• View from Sourdough Mountain Overlook  A view looking down onto Diablo Lake. Photo Credit: NPS/Michael Silverman, 2010.

    North Cascades

    National Park Washington

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  • State Route 20 closed at Mile Post 134, Ross Dam

    After a brief closure at Newhalem due to an avalanche and unstable conditions, SR 20 has re-opened to its normal winter closure point at MP 134, Ross Dam. The highway will remain closed from Ross Dam to MP 171 (Silver Star Creek) until spring re-opening. More »

  • Ross Dam Haul Road Closure Continues

    A short segment of the Ross Dam Haul Road between the Diablo Lake suspension bridge and the tunnel remains closed to public use due to continued recovery following a March 2010 landslide. The closure will remain in effect through 2014. More »

  • Notice of planned work for the Cascade River Road, fall 2014

    Visitors planning to access the park via the Cascade River Road after Labor Day should be advised that the Park Service is planning a fall closure of this road at Eldorado Creek (3 miles before the end of the road) in order to perform permanent repairs. More »

Trail Conditions

Early Spring Conditions
March 31

After a dry first half of the winter, February and March saw heavy precipitation, with lots of snow accumulation at higher elevations, and plenty of snow falling at lower elevations as well. Spring is arriving slowly in the lowlands, but the cool weather means that almost all low elevation trails still have significant snow. Warmer weather will begin to melt some low elevation trails out soon, but new snow is always a possibility this time of year. Stream levels can rise quickly with rain and warmer temperatures, so always check a current weather forecast before heading out. Wind storms often bring down new fallen trees over trails. Deep snow and winter conditions prevail in the high country. Backcountry travelers should be well prepared, and leave an itinerary with someone at home.

Early Season Conditions Note: During the late fall through early spring, trail reports are few and far between. Conditions change constantly with weather events such as wind storms, floods, and heavy snow. The report below lists last known conditions, which may be weeks old. Please plan accordingly!

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 email us if you have trail conditions to report.

 

Closures and Notices

Hard-sided food canisters are now 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 can be found here. Full statement on policy change.

Stock closure: Thunder Creek Trail at Skagit Queen (around 14 miles from the trailhead). The bridge has collapsed and fording is not possible. There is a temporary footlog for hikers.

East end of Diablo Lake Trail CLOSED at the suspension bridge. A massive rockslide that came down in early 2010 still blocks any hiker passage from the Diablo Lake Trail to the haul road, ferry boat, or Ross Lake from this trail. Work on the slide will be ongoing in 2011 and may include blasting. The remainder of the trail is unaffected. See map of closure area.

 

Trail Name

Elevation &
Trail Type

Reported Conditions

Date

Agnes Gorge
(Stehekin)

Trailhead at 1700', trail's end 2000'

Hiker only

Cleared and brushed in 2013. No recent report.

3/31

Baker River

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

Hiker only

No foot log at stream crossing at 1.5 miles, the stream is narrow and swift here and can be difficult to cross if the water is high. No snow report.

3/31

Big Beaver

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

Hiker, Stock

Expect snow.

3/31

Boulder Creek (Stehekin)

Trailhead 1200', Purple Pass 6800'

Hiker, Stock

Clear of down trees in 2013. Lower sections burned in 2010 Rainbow Bridge Fire. Blowdowns are common on this trail due to past forest fires. Expect snow.

3/31

Brush Creek to Whatcom Pass

Whatcom Pass: 5055'

Hiker, Stock

A few down trees require scrambling to get past. Trail is often brushy north of Graybeal Camp. Hard sided food storage canisters strongly recommended at Whatcom Camp due to limited tree limbs and high bear activity. Snow. 3/31
Bullion Loop (Stehekin) Trailhead 1500'
Hiker, Stock
Lots of brush.

3/31

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. The Basin Creek footlog has been removed for the season. Fording the creek can be dangerous or impassable during large rain events.

Sahale Arm: Snow.

FOOD CANISTERS REQUIRED at Sahale Glacier camp June 1 - Nov 15.

Horseshoe Basin: Snow.

3/31

Company Creek (Stehekin)

Trailhead 1200', leaves park at 2500'

Hiker, stock

Trail is obscure--be prepared to travel over downed trees and through brush. Trail not passable to stock as of 2010. Snow.

3/31

Copper Ridge

Copper Lookout: 6260'

Hiker only

Snow.

Summer: The water source for Silesia camp is at Egg Lake, a 1 mile round-trip. Egg Lake is also the only guaranteed water source between Boundary Camp and Copper Lake Camp.

