The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) travels from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon, and Washington and is open to hikers and stock groups. About 18 miles of the trail passes through the South Unit of North Cascades National Park. PCT travelers fall into one of three categories:
Beginning in 2020, North Cascades National Park will honor the long-distance Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) hiking permit issued by the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) for camping at specific camps. This is a policy change from previous years. PCTA long-distance permit holders no longer need to obtain an overnight backcountry camping permit for Six Mile Camp and Bridge Creek Camp within North Cascades National Park.
Frequently Asked Questions
What permit(s) do I need to travel on the PCT through North Cascades National Park?
PCTA long-distance permit holders no longer need to obtain an overnight backcountry camping permit for Six Mile Camp and Bridge Creek Camp within North Cascades National Park. All other sites along the PCT in the park still require a separate backcountry permit.
Any hiker without a PCTA long-distance permit must obtain, in advance, a park-issued backcountry permit at designated ranger stations for camping inside North Cascades National Park.
Where, and how, can I get a North Cascades National Park backcountry permit?
Due to COVID-19 related station closures, all PCT hikers seeking a backcountry camping permit should contact the North Cascades National Park Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount by phone at (360) 854-7245 before entering the park to check availability and secure a permit.
NOTE: Many hikers pass through the 18 miles of the PCT within the park without spending the night. If hikers are not spending the night at any camp, a park permit is not needed.
Additional information on traveling through Stehekin:
Camping along the PCT within North Cascades National Park
North Cascades National Park Service Complex is one of the premier "wilderness parks" in the lower-48 states, created in 1968 in the aftermath of the passage of the Wilderness Act of 1964. The permit system is designed to disperse visitors along the trail corridors in order to meet a management goal of protecting wilderness character in the 99% of the National Park that is designated Wilderness. Camping is only allowed at designated sites (no dispersed camping), and permits are limited to the number of sites and site capacity of each backcountry camp.
Where can I learn more about the Pacific Crest Trail?
The Pacific Crest Trail Association website is the central source for PCT information, including planning a PCT journey, trail conditions along the length of the trail, maps and guides, crossing the Canadian border, and volunteering to help maintain and manage the PCT.
Last updated: June 6, 2021