Trail Conditions

Fresh snow on Johannesburg Mountain
Fresh snow on Johannesburg Mountain October 2018

L. Lieberman

Heavy snow has blanketed the high country, and there is potential for heavy rain or snow at lower elevations at any time. Winter recreation in the park offers a unique opportunity for challenge and solitude, but be prepared before setting out. Storms may bring downed trees, flooding, trail washouts, and avalanche hazard. Route-finding skills are necessary once the trails are snow-covered. If you are planning a trip to the wilderness during the winter or spring, be sure to check the weather forecast, snow level, and driving conditions beforehand, and leave a detailed itinerary with a friend or family member, including the date and time you plan to exit the backcountry.

All seasonal trail crews and wilderness rangers are furloughed during the winter season, so updates to trail conditions are rare. The trail conditions listed in the table below represent the last known status, but please note that conditions can change. Please e-mail us if you have trail conditions to report.

Backcountry permits: Backcountry permits are required year round for all overnight stays in the backcountry and can be self-issued during the winter. Check out the Wilderness Trip Planner page for permit details and 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.


Closures and Notices

Thunder Creek Flood Damage 2018 Impacts:
Bridge at McAllister Camp washed out during high water.
There is currently no bridged access over Thunder Creek to McAllister Hiker Camp.
East Bank Ross Lake Trail: Closed to stock beyond May Creek due to a trail collapse on the north end of Devil's Cliffs.

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.
Trail Name Elevation &
Trail Type
Reported Conditions
Agnes Gorge
Trailhead at 1700', trail's end 2000'
Hiker only
Baker River Trailhead at 800', trail's end at 900'
Hiker only

General: 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
9/1/18: Trail cleared from Highway 20 to Stillwell. Confusing section of trail just beyond 39 Mile Camp.
Boulder Creek
Trailhead 1200', Purple Pass 6800'
Hiker, Stock
Trail open

Lower sections burned in 2010 Rainbow Bridge Fire and the 2014 Lone Mountain Fire; the trail can be dry and dusty. Blowdowns are common on this trail due to past forest fires.
Brush Creek
(to Whatcom Pass)
Whatcom Pass: 5055'
Hiker, Stock
7/20/18: Brushy in sections, routefinding required 1/4 mile north of Graybeal Camp.

Hard sided food storage canisters strongly recommended at Whatcom Camp due to limited tree limbs and high animal activity.
Bullion Loop
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
9/29/18: Clear of down trees to Cascade Pass. Expect snow. High bear activity, be vigilant! Please stay on the main trail and avoid cutting switchbacks to protect the vegetation and prevent trail erosion.

Sahale Arm:
Please stay on the main trail to protect the fragile meadow.

Doubtful Creek ford is ankle deep.

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

Horseshoe Basin: Brushy and muddy in places. The trail was last brushed in 2017. Upper trail to mine site is not maintained and crosses scree slopes, use caution when traversing loose rock. No camping in Horseshoe Basin.
Company Creek
Trailhead 1200', leaves park at 2500'
Hiker, stock
Current: A few down trees in NPS section, expect rough conditions in FS section.

General: Must ford Company Creek at 5 mile. Trail is obscure south of Hilgard Pass and difficult to follow due to damage from 2015 Wolverine Fire.
Copper Ridge Copper Lookout: 6260'
Hiker only
10/1/18: Clear of down trees; expect winter conditions. Hannegan road damaged in fall floods - no access to parking lot. Parking limited along road. No bridge over the northern crossing of the Chilliwack River and Indian Creek. Ford depth varies greatly depending on rain or melt off events, and may be impassable in early season or after significant rain events. Reconnecting with the trail requires route finding skills.

General: 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). Trail can be 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
7/20/18: Clear of down trees.

Backcountry permits required for overnight stays at Stiletto Lake; dogs not permitted.
Desolation Peak Trailhead 1605', Lookout 6108'
Hiker only
8/31/18: Expect winter conditions.

Summer: No water source at Desolation Camp once snow has melted. Food storage canisters required at Desolation Camp June 1 - Nov. 15.
Devore Creek
NPS boundary at 2000'
Hiker only
Current: Open

General: Trail south of Ten Mile Pass (to Hilgard Pass) is obscure and difficult to follow due to 2015 Wolverine Fire.
Diablo Lake Trailhead 1200' - max. 2000'
Hiker only
Current conditions: Open and clear.
East Bank /
Hozomeen Lake
Trailhead 1800', Hozomeen Lake (highest pt.) ~2900'
Hiker, stock
9/30/18: Several trees down after Roland Creek. Closed to stock animals beyond May Creek due to a trail collapse on the north end of Devil's Cliffs.

General: Roland Creek can be a wet ford during periods of high stream flows. Hozomeen Lake Camp is closed from April 1 to May 31 for nesting loons.
Easy Pass / Fisher Creek Trailhead 3700', pass 6400'
Hiker only
9/30/18: Trail clear of down trees to Easy Pass. Downfall between Fisher and Cosho camps.

