Trail Conditions

Whatcom Pass July 2019
Challenger glacier stands on the left and Whatcom Peak on the right, with Perfect Pass in between.
B. Gilmartin

July 18, 2019
This week is forecasted to be hot, dry and windy, great weather for adventuring in the mountains or swimming in a cool river! There has been a lot of animal activity in the park including some bears that have entered into backcountry camps. Make sure you use the proper food storage method for your trip, the Wilderness Information Center rents bear proof canisters which is the most effective way to keep your scented items out of the hands of a hungry bear, marmot or mouse.

If you choose to have a camp fire please check for updated restrictions and burn bans. Better yet, skip a fire altogether and use your campstove. Take in the majestic starry skies and smell the fresh, crisp air of the Cascades!

Make sure you have proper snow travel skills and equipment before venturing onto high elevations and be aware of changing conditions.
If you are planning a trip to the wilderness, 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

Ross Lake Boat-In sites closed until further notice due to low water: Green Point, Big Beaver, Cougar Island, Roland Point, McMillan, Spencers, May Creek, Rainbow Point, Devil's Junction, Ten Mile Island, Ponderosa, Lodgepole, Lightning Creek, Lