Trail Conditions

Bridge on Thunder Creek Trail
Thunder Creek Trail

L. Lieberman

8/19/18
Smoke continues to impact most areas of North Cascades National Park Service Complex from local and adjacent wildfire activity. Fires in the Okanogan Wenatchee National Forest are producing significant smoke causing trail closures on the Boulder Creek Trail (including spur to Boulder Butte) and South Pass Trail (from McAlester Pass), as well as many adjacent Forest Service trails to the east of the complex. A fire ban is in effect throughout North Cascades National Park Service Complex and an air quality alert is in effect.

We recommend checking local air quality indices when trip planning to avoid smoke-related symptoms. Trails are becoming dry and water is sparse in certain areas. Though most wildflowers have peaked at this point, berries are becoming ripe! Bugs have significantly declined in the last week and nights are becoming cooler as we head into the fall season.

Access to Hozomeen by vehicle from Hope, B.C. remains closed due to wildfire activity ten miles north of the border in British Columbia. Hozomeen campground remains open to those accessing from Ross Lake to the south.

If you are planning a wilderness trip, 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.

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

(Stehekin)
Trailhead at 1700', trail's end 2000'
Hiker only
Open

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
7/16/18: Trail cleared from Highway 20 to Beaver Pass. Confusing section of trail just beyond 39 Mile Camp. Beaver Pass is snow free.

Boulder Creek

(Stehekin)
Trailhead 1200', Purple Pass 6800'
Hiker, Stock
8/18/18
Trail Closure: Trail is closed from Rainbow Loop trail junction to War Creek Pass due to Crescent Mountain Fire.


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

(Stehekin)
Trailhead 1500'
Hiker, Stock
Open

Cascade Pass /
Sahale Arm/
Horseshoe Basin

Trailhead 3660', Cascade Pass 5400', Sahale Glacier Camp 7600'
Hiker only
No Pets
No Hunting
8/10/18: Snow free and clear to Cascade Pass. Water is becoming sparse on the trail. Pelton Basin Camp is snowfree. Please stay on the main trail and avoid cutting switchbacks to protect the vegetation and prevent trail erosion. Berries are ripening!

Sahale Arm:
Snow free. Running water at Sahale Glacier Camp and 1/4 mile below. Please stay on the main trail and avoid double tracking.

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

(Stehekin)
Trailhead 1200', leaves park at 2500'
Hiker, stock
Current: Upper sections snow covered. Ford of Company Creek is difficult with an abundance of snowmelt.

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
8/8/18: Copper Ridge trail snow free and clear of down trees; 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. Ten down trees on the north end of the ridge, easily passable.

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: Snow free.

Backcountry permits required for overnight stays at Stiletto Lake; dogs not permitted.

Desolation Peak

Trailhead 1605', Lookout 6108'
Hiker only
7/12/18: Snow free to Desolation Lookout.

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

Devore Creek

(Stehekin)
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
Current: 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. Estimated time for reopening is early August.

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
7/24/18: Snowfree to Easy Pass. Trail clear of down trees.

The Fisher Creek Trail crosses a slide area a mile or two from Junction Camp. A temporary narrow trail exists across the slide. Caution - contains significant exposure. Several trees down, easily passable.

Flat Creek

(Stehekin)
1700' - 2000' Current: expect snow.
Trail becomes progressively brushier as it goes up the drainage.

Fourth of July Pass

Thunder Creek 1200', 4th of July Pass 3500'
Hiker only
8/4/18: Clear and snow free to camp. 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

(Stehekin)
Trailhead 2200', ridge 6600'
Hiker, stock
Current: Open and clear.

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
8/2/18: Snow free. 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
OPEN

Hidden Lake

Trailhead 3700', Hidden Lake: 5700', Hidden Lake Lookout: 6,700'
Hiker only
Pets not allowed in the National Park
8/18/18: Trail is snowfree to the lookout. The hike to Hidden Lake has no established trail and requires rock scrambling. Poles helpful.

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. Wildflowers in bloom!

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

(Stehekin)
Elevation 1200'
Hiker, stock
In good shape. Bear and rattlesnake sightings are common.
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.
7/20/18: Little Beaver Camp to Stillwell is brushy in sections. Stillwell to Whatcom Pass: several trees down and brushy sections. Whatcom Pass is snowfree.

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
8/18/18
Trail Closure: South Pass Trail is closed from McAlester Pass junction to South Pass/Forest Service Boundary due to the Crescent Mountain Fire. This includes the Dee Dee Lakes Cross Country Zone.


8/18/19: McAlester Pass trail is open and clear. A few down trees easily passable and water is still flowing in creeks throughout the trail.

McGregor Mountain

(Stehekin)
Trailhead 1700',Heaton Camp 7000'
Hiker, stock
7/4/18: clear of trees and snow to 6,400 ft.

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: Snowfree. Trail brushy in places.

Lookout Mountain (USFS): General: 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: Open and clear.

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 8/18/18: Open and clear.Trail can be dusty in spots. Wildflowers in bloom, bugs out! Water sources are still running and avilable.

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: Clear with good water sources still available. Very dusty! 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: Trail is snowfree and clear of down trees to Park Creek Pass. 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
Trail Closure: Trail is closed from the Imus Trail junction to War Creek Pass (including the Boulder Butte spur trail) due to the Crescent Mountain Fire.


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
Open

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

Rainbow Creek

(Stehekin)
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 Open and clear. A few snow patches remain on the north and south side of Bowan Pass, no technical gear required.

General conditions: Must ford Bridge Creek at South Fork Camp. The ford is currently mid thigh deep. Turn back if unsafe.

Rainbow Loop

(Stehekin)
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

7/16/18 Patchy snow on ridge. Sourdough Camp is snow free. Pierce Mt trail rough in places with several trees down.

General Conditions: The ridgeline trail can be difficult. 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: Snow free and open. A few down trees easily passable and 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

(Stehekin)
1200'
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

(Stehekin)
Juanita Lake 6800', high point 7440'
Hiker, stock
8/8/18
Trail Closure: Trail is closed from Purple Pass to the Forest Service Boundary due to the Crescent Mountain Fire.

Thornton Lake

Trailhead 3000', ridge above lake is 5000', Thornton Lake 4500'
Hiker only
8/19/18: Clear to Thorton Lake.

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.

7/24/18: Snow free and clear to Park Creek Pass. Brushy in sections throughout Thunder Basin. The ford of Thunder Creek is knee deep and swift.

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: August 19, 2018

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Mailing Address:

810 State Route 20
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284

Phone:

(360) 854-7200

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