The Fisher Creek Trail crosses a slide area a mile west of Junction Camp. A temporary narrow trail exists across the slide. Caution - contains significant exposure. Several trees down, easily passable.
Flat Creek
1700' - 2000' Current: expect snow. Brushy in places.
Fourth of July Pass Thunder Creek 1200', 4th of July Pass 3500'
Hiker only
9/22/18: A few down trees on the way to Fourth of July Pass. Only water source is Thunder Creek and at camp.

No campfires allowed--please bring a camp stove if planning to camp at Fourth of July Camp.
Goode Ridge
Trailhead 2200', ridge 6600'
Hiker, stock
Current: Expect winter conditions.

In 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
9/9/18: Road damaged just before trailhead, prohibiting entry into parking lot. Parking limited along road.

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
Hidden Lake Trailhead 3700', Hidden Lake: 5700', Hidden Lake Lookout: 6,700'
Hiker only
Pets not allowed in the National Park
9/10/18: The hike to Hidden Lake has no established trail and requires rock scrambling.

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. 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
7/30/18 Trail is brushy in places, especially higher up.

General: Trail is not maintained on a regular basis, some sections can be overgrown, eroded and rough in some places. No water along trail.
Lakeshore Trail
Elevation 1200'
Hiker, stock
In good shape.
General: High rattlesnake activity, particularly on sunny days. Ticks common in spring and early summer.
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.
8/31/18: Little Beaver Camp to Stillwell and Whatcom Pass is brushy in sections.

General: 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.

Food 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

8/18/19: Expect winter conditions.
McGregor Mountain
Trailhead 1700',Heaton Camp 7000'
Hiker, stock
7/4/18: Expect winter conditions.

General: 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
7/27/18: Trail brushy in places.

Lookout Mountain (USFS): 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
8/2/18: Brushy in sections.

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 9/24/18: Two logs block stock access 1.5 miles west of Hideaway 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
8/19/18: Clear. Active bears, please store food appropriately.

Old Wagon Trail: open and clear

Agnes Creek Trail: Cleared to USFS boundary.

South of the Park, in the Glacier Peak Wilderness (USFS): No current report. 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.
Panther Creek Trailhead 1800', Panther Camp ~2000', Fourth of July Pass 3500'
Hiker only
Open and clear.

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
8/1/18: Expect snow. Brushy in sections.

General Conditions: 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. 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 rough trail tread.
Purple Creek / War Creek Trailhead 1200', Purple Pass 6900', War Creek Pass 6500'
Hiker, stock
8/18/18 Open and clear.

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

Please help protect the Natural Research Area. CAMPING and FIRES not allowed at Pyramid Lake or along Pyramid Creek.
Rainbow Creek
McAlester Pass 6000'
Hiker, stock
7/23/18 The Rainbow Ford bridge is installed. Water from the ford is on the trail below the ford. Many trees down between Rainbow Ford and Bowan camp.

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
7/23/18 Expect winter conditions.

General conditions: Must ford Bridge Creek at South Fork Camp.
Rainbow Loop
Elevation 1200' to 2200'
Hiker, stock
Current conditions: Cleared and in good shape. A new hitch rail is installed at the upper trailhead.

General Conditions: 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. Trail from Bench Creek to Stehekin can be dry and dusty.
Sourdough / Pierce Mountain Trailhead at 900', Sourdough Camp at 5055'. Lookout is at 5968'
Hiker only
9/11/18 Expect winter conditions. Pierce Mt trail rough in places with several trees down.

General Conditions: The ridgeline trail can be difficult to follow. 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
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
8/18/18: A few down trees, brushy in sections.

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: General - 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
Hiker only
Current: The trail is flooded and impassable 1 mile from Weaver Point.

General Conditions: 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
Juanita Lake 6800', high point 7440'
Hiker, stock
8/8/18 Trail open.
Thornton Lake Trailhead 3000', ridge above lake is 5000', Thornton Lake 4500'
Hiker only
11/09/18: Snow at higher elevations.

General Conditions: 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
2018 Update: Thunder Creek Bridge at McAllister Camp washed out during high water in fall of 2017. There is currently no bridged access over Thunder Creek to McAllister Hiker Camp.

9/1/18: Clear to Park Creek Pass. Brushy in sections throughout Thunder Basin.

General: Ford of Thunder Creek north of Thunder Basin Stock can be high or impassable during spring run-off or after heavy rains.

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
Open and Clear.
Upper Stehekin Valley Trail
(old road from Bridge Creek Camp to Cottonwood Camp)
Bridge Creek Camp (2200') to Cottonwood Camp(2800')
Hiker, Stock
Current: Open, brushy in sections.


Last updated: November 9, 2018

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Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284


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