3/31

Dagger Lake / Twisp Pass

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

Hiker, stock

Snow.

3/31

Desolation Peak

Trailhead 1605', Lookout 6108'

Hiker only

Snow.

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

3/31

Devore Creek (Stehekin)

NPS boundary at 2000'

Hiker only

Trail becomes obscure and difficult to follow approaching Hilgard Pass. Snow.

3/31

Diablo Lake

Trailhead 1200' - max. 2000'

Hiker only

Expect patchy snow.

Suspension bridge is CLOSED at east end, cannot access Ross Haul Road or points east due to a 2010 rock slide that closed the haul road.

3/31

East Bank / Hozomeen Lake

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

Hiker, stock

Expect snow, especially at north end (Hozomeen) and over Hidden Hand Pass.

3/31

Easy Pass / Fisher Creek

Trailhead 3700', pass 6400'

Hiker only

Easy Pass trail from Hwy 20 to pass has several trees down and areas of erosion due to recent mudslides. Some of these areas require searching for the trail and reconnecting above or below. 50+ down trees between Cosho and Fisher Camps. Logan Creek and another creek close by do not have bridges. These creeks often run too high and very fast for safe fording. Log crossings are possible, but can be challenging. Use caution and always assess current conditions. Do not cross if you feel it is not safe. Logan Creek can be very dangerous during high water. Snow.

3/31

Flat Creek (Stehekin)

1700' - 2000'

Hiker, stock

Some down trees and very brushy. Cross West Fork Flat Creek at mile 3 on down log. Expect snow.

3/31

Fourth of July Pass

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

Hiker only

Snow.

3/31

Goode Ridge (Stehekin)

Trailhead 2200', ridge 6600'

Hiker, stock

Snow.

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

3/31

Hannegan Pass / Chilliwack River

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

Hiker, stock

Snow. The northern fords of the Chilliwack River and Indian Creek may be deep or impassable after significant rain events. The cable car over the Chilliwack River north of US Cabin Camp is operational. Many large trees down over Chilliwack trail require climbing over or crawling under. Pets and hunting are not allowed.


Bear Creek Camp is over-grown but usable. Trail not maintained north of Bear Creek Camp. Access via Canada very difficult (consider it a cross country route) due to trail washouts and downed trees.

3/31

Happy Panther

1700 - 2000'

Hiker, stock

Several of the creek crossings are washed out, but are usually passable with care. Use caution after significant rain events. Expect snow.

3/31

Hidden Lake

Trailhead 3700', Hidden Lake: 5700'

Hiker only

Pets not allowed in the National Park

Snow.

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.

3/31

Jack Mountain Trail

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

Hiker only

Snow.

Trail is not maintained on a regular basis, some sections can be overgrown, eroded and rough in some places. Limited water on trail, carry adequate amounts to stay hydrated.

3/31

Lakeshore Trail (Stehekin)

Elevation 1200'

Hiker, stock

Since recent fires have reduced vegetation, soils are subject to erosion and water runs off the landscape rapidly--hikers should be cautious at stream crossings during rain events as waters may rise rapidly. Down trees can also be common. No recent report.

3/31

Little Beaver to Whatcom Pass

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

Hiker only from Little Beaver to Stillwell.

Snow. Many creek crossings, some can run high with heavy rain events, especially Redoubt Creek. Trail is very brushy west of Twin Rocks and trail tread is eroded in some spots on the east side of the pass. Food canisters are strongly recommended for camping at Whatcom Camp, as there are very few trees from which to hang food.

3/31

McAlester Lake / South Pass

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

Hiker, stock

Snow. Foot log installed at the East Fork McAlester Creek in 2012.

3/31

McGregor Mountain (Stehekin)

Trailhead 1700', Heaton Camp 7000'

Hiker, stock

Snow.

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.

3/31

Monogram Lake / Lookout Mountain

Trailhead 1300', Monogram Lake 4872'

Hiker only

Snowfree at start, but expect to hike into snow within 1 mile.

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

3/31

Newhalem Creek

Trailhead 1000', trail's end 1800'

Hiker

Trail and camp not maintainted. Very brushy, eroded trail with downed trees. Not passable for stock.

3/31

North Fork Bridge Creek

2800' to 4200'

Hiker, stock

Snow. Washouts from summer 2013 are passable for hikers but may require some route finding (some have flagging or cairns). May not be passable for stock. Must ford Grizzly Creek three times --use caution or turn back if water too high. Grizzly Camp rebuilt 2012--hikers do not need to ford creek to reach camp. Walker Park Stock Camp also rebuilt. Due to repeated water damage from Grizzly Creek, Grizzly Creek Stock Camp has been permanently closed--stock use Walker Park.

