Trail Conditions

McAlester Pass at the intersection of South Pass Trail

View of McAlester Mountain and the South Pass trail sign.

NPS/H. Rich

General Conditions

July 23, 2015

This summer's unseasonably warm temperatures have moderated lately, but what little remains of the winter snowpack is continuing to melt rapidly and temperatures can still reach into the 90s on both sides of the mountains. On hot days, the heat may generate thunderstorms. Backcountry travelers should be alert before heading above treeline and head to lower elevations if thunderstorms are in the area. Trails are all snow-free. Check below for the most recent conditions for each trail.

Despite some recent precipitation, very dry conditions persist. A park-wide campfire ban went into effect on July 10, 2015. Campstoves fueled by liquid petroleum fuels are allowed.

This time of year, stream crossings can become dangerous due to flash flood events caused by thunderstorms. Do not attempt to cross a stream with strong current if you cannot see the stream bed. Check specific trail conditions below and get the most current information at a ranger station before starting out on your trip. Ticks have been reported on most low elevation trails, sometimes in large numbers. Be tick aware and consider long pants for travel on brushy trails.

Trail crews are working on trails throughout the park. Until they have worked on a trail, expect to encounter downed trees and/or trail tread damage, and possibly winter avalanche debris. Always check the latest forecast before your trip and leave an itinerary and trip plans with someone at home.

Backcountry permits are required year round and are available at the Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount and at some other stations. 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

Campfires are banned in all portions of North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake National Recreation Area and Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. Details...

Due to the Goode Fire, Park Creek Trail between Park Creek Pass and Park Creek Camp is closed. The closure includes Five Mile and Two Mile camps. Ascent or descent from Goode Mountain via the southwest drainage is not possible. Park Creek camp remains open. The Goode Ridge Trail is also closed.

RE-OPENING of Thunder Creek and Fisher Creek Trails. Due to inactivity within the Thunder Creek Fire, as of July 15 all trail and camp closures have been lifted. However, there is still potential that fire activity could increase. Visitors who observe any visible smoke or flames should leave the area immediately and report it to the nearest ranger station.

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 -- east end (near dam) remains closed at the suspension bridge. Work will be continuing in 2015 for repairs to Seattle City Light dock facilities, so the trail remains closed at one end until repairs are complete. Note that the trail is still accessible from the west end, beginning at the Environmental Learning Center. See map of closure area.


Trail Name

Elevation &
Trail Type

Reported Conditions

Agnes Gorge

Trailhead at 1700', trail's end 2000'

Hiker only

Cleared of down trees.

Baker River

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

Hiker only

A beautiful forest hike for the whole family. Trail is in good condition.

This trail begins on Forest Service land and crosses into the National Park: dogs are not allowed 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

Clear of down trees from Ross Dam trailhead to Stillwell Camp and trail crews are working on brushing the trail (07/08). There may be a couple of wet fords just east of Luna Camp.

Boulder Creek (Stehekin)

Trailhead 1200', Purple Pass 6800'

Hiker, Stock

Clear of down trees and trail tread repaired (07/02). Rennie Camp recently repaired after damage from 2014 Lone Mountain Fire. Rennie Creek footlog has been replaced and is located upstream of the ford, marked with signs and a new trail from both sides of the creek. 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

A few down trees above Graybeal Camp require some challenging maneuvers to navigate. Impassable to stock. Whatcom Camp and Whatcom Pass are snow-free. (07/12).

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
Cascade Pass / Sahale Arm/ Horseshoe Basin

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

Hiker only

No Pets

No Hunting

Cascade Pass Trail: Snow-free and clear of down trees on the west side of the pass. The water source at Johannesburg Camp is dry--bring your own water. One small stream along path to the pass, and one small stream below pass just west of Pelton Basin Camp (07/23).

Pelton Basin: Snow-free. Some minor rock fall on the trail between the pass and Pelton Basin Camp. Clear of downed trees between Pelton Basin and Cottonwood and some sections recently brushed (07/23). Doubtful Creek is a ford--during early season snow-melt it can be dangerous to cross. The Basin Creek footlog has been installed for 2015.

Sahale Arm: Snow-free. Sahale Glacier Camp is melted out with flowing water available. (07/12). FOOD CANISTERS REQUIRED at Sahale Glacier camp June 1 - Nov 15.

Horseshoe Basin: Some snow near trail's end. Clear of down trees (07/09). Brushed in 2014. Very wet trail in early season.

