Trail Conditions

Cascade Pass Sept 26
Snow is accumulating at higher elevations above Cascade Pass, Sept 26. Photo by NPS/J.Bursese

October 21, 2020
Winter is settling in to the North Cascades, with heavy snows blanketing the high country, and the potential for heavy rain or snow at lower elevations. 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 are still required for all overnight trips. In the off season, they can be self-issued outside the Marblemount Wilderness Information Center or digitally by following the Winter Permits instructions on our Backcountry Permits page.

See you in the spring!

 

Closures and Notices

Cascade River Road - Road is closed at the park entrance sign at milepost 18 due to washouts near the Eldorado and Boston Basin culverts. Crews are working to repair the road, but when it will reopen is unknown at this time. (10/19/2020)

Ross Lake Boat-In Sites - Ross Lake level is at full pool, visit the Boating on Ross Lake page for more information.

Bridge at McAllister Camp washed out. Thunder Creek trail is still open, but McAllister Hiker Camp is closed.

Flat Creek Camp Closed - Camp is closed indefinitely due to hazard trees.

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
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail and snow at higher elevations.

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
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail.
Boulder Creek
(Stehekin)
Trailhead 1200', Purple Pass 6800'
Hiker, Stock
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail and snow at higher elevations.

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
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail and snow at higher elevations.

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
10/19 - No recent report. Expect deep snow and winter conditions beyond Cascade Pass. Road is currently closed 5 miles before the trailhead due to a severe washout. Reopening date is not known.
Company Creek
(Stehekin)
Trailhead 1200', leaves park at 2500'
Hiker, stock
10/19 - No recent report.

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
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail and deep snow at higher elevations.

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
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees and snow along the trail.

Backcountry permits required for overnight stays at Stiletto Lake; dogs not permitted.
Desolation Peak Trailhead 1605', Lookout 6108'
Hiker only
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail and snow at higher elevations.

Food storage canisters required at Desolation Camp June 1 - Nov. 15.
Devils Dome Loop Trailhead 2000', high point (Devil's Dome): 7000'
Horse, hiker
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail and snow at higher elevations.

General: Bridge over Canyon Creek is still damaged, hikers must start at East Bank TH or ford the creek if the water level is low enough.
Devore Creek
(Stehekin)
NPS boundary at 2000'
Hiker only
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail.

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
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail and high creek crossings.
General: Roland Creek can be a wet ford during periods of high stream flows.
Easy Pass / Fisher Creek Trailhead 3700', pass 6400'
Hiker only
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail and snow at higher elevations.
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
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail.

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
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail and snow at higher elevations.

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
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail and snow at higher elevations.

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
10/4 - Happy Creek Boardwalk is open
Heather / Maple Pass
(Rainy Pass)
Trailhead: 5476' - High point: 6650'
Hiker only
10/4 - The larches are turning and therefore the trail is busy! Plan to arrive early to the trailhead to avoid crowd or make alternate plans.
Hidden Lake Trailhead 3700', Hidden Lake: 5700', Hidden Lake Lookout: 6,700'
Hiker only
Pets not allowed in the National Park
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail and snow at higher elevations. No fires and bear cans are required. There are no toilets in this fragile alpine environment so remember to pack out your waste!

Road is rough and parking is limited, high clearance vehicle and 4 wheel drive 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
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail and snow at higher elevations.

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
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail.

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.
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail and high creek crossings.

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
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail, high creek crossings and snow at higher elevations.
McGregor Mountain
(Stehekin)
Trailhead 1700',Heaton Camp 7000'
Hiker, stock
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail and snow at higher elevations.

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
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail and snow at higher elevations.

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
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees and snow along the trail as well as high creek crossings.

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 10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail, high creek crossings and snow at higher elevations.

Aggressive bear activity has been reported in all the camps along the PCT, especially Fireweed and South Fork. Remember to store your food and all scented items properly at all times!

Maple Creek Bridge has been installed.

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

10/19 - Old Wagon Trail (PCT) - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail, high creek crossings and snow at higher elevations.

Agnes Creek Trail: Expect recently downed trees along the trail, high creek crossings and snow at higher elevations.

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
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail and high creek crossings.

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
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail, high creek crossings and snow at higher elevations.
Purple Creek / War Creek Trailhead 1200', Purple Pass 6900', War Creek Pass 6500'
Hiker, stock
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail, high creek crossings and snow at higher elevations.

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
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail and high creek crossings.

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
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail, high creek crossings and snow at higher elevations. Rainbow Ford bridge has been removed for the winter.

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 / Bowan Pass Rainbow Lake 5630', Bowan Pass 6200'
Hiker, stock
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail, high creek crossings and snow at higher elevations.
Aggressive bear activity has been reported in all the camps along the PCT, especially Fireweed and South Fork. Remember to store your food and all scented items properly at all times!
General conditions: Must ford Bridge Creek at South Fork Camp.
Rainbow Loop
(Stehekin)
Elevation 1200' to 2200'
Hiker, stock
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail, high creek crossings and snow at higher elevations.

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
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail, high creek crossings and snow at higher elevations.

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
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail, high creek crossings and snow at higher elevations.
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
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail, high creek crossings and snow at higher elevations.

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
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail and high creek crossings.

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
No recent report
Thornton Lake Trailhead 3000', ridge above lake is 5000', Thornton Lake 4500'
Hiker only
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail, high creek crossings and 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
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail, high creek crossings and snow at higher elevations.

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.

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
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail and high creek crossings.
Upper Stehekin Valley Trail
(old road from Bridge Creek Camp to Cottonwood Camp)
Bridge Creek Camp (2200') to Cottonwood Camp(2800')
Hiker, Stock
10/19 - No recent report. Expect recently downed trees along the trail and high creek crossings.

Bench Creek Bridge has been removed.

Flat Creek camp is currently closed due to hazard trees.

 
 
 

Last updated: October 26, 2020

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Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284

Phone:

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