Twisp Pass (Dagger Lake) Trail

[W]e have a profound, a fundamental need for areas of wilderness - a need that is not only recreational and spiritual but also educational and scientific, and withal essential to a true understanding of ourselves, our culture, our own natures, and our place in all nature.
–Howard Zahniser, author of the Wilderness Act

Distance - one way Elevation gain Use Difficulty
SR 20 to Twisp Pass: 7.6 miles (12.2 km) SR 20 to Fireweed Camps - 1000 ft (305 m) loss
Fireweed Camps to Twisp Pass - 2400 ft (730 m) gain

Hiker and stock


Twisp Pass via Twisp River Road (USFS): 4.7 miles (7.6 km)

2464 ft (751 m) gain

Hiker and stock Moderate
Dagger Lake
View from the shores of Dagger Lake.


The Dagger Lake Trail leads to a shallow lake set in a backdrop of peaks, and a 6064 foot (1850 m) pass with good views and excellent fall foliage colors. Day hikers approach from the east via US Forest Service trails, while the western approach is longer and usually requires backpacking. Stock parties can ride in from either direction. Fishing is popular. Hikers can explore the area around the pass, including deep and rocky Stiletto Lake to the north.

Special Concerns:

  • Pets and hunting are not allowed in the national park.
  • Stiletto Lake is closed to stock use.
  • Mosquitos enjoy this area as much as humans. Bring repellent and long sleeves in bug season.

Backcountry Camping: A backcountry permit is required for all overnight stays. Permits are limited. There is both a hiker and a stock camp near the shores of Dagger Lake. Cross-country travel and camping are allowed at Stiletto Lake, at least one mile distant from Dagger Lake. Campfires are not allowed at Stiletto Lake--please help protect this lake basin by bringing a camp stove.

Access via State Route 20: Drive SR 20 to mile 159, just east of Rainy Pass. The parking lot is located on the north side of the highway. To access the trail, cross the highway and look for a short connector trail that takes you to the main trail, Bridge Creek (Pacific Crest) Trail. This is a USFS trailhead and parking requires a Northwest Forest Pass or federal recreation access pass, available at any ranger station.

Access via Twisp River Road: From the town of Twisp, follow the Twisp River Road almost to it's end, and park in the signed area 0.4 miles before Road's End Campground. A Northwest Forest Pass or federal recreation access pass is required to park, and is available at any ranger station.

shootingstar Twisp Pass Trail
A shooting star in bloom along the trail.

NPS / Chelsea Gudgeon

Wilderness logo of wolf howling at moon.
Ninety-three percent of North Cascades National Park Service Complex is designated as the Stephen Mather Wilderness, set aside by law for "the American people of present and future generations" for our protection and enjoyment. Please follow all Leave No Trace hiking and camping practices to reduce your impact on this special place and leave it unimpaired for future generations.

Last updated: September 1, 2021

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810 State Route 20
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284


360 854-7200

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