Company Creek (Stehekin)

Trailhead 1200', leaves park at 2500'

Hiker, stock

Clear of down trees to boundary with National Forest (1.8 miles). On National Forest lands: Many down trees and very brushy in sections. Must ford Company Creek at 5 miles. Trail is obscure around Hilgard Pass. Not regularly maintained in National Forest--be prepared to travel over downed trees and through brush. Trail not passable to stock since 2010.
Copper Ridge

Copper Lookout: 6260'

Hiker only

The ridge is completely snow-free. No water between Boundary Camp and Egg Lake. Water on the ridge is only available at Copper and Egg Lakes. No water at Silesia Camp--must get water at Egg Lake (1 mile round-trip). Switchbacks on the north end of the ridge, between ridge and Chilliwack River are snow-free, but many down trees and very brushy at low elevations, near the ford of the Chilliwack River and Indian Creek. No reliable water between the outlet of Copper Lake and the Chilliwack River. Water levels at the fords are low (07/13). No bridge over the northern crossing of the Chilliwack River and Indian Creek. The ford varies greatly depending on rain or meltoff events and may be impassable or very deep in early season or after significant rain events.

Dagger Lake / Twisp Pass

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

Hiker, stock

Snow-free and clear of down trees. Many bugs reported at Dagger Lake. (07/12)

Desolation Peak

Trailhead 1605', Lookout 6108'

Hiker only

Snow-free. Clear of down trees from Lightning Creek to 2 miles up the climb of Desolation. No water on the route or at the camp. Be sure to get water before starting the climb and carry plenty with you. (07/09)

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

Cleared of downed trees to the NPS/USFS boundary.
Diablo Lake

Trailhead 1200' - max. 2000'

Hiker only

Snow-free and clear of down trees.

Suspension bridge is CLOSED at east end (far end from Environmental Learning Center). Cannot access Ross Haul Road or points east due to a 2010 rock slide that closed the haul road. It is not possible to connect to the Sourdough Trail.

East Bank / Hozomeen Lake

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

Hiker, stock

Snow-free and clear of downed trees. Roland Creek ford is low. No water source between East Bank/Hidden Hand Junction and Roland Creek.

Easy Pass / Fisher Creek

Trailhead 3700', pass 6400'

Hiker only

From Highway 20: Snow-free. Water is available between the trailhead and Fisher Camp. Some trees down but easily passable. Wildflowers and bugs are out in force at the pass. (07/10)

Fisher Creek Valley: Trail cleared of most brush and debris except for a few trees west of Cosho Camp and between Cosho and Fisher Camps (07/23). Logan Creek has a new footbridge. Another creek close by does not. This creek often runs high and fast even in late summer. Log crossings are possible, but can be challenging. Always assess current conditions. Use caution and turn back if conditions warrant.

Flat Creek (Stehekin)

1700' - 2000'

Hiker, stock

Snow-free and clear of downed trees. Very brushy, especially beyond the park boundary. Log crossing of West Fork of Flat Creek at mile 3.
Fourth of July Pass

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

Hiker only

Snow-free and clear of downed trees.

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

CLOSED due to Goode Fire (08/02). Trail is clear of downed debris and brush. It is a very hot, dry climb on sunny days. Carry plenty of water. Several large down trees (15+) require some navigation.

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

Snow-free. Many down trees in the Chilliwack Valley, all easily passable on foot but impassable to stock. Very brushy north of U.S. Cabin--can slow progress significantly (07/07).

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 not maintained north of Bear Creek Camp. No access to Canada (consider it a cross-country route).

Happy Panther

1700 - 2000'

Hiker, stock

Snow-free and clear of down trees. A couple of creek crossings are rough footing, but passable to hikers. Difficult for stock.

Hidden Lake

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

Hiker only

Pets not allowed in the National Park

Trail is in good condition. Expect snow-free conditions. Second crossing of Sibley Creek, 2.5 miles from lookout, is last reliable water source (07/12). Be prepared for extended sun exposure.

Backcountry CAMPING PERMITS are REQUIRED past the col and down to Hidden Lake. 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

Snow-free. (07/14). 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

Snow-free and cleared of downed trees. This trail was burned over in 2010, so new blowdowns are common.

Little Beaver to Whatcom Pass

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

Hiker only from Little Beaver to Stillwell.

West of junction with Big Beaver Trail: Snow-free and cleared of downed trees. Trail from Twin Rocks to Whatcom Pass has been cleared of brush, but is very narrow and steep with small washouts (07/23). Food canisters are strongly recommended for camping at Whatcom Camp, as there are very few trees from which to hang food.

