Trail Conditions

Snow on Park Creek Pass
Lingering snow on Park Creek Pass. Photo NPS/F. Shafer

July 27, 2020

The North Cascades National Park Service Complex is open for day use and camping. A backcountry permit is required for any overnight use in the park.

The heat is on! Warm and sunny weather is in the forecast, take care of yourself by staying hydrated, wearing sunscreen and limiting your time in the direct sun. Warm weather will hasten snow melt off, so creeks and rivers will be running high as well. Snow is melting off fast but high mountain passes and other areas above 5,500 feet will likely still be snow covered. Even when it is 90 degrees, snow can still linger at higher elevations.

We ask that you bring a mask if you plan to hike in crowded areas. Weekends in July and August are the busiest times of year here at North Cascades, so be prepared for long wait times when picking up a permit at the Wilderness Information Center, we appreciate your patience!

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.

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

Cascade River Road - Cascade River Road is open as of July 12, 2020. Sahale Glacier Camp and the trail up Sahale Arm are now open (July 29, 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
6/4 - Trail to Sulphide Creek camp is clear of snow and trees. Some brushy areas. Trail damage about 1/4 mile in - use caution.

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
7/15 - Ross Dam TH to 39 mile in great shape. Expect bad bugs starting at Big Beaver bridge, and continuing nearly all the way to Beaver Pass. Logjam downstream of the trail at 39 Mile creek is intact and dry. All other creeks were passable without getting feet wet.
Boulder Creek
(Stehekin)
Trailhead 1200', Purple Pass 6800'
Hiker, Stock
6/3 - Trail has been cleared to just above Rennie camp

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.

8/7/19: 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
07/29- Sahale Glacier Camp and the Sahale Arm trail are both open.
Trail to Cascade Pass is mostly snow free except for a small snow patch right before the pass. About 10% of the trail is snow covered on the way up to Sahale Glacier Camp. All 6 sites are melted out at Sahale Glacier Camp. There was at least one small stream running (plenty to fill a pot or bottle quickly) at Sahale Glacier Camp in the afternoon. The trail down to Doubtful Lake is very muddy, a bit steep, slippery, and ~20% snow-covered still.

Trail down from Cascade Pass to Pelton Basin is snow free, all the tent pads are melted out at the Pelton Basin Camp. The Cascade Pass, Pelton Basin, and Sahale toilets are melted out and ready to use.
Company Creek
(Stehekin)
Trailhead 1200', leaves park at 2500'
Hiker, stock
6/3- Trail has been cleared to the USFS line

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
7/25 - Some snow remains on the ridge, starting just before Boundary and continuing to the descent to the Chilliwack River. Large amounts of snow remain on the ridge above Egg Lake and on the descent from Copper Lookout to Copper Lake. There is one large section of steep snow North of Copper Lake on the ridge that has a moderate run-out. Good shoes and trekking poles recommended, poor visibility may make route finding challenging in these areas.

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
6/25 – Snow is continuous about 1 mile before the lake. Lake itself is melted out but tent pads, cooking area and toilets are still under snow. Snow continues up to Twisp Pass.

Backcountry permits required for overnight stays at Stiletto Lake; dogs not permitted.
Desolation Peak Trailhead 1605', Lookout 6108'
Hiker only
6/26 - Lower 1/3 of trail has some trees down, all easily negotiable. The trail is snow free to the camp. The tent pads are snow free, and there is snow for water. Above the camp, there is some snow in sheltered spots.

Food storage canisters required at Desolation Camp June 1 - Nov. 15.
Devils Dome Loop Trailhead 2000', high point (Devil's Dome): 7000'
Horse, hiker
6/28 - Landslide a half mile past Glacier Cabin that is passable with difficulty. From there to Devils Park has a few minor blowdowns and brush. Devils Park to Dry Creek Pass is all snow; ice axe and routefinding skills needed. Dry Creek Pass to the Devils Camps on Ross Lake has progressively more blowdowns, as do many hiker camp pathways. (Visitor report)

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
6/3- Trail has been cleared to the USFS line.

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.

Road Closure - The spur road over Diablo Dam is currently closed to traffic. You will need to park your car along Highway 20 and walk across the dam to the trailhead from the highway. Do not block the gate or the road.
East Bank /
Hozomeen Lake
Trailhead 1800', Hozomeen Lake (highest pt.) ~2900'
Hiker, stock
7/17- One large tree down on the trail after Rainbow Point, otherwise trail is clear to the Desolation trailhead.
General: Roland Creek can be a wet ford during periods of high stream flows.
Easy Pass / Fisher Creek Trailhead 3700', pass 6400'
Hiker only
7/19 - Still a little bit of snow below the pass but is easily avoided.Trail is completely melted out on the other west side of the pass. Bridge over Fisher Creek by Cosho camp is out, there are logs across the creek near the old bridge that can be used to cross.

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
7/3 - Fourth of July Pass to Thunder Creek trail is free of downed trees, snow free, and in great shape. Plenty of water along this trail right now

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
7/4 - Trail crews have cleared downed trees.

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
7/25 -The Chilliwack River trail is in decent shape, with a couple dozen down trees and some bushy sections. The ford at the north end of the loop was well marked and approximately thigh-deep, Cable Car in good shape.