3/31

Pacific Crest Trail North (Bridge Creek Trail)

Bridge Creek Trailhead: 4640'

Hiker, stock

Snow.

2012, bridge 1 mile south of SR 20 replaced with a temporary foot bridge and stock ford. Stock must ford Bridge Creek twice between Hwy 20 and Fireweed Stock Camp.

The Maple Creek foot bridge has been removed for the season. Fording can be very challenging or impassable during large rain events.

3/31

Pacific Crest Trail South (Old Wagon Trail and Agnes Creek Trail)

1700' - 2300'

Hiker

Snow.

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

3/31

Panther Creek

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

Hiker only

Snow. Panther Camp was rebuilt in 2012 and is 3.7 miles from the trail head. New bridge built in 2013 over Panther Creek.

3/31

Park Creek Pass

Trailhead (Stehekin)2300', Pass 6100'

Hiker, stock

Snow. Foot log over Park Creek at Two Mile Camp in 2013. Trail is not recommended for stock due to crossing of Park Creek at Two Mile--no safe horse ford and many large down trees.

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

3/31

Purple Creek / War Creek

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

Hiker, stock

Snow.

Summer: Last water source from Stehekin is at Purple Creek at 2 miles. Campfires are not allowed at Juanita Lake Camp--STOVES ONLY for COOKING.

3/31

Pyramid Lake

Trailhead 1100', Lake 2600'

Hiker only

Snowfree at trailhead, but expect to hike into snow within 1/2 mile.

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

3/31

Rainbow Creek (Stehekin)

McAlester Pass 6000'

Hiker, stock

Snow.

3/31

Rainbow Lake

Rainbow Lake 5630', Bowan Pass 6200'

Hiker, stock

Snow. Trail not recommended for stock north of Bowan Pass. Two boulders may impede stock travel on switchbacks above Rainbow Meadow.

Must ford Bridge Creek at South Fork Camp. The ford runs very high in spring (impassable). Assess after heavy rain events, and turn back if unsafe.

3/31

Rainbow Loop (Stehekin)

Elevation 1200' to 2200'

Hiker, stock

Snow. Hikers use caution as blow downs are common due to 2010 wild fire.

3/31

Sourdough / Pierce Mountain

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

Hiker only

Snow.

2013: 50+ down trees en route to the camp/lookout. Water not available until reaching Sourdough Creek. Dropping down to Pierce Mountain, cairns mark the trail along the ridge. Flagging marks the trail below the ridge through brushy trail sections.

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).

3/31

Stetattle Creek

Trailhead at 900'

Hiker only

Expect possible patchy snow. 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.

3/31

Stiletto Spur / Stiletto Peak

4000' to ~6100'

Hiker, stock

Snow. Stiletto Peak Trail: many down trees. Trail fades out in meadows at ~6100'.

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

Stiletto Spur: Not passable to stock. The foot log crossing over State Creek (near the junction with Bridge Creek Trail/PCT) is not recommended for use. Ford instead.

3/31

Stehekin River (Stehekin)

1200'

Hiker only

No recent report--trail often floods during high water events. Trail access is from south end of Stehekin airstrip.

3/31

Summit Trail (Stehekin)

Juanita Lake 6800', high point 7440'

Hiker, stock

Snow.

3/31

Thornton Lake

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

Hiker only

Snow.

Getting to the campsites from the ridge; the trail to lake is steeper than most trails and can be very slippery when wet or icy. Just before crossing the outlet, the trail drops through a small boulder field, and there is one 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 for camping June 1 - Nov. 15. Stoves only, no fires!

3/31

Thunder Creek

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

Hiker, stock

Snow.

Bridge over creek at Skagit Queen is a hiker only foot log. Closed to stock at this point--there is no safe ford. The upper crossing of Thunder Creek (just before Thunder Basin Stock Camp) requires a ford--do not cross at high or unsafe water levels.

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

3/31

Thunder Knob

1200' to 1875'

Hiker only

Patchy snow. The first 1/4 mile the trail suffered damage in 2013 floods. The creek has changed course and footlogs are unusable. Crossing the creek is a wet ford and may not be suitable for small children. Use caution when crossing fast flowing water.

3/31

Upper Stehekin Valley Trail

(old road from Bridge Creek Camp to Cottonwood Camp)

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

Hiker, Stock

Snow.

3/31


Did You Know?

Did You Know?

Stephen Mather Wilderness comprises 93% of the North Cascades National Park Service Complex. About 400 miles of trail provide access to this rugged Wilderness.