East of junction with Big Beaver Trail: Snow-free and clear of downed trees and brush (7/23). No on-trail water available between Little Beaver Camp and Perry Creek Camp (07/10). Perry Creek and Redoubt Creek are both quite braided and require wet fords--both of these creeks can be very challenging fords and/or impassable during early season snow-melt. Route across Perry Creek delta is flagged.

McAlester Lake / South Pass

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

Hiker, stock

Snow-free. Two down trees that will be challenging for stock. Very buggy around the lake and around the pass. (07/23).

McGregor Mountain (Stehekin)

Trailhead 1700', Heaton Camp 7000'

Hiker, stock

Snow-free to Heaton Camp. Above Heaton Camp there are two patches of snow about 100 feet each. Ice axe recommended when traveling in the coolest part of the day. Several down trees in lower section of trail, one is impassable to stock (07/04).

In 2014, mudslide damage occurred one half mile below Heaton Camp--some tread repair completed.

Proper food storage is critical to keep wildlife wild.

Summer: Water is sparse, but usually available about 3/4 of a mile below Heaton Camp. Reaching the summit requires steep rocky scrambling on scree. Difficult in any season.

Monogram Lake / Lookout Mountain

Trailhead 1300', Monogram Lake 4872'

Hiker only

Snow-free to the lake. One patch of high brush two miles in. Flowers, butterflies, and water are plentiful. (07/14)

Pets and hunting are not allowed in National Park. FOOD CANISTERS are required for camping at Monogram Lake June 1 - Nov. 15.

North Fork Bridge Creek

2800' to 4200'

Hiker, stock

Clear of down trees. Trail is very brushy in sections, although crews will begin working on it soon, particularly north of Grizzly Creek and in North Fork Meadows (07/15). Crossing Grizzly Creek requires a ford of 3 channels -- all can run high and fast and 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. Several washouts from summer 2013 are passable for hikers, but may require some route-finding. Washout areas may not be passable for stock. 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 North (Bridge Creek Trail)

Bridge Creek Trailhead: 4640'

Hiker, stock

Snow-free and clear of down trees. Sections with the thickest, tallest brush have been brushed back, but some brushy sections remain (07/23). The footbridge over Maple Creek has been installed for the season. The stock ford of Maple Creek can be very challenging or impassable during large rain or snow-melt events.

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 South (Old Wagon Trail and Agnes Creek Trail)

1700' - 2300'


Old Wagon Trail: Clear and open. Bears frequently seen around Bridge Creek Camp area. Proper food storage is absolutely essential at all times around Bridge Creek Camp.

Agnes Creek Trail: Closed between Five Mile Camp and Suiattle Pass due to the Blankenship Fire (07/31). PCT reroute is over Cloudy Pass to Holden, up 10-Mile Creek to Devore Creek.

South of the Park, in the Glacier Peak Wilderness: Cleared of down trees to near Hemlock Camp. Since 2014: Due to hazard trees, it is not safe to camp at Hemlock Camp. Alternative camps include 2.4 miles south just before entering Sitting Bull Basin, 2.8 miles north to Cedar camp, and 1.9 miles up the South Fork Agnes Trail. The bridge over Agnes Creek at Hemlock Camp is out of service. There is a re-route for PCT hikers (no stock) to South Fork Agnes Trail. Stock parties must ford Agnes Creek and continue on the PCT, NOT the South Fork Agnes trail re-route.

Panther Creek

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

Hiker only

Clear of down trees between Hwy 20 and Panther Camp. Snow-free and very brushy in sections (07/15). 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

Park Creek Trail is closed from Park Creek Camp to Park Creek Pass due to the Goode Fire (07/31). This includes 2-Mile and 5-Mile camps and the western approach to Mount Goode and Storm King.

Snow-free. Very brushy north of Park Creek Pass through Thunder Basin. Clear of downed trees from Stehekin Valley to ~1.5 miles south of Park Creek Pass (07/01). New footlog installed over Park Creek at Two Mile in late 2014. Two Mile Camp re-located in late 2014 and now on east side of Park Creek.

Trail is not recommended for stock due to crossing of Park Creek at Two Mile, although the water level during late summer may be safe enough for stock to ford.

Note: Buckner Camp, as seen on some old maps, no longer exists due to flood damage.