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
6/4 - Happy Creek Boardwalk is closed
Heather / Maple Pass
(Rainy Pass)
Trailhead: 5476' - High point: 6650'
Hiker only
7/8 - Consistent snow starts at Heather Pass (~6,000 ft) and continues until the last viewpoint of Rainy Lake (~5600ft). An obvious boot pack has formed on most of the snowed-in section, making travel and route-finding relatively easy, but visitors should still expect to travel on steep/firm snow in places.
Hidden Lake Trailhead 3700', Hidden Lake: 5700', Hidden Lake Lookout: 6,700'
Hiker only
Pets not allowed in the National Park
6/21 - Patches of snow begin when trail exits forest at 4400'. Use caution here as snow bridges with running water underneath are starting to melt out. Route finding skills also needed to connect the trail through snowpatches. Trail completely in snow at 5100'. Ice axes recommended past this point.

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
No recent report

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
6/3 - Trail has been cleared of downed trees.

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.
7/8 - Little Beaver Camp to the junction with the Big Beaver trail has many downed trees and thick brush in spots. There are a couple sections requiring some route finding where the trail crosses stream washouts. Go slow and look around for flagging. Bugs are moderate but likely to increase in the coming days/weeks.

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
7/9 - Log crossing on East Fork McAlester Creek has been damaged but may still be usable at lower flow. Otherwise, the stock ford needs to be used. McAlester Lake, Hidden Meadows and High camps are mostly snow free. McAlester Pass and South Pass are both snow free. Expect downed trees along the way.
McGregor Mountain
(Stehekin)
Trailhead 1700',Heaton Camp 7000'
Hiker, stock
6/18 - McGregor snow level is around 5100' and has been cleared of downed trees.

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
7/26 - Patchy snow begins about 1 mile before Monogram Lake, but the trail is easy to follow and the snow is packed down. Tent sites are completely melted out.

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
7/4 - Trail has been cleared of downed trees to Grizzly Creek camp. The Falls creek crossing after Grizzly Camp is very difficult and fast. Use caution and scout well for a good crossing. Beyond Grizzly Camp the trail is more overgrown and becomes challenging to follow.

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 7/9 - A very assertive bear was reported by NPS staff as sniffing in tents and not easily scared at the Bridge Creek camp. Never leave food unattended and always keep it stored properly!
6/30 - Snow free but soggy for first 4 miles, multiple trail segments were inundated with water runoff. Lots of vegetation over growing many trail segment. Lots of bear scat and sightings along the trail.

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

6/5 - Old Wagon Trail: Trail has been cleared of downed trees to Bridge Creek camp.
Agnes Creek Trail: Trail has been cleared of downed trees 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
6/19 - Trail crew cleared the trail the past week. There was avalanche debris partially covering the trail near a creek on 6/5 but easy to navigate. Lots of bear scats reported near the Panther camp on main trail and not at camp.

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
7/20 Park Creek Pass still holds a few snow fields right at the top. These are easily navigated with trekking poles, micro spikes might be nice. Total snow travel is less than 50 yds and on relatively flat terrain
Purple Creek / War Creek Trailhead 1200', Purple Pass 6900', War Creek Pass 6500'
Hiker, stock
6/3 - Trail has been cleared of downed trees to approx 4500 ft

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
6/1 - Trail clear of snow and debris to the lake. Snow begins on climber route at ~5000 feet

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
7/13 – Trail is clear of snow and expect downed trees beyond Rainbow Ford. Rainbow Ford bridge has been installed.

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
7/9 – One camp is snow free, one is still under snow. Lake is snow free. Bowan Pass still has sections of steep snow that may require trekking poles or an ice axe in icy conditions. The north side of the pass requires some route finding.

General conditions: Must ford Bridge Creek at South Fork Camp.
Rainbow Loop
(Stehekin)
Elevation 1200' to 2200'
Hiker, stock
6/18- Trail has been cleared of downed trees.

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
7/19- A couple patches of snow left just before the Sourdough campsite. Snow is less than 50 % coverage in campsite, but both tent pad area completely melted out and snow free, still quite soggy though. On the way to the ridge there are still a couple patches of solid snow, but navigation is relatively easy. Solid snow on the look out ridge, the highest part of the drifts look like they're probably about 6 feet deep, some rocks have melted out.

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
6/5- Road to trailhead and Diablo town are now open to the public. No recent trail reports, but expect snow starting around 4200'.
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
6/15- Many downed trees on the trail and flooding, crossing of State Creek is challenging.

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
6/5 - Trail has been cleared of downed trees to Cottonwood Camp.

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
7/22 - Trail is snow free and free of downed trees all the way to camp. Camp is now snow free as well. Some snow patches remain up to Trapper's, but all are easily crossed without special equipment

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
7/20 - Ford below Thunder Basin is about 2 feet deep and 15-20 feet across but moving fast. There is a small snow field you have to hike on 0.5 miles before Thunder Basin camp. Rest of the trail is snow free.

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
6/5- Trail is clear of downed trees and in good condition, bridge at trailhead has been installed.
Upper Stehekin Valley Trail
(old road from Bridge Creek Camp to Cottonwood Camp)
Bridge Creek Camp (2200') to Cottonwood Camp(2800')
Hiker, Stock
6/18- Trail has been cleared of downed trees up to Park Creek

Bench Creek Bridge has been installed.

Flat Creek camp is currently closed due to hazard trees.

 
 

Last updated: July 29, 2020

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Mailing Address:

810 State Route 20
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284

Phone:

(360) 854-7200

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