Trail Conditions

Snowy trail to Cascade Pass
Fresh snow on the trail towards Cascade Pass, September 29th 2019. Photo NPS/K.Doering

November 6, 2019

Winter recreation in the park offers a unique opportunity for challenge and solitude, but be prepared before setting out. Winter storms may bring downed trees, flooding, trail washouts, and avalanche hazard. Routefinding skills are necessary once the trails are snow-covered. If you are planning a trip to the wilderness during the winter, 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

Ross Lake Boat-In Sites
Certain sites are closed until further notice due to low water: Big Beaver, Roland Point, McMillan, Spencers, Rainbow Point, Ten Mile Island, Ponderosa, Lightning Creek, Lightning Creek Stock, Cat Island, Boundary Bay, Little Beaver, Silver Creek.
Update July 26 2019, the following sites are now open for camping: Green Point, Cougar Island, May Creek, Devil's Junction, Lodgepole. Please stop by the Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount to get a permit for these sites.

Bridge at McAllister Camp washed out. There is currently no bridged access over Thunder Creek to McAllister Hiker Camp.
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
No recent report
Baker River Trailhead at 800', trail's end at 900'
Hiker only
No recent report

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
No recent report
Boulder Creek
(Stehekin)
Trailhead 1200', Purple Pass 6800'
Hiker, Stock
No recent report


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
Graybeal Camp is currently inaccessible to stock.

08/07/2019: Some of the sites at Greybeal camp are washed out, otherwise easy to follow because it was recently brushed.

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
No recent report
Cascade Pass /
Sahale Arm/
Horseshoe Basin
Trailhead 3660', Cascade Pass 5400', Sahale Glacier Camp 7600'
Hiker only
No Pets
No Hunting
09/29/19: A couple inches of snow has fallen on the trail to Cascade Pass during the last snow storm, with nearly four inches accumulating at the pass! High winds and cool temperatures lead to winter like conditions, please be prepared with proper footwear, warm layers and waterproof jackets. Many bear sightings reported in Cascade Pass and Pelton Basin area, please keep your food away from wildlife at all times, including chipmunks! The bridge over Basin Creek has been removed, must ford river.

09/29/19: Visitors have reported snow drifts on the trail up to Sahale arm, with some areas up to 4 feet high. The trail can be difficult to follow in low visibility and high winds and snow can make travel challenging. Please be prepared for winter conditions on the trail up to Sahale Glacier camp.
Company Creek
(Stehekin)
Trailhead 1200', leaves park at 2500'
Hiker, stock
08/07/2019: Trail is closed indefinitely due to the Devore Creek Fire.

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
No recent report

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 one mile east of Copper Lake and the Chilliwack River.
Dagger Lake / Twisp Pass Fireweed 3900', Dagger Lake 5508', Twisp Pass 6100'
Hiker, stock
No recent report

Backcountry permits required for overnight stays at Stiletto Lake; dogs not permitted.
Desolation Peak Trailhead 1605', Lookout 6108'
Hiker only
No recent report

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
08/07/2019: Trail is closed in definitely due to the Devore Creek Fire.

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
No recent report
East Bank /
Hozomeen Lake
Trailhead 1800', Hozomeen Lake (highest pt.) ~2900'
Hiker, stock
No recent report
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
No recent report

The Fisher Creek Trail crosses a slide area a mile east of Junction Camp. A temporary narrow trail exists across the slide. Caution - contains significant exposure.
Flat Creek
(Stehekin)
1700' - 2000' Current: Flat Creek camp is currently closed due to hazard trees.
Fourth of July Pass Thunder Creek 1200', 4th of July Pass 3500'
Hiker only
No recent report

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
No recent report

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
Current conditions:No recent report
General:
Cablecar over the Chilliwack replaced on October of 2019
Trail is passible to stock to US Cabin. Brush Creek/access to Graybeal Camp is currently inaccessible to stock.
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
No recent report
Hidden Lake Trailhead 3700', Hidden Lake: 5700', Hidden Lake Lookout: 6,700'
Hiker only
Pets not allowed in the National Park
11/4/2019: Complete snow cover above treeline. Beware of avalanche danger and exposure.

Road is rough and parking is limited, high clearance vehicle highly recommended.

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
Current: Unknown

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
Current: Unknown
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.
No recent report

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
No recent report
McGregor Mountain
(Stehekin)
Trailhead 1700',Heaton Camp 7000'
Hiker, stock
No recent report

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
No recent report

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
08/29/2019: Trail is very overgrown with brush past Grizzly Creek camp, please try to stay on the trail to avoid fragile vegetation.

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 No recent report.

General: Bears are common along this drainage. Be vigilant about keeping camps clean and use food storage lockers. Report all bear sightings to rangers at any North Cascades National Park contact station

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


Old Wagon Trail: No recent report

Agnes Creek Trail: No recent report

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
No recent report

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
No recent report
Purple Creek / War Creek Trailhead 1200', Purple Pass 6900', War Creek Pass 6500'
Hiker, stock
No recent report

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
No recent report

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
No recent report

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
No recent report

General conditions: Must ford Bridge Creek at South Fork Camp.
Rainbow Loop
(Stehekin)
Elevation 1200' to 2200'
Hiker, stock
No recent report

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
No recent report

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
Current: Unknown

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
No recent report

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
Current: Unknown
Thornton Lake Trailhead 3000', ridge above lake is 5000', Thornton Lake 4500'
Hiker only
No recent report

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.

No recent report
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
No recent report
Upper Stehekin Valley Trail
(old road from Bridge Creek Camp to Cottonwood Camp)
Bridge Creek Camp (2200') to Cottonwood Camp(2800')
Hiker, Stock
No recent report

Flat Creek camp is currently closed due to hazard trees.

 
 

Last updated: November 7, 2019

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Mailing Address:

810 State Route 20
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284

Phone:

(360) 854-7200

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