Purple Creek / War Creek

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

Hiker, stock

Juanita Lake is snow-free. Recent wind storm created many downed trees just east of Purple Creek. One 3' tree to climb over and numerous smaller trees to step over. 07/20

Summer: Last water source ascending from Stehekin is at Purple Creek at 2 miles. Campfires are not allowed at Juanita Lake Camp--bring camp stove for cooking.

Pyramid Lake

Trailhead 1100', Lake 2600'

Hiker only

Clear of down trees and snow-free.

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

Rainbow Creek (Stehekin)

McAlester Pass 6000'

Hiker, stock

Snow-free. Several down trees between Bowan Camp and Bench Creek (07/23). Rainbow Ford foot bridge has been installed for season.

Southern end of this trail passes through the 2010 Rainbow Bridge Fire zone. There are many downed trees between Rainbow Ford and Rainbow Bridge camps (07/23).
Rainbow Lake

Rainbow Lake 5630', Bowan Pass 6200'

Hiker, stock

Snow-free and clear of downed trees. On the north side of Bowan Pass, a drainage gully crossing the trail in three places has removed trail tread--passable, with care, to foot traffic. There are several large rocks in the scree field north of Bowan Pass that have partially blocked the trail. Use caution especially during large rain events. Trail tread is eroded in a few places on the south side of Bowan Pass--footing is very loose and requires care to cross.Trail not recommended for stock north of Rainbow Lake (07/23).

Trail from Bench Creek to Rainbow meadows in good condition. Down trees are passable for hikers but will be difficult for stock (07/23).

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. Note: Hikers and park staff have recently been able to cross safely at South Fork Camp (07/23).

Rainbow Loop (Stehekin)

Elevation 1200' to 2200'

Hiker, stock

Snow-free and clear of downed trees. Hikers use caution as blow downs are common due to 2010 wild fire.
Sourdough / Pierce Mountain

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

Hiker only

Sourdough Trail: Snow-free. Sourdough creek is very low and will soon be dry. At that time this will be a dry camp. There are still two streams running along the trail on the way up. (07/23). Trail is clear of down trees from trailhead to ~3,500' (roughly 1.5 miles below Sourdough Camp). Pierce Mountain Trail: Snow-free. Carry plenty of water before heading up the trail--only water source is at small pools at Pierce Mountain Camp. 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 Mtn Camp which will dry up as the summer progresses. Carry plenty of water if ascending the trail from the junction with Big Beaver Trail. From the west, in late summer water is not available until reaching Sourdough Creek.

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

Clear and open. 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

Stiletto Peak Trail: Snow-free (07/14). Route-finding required to reach the location of the old fire lookout on a sub-peak of Stiletto Ridge. Some downed trees and brushy in sections. Trail fades out in meadows at ~6100'.

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

Stiletto Spur: A couple down trees (07/11). Brushy in sections. 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 storm events.

Stehekin River (Stehekin)


Hiker only

Snow-free and clear. 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

No recent report. Expect trail to be snow-free (07/09).
Thornton Lake

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

Hiker only

Snow-free and clear of downed trees to ~4,500'. Some sections in the first 2 miles of the trail have been brushed. (07/23).
The trail from the ridge to the lakeshore is steeper than most trails and can be very slippery when wet or icy. Just before reaching the lake outlet the trail drops through a small boulder field with a section that can require some minor rock-climbing moves to navigate. The most cautious method is to drop your pack down first so that you can use your hands to downclimb. Crossing the lake outlet requires crossing a logjam. Use caution.

Food canisters required at Thornton Lakes Camp June 1 - Nov. 15. Camp stoves only, no fires.

Thunder Creek

Trailhead 1200', Junction camp 3100', Park Creek Pass 6100'

Hiker, stock

Snow-free. Clear of downed trees from Thunder Creek trailhead to Thunder Basin Hiker Camp. Much winter debris above ~5200'. Very brushy in lower part of Thunder Basin (07/23).

Thunder Creek ford just north of Thunder Basin Stock Camp is low but can still run high during weather events--always evaluate stream fords and turn around if necessary. There is no bridge (07/23).
Note: Park Creek Trail is closed in its entirety from Park Creek Pass to Park Creek Camp due to the Goode Fire (07/31).

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

Snow-free and clear of downed trees. New footlogs over Colonial Creek have been installed. Creek may run high during storms or heavy meltoff.

Upper Stehekin Valley Trail

(old road from Bridge Creek Camp to Cottonwood Camp)

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

Hiker, Stock

Snow-free and clear.


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