000'

Hiker, stock

7/7

The Rainbow Ford Bridge is in. Many down trees between Rainbow Ford and McAlester Pass. Snow patches in the forest between Bowan Camp and McAlester Pass, route-finding may be required. Rattlesnakes have been seen below Bench Creek, use caution.

Trail is clear of down trees and debris to Bench Creek.

General: Seasonal bridge at Rainbow Ford is removed every fall. Ford may be high or impassable at other times of year.

Southern end of this trail passes through the 2010 Rainbow Bridge Fire zone. There may be new downed trees between Rainbow Ford and Rainbow Bridge camps.

Rainbow Lake

Rainbow Lake 5630', Bowan Pass 6200'

Hiker, stock

7/8

Snow-free to Rainbow Lake, much snow around Rainbow lake camp. Bowan Pass still covered in steep-angle snow; ice-axe and route-finding required.
Foot Bridge over Rainbow Creek on the Rainbow Lake Trail between Bench Creek Camp and Rainbow Meadows has not been installed for the season. It is currently impassable due to high water.

General: Must ford Bridge Creek at South Fork Camp. The ford runs very high and is impassable before mid-summer and after significant rain events. Do not expect to be able to safely connect to the Bridge Creek Trail/Pacific Crest Trail until mid-summer. Turn back if unsafe.

Rainbow Loop
(Stehekin)

Elevation 1200' to 2200'

Hiker, stock

6/29

Snow free and logged out. Southern end of this trail passes through the 2010 Rainbow Bridge Fire zone. There may be new down trees between Lower Rainbow Loop TH and Rainbow Bridge camp.

Sourdough / Pierce Mountain

Trailhead at 900', Sourdough Camp at 5055'. Lookout is at 5968'

Hiker only

7/9

Sourdough Trail: snow free to Sourdough Ridge, where patchy snow begins. Trail from the ridge to the Lookout is 70% snow-covered, route-finding required beyond. Sourdough camp partially snow covered.
Pierce Mountain Trail: Snow encountered near the park boundary, trekking poles and snow travel skills recommended.

General: The ridgeline can be difficult to follow in cloudy conditions. Cairns mark the trail just east of the lookout. East of Pierce Mountain Camp the trail is somewhat difficult to follow due to brush and downed trees. After snow-melt, no water available on Pierce Mountain Trail except from pools at Pierce Mountain Camp which will dry up as the summer progresses. Carry plenty of water if ascending the trail from the junction with Big Beaver Trail.

Hard-sided food canister required at Sourdough and Pierce Mountain Camps June 1 - Nov. 15. Pets and hunting are not allowed past the National Park boundary (about 2 miles from trailhead).

Stetattle Creek

Trailhead at 900'

Hiker only

5/10

Trail cleared of down trees and debris.

General: Several challenging trail sections in the first 1/4 mile where the creek has eroded the bank and trail (some scrambling and hand holds). Not recommended for beginners or families with small children.

Stiletto Spur / Stiletto Peak 4000' to ~6100'

Hiker, stock
7/11

Stiletto Peak Trail: Very brushy. A few small down trees, easily passable. In general: Route-finding required to reach the location of the old fire lookout on a sub-peak of Stiletto Ridge. Trail receives only light maintenance. Trail fades out in meadows at ~6100'.

In Stiletto Cross-Country Zone, which includes Siletto Lake, CAMPING PERMITS REQUIRED - STOVES ONLY, NO FIRES.

Stiletto Spur: Snow-free, very brushy. A few downed trees block the trail, easily traversed on foot. Stock parties have a difficult approach to both sides of ford of State Creek. The foot log crossing over State Creek is not recommended for use. Ford can be impassable after large rain/snow events. Stock parties should use Pacific Crest Trail instead.
Stehekin River
(Stehekin)

1200'

Hiker only

6/29

Snow Free. Sections of the trail may flood during high water events of the Stehekin River.

General: In 2015, this trail was used as a fire break for the Wolverine Fire--expect to see many cut trees. Trail often floods during spring snow-melt and high water events. Trail access is from south end of Stehekin airstrip.
Summit Trail
(Stehekin)

Juanita Lake 6800', high point 7440'

Hiker, stock

Snow.

Summer 2016 - Clear of down trees within the National Recreation Area boundary.
Thornton Lake

Trailhead 3000', ridge above lake is 5000', Thornton Lake 4500'

Hiker only

7/4

Road is open to the trailhead, rough in places. High clearance vehicle recommended. Snow covers trail before gaining the ridge above Thorton Lake, approx. 4900'. Route-finding may be necessary.

General: The trail from the ridge to the lakeshore is steeper than most trails and can be very slippery when wet or icy. Crossing the lake outlet requires crossing a logjam, use caution. Not recommended for families with small children.

Food canisters required at Thornton Lakes Camp June 1 - Nov.

Thunder Creek Colonial Creek Campground at 1200', Park Creek Pass at 6100'

Hiker, stock

7/15

Trail clear of down trees to Junction camp, patchy snow begins near Thunder Basin camp. Many downed trees beyond Skagit Queen Camp; snow remains over Park Creek pass.

General: Ford of Thunder Creek north of Thunder Basin Stock can be high or impassable during spring run-off or after heavy rains. Always evaluate stream fords and turn back if necessary.

Food canisters required for camping at Thunder Basin Camp June 1 - Nov. 15. Stoves only, no fires at Thunder Basin Camp.
Thunder Knob

1200' to 1875'

Hiker only

5/10

Trail cleared, foot bridges installed for 2017 season.

Upper Stehekin Valley Trail

(old road from Bridge Creek Camp to Cottonwood Camp)

Bridge Creek Camp (2200') to Cottonwood Camp(2800')

Hiker, Stock

6/29

Snow free and cleared of down trees. Debris and snow across trail east of Cottonwood Camp from avalanche. Impassable for stock.

Summer 2016 - Clear of down trees.

 
 

Last updated: July 17, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

810 State Route 20
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284

Phone:

(360) 854-7200

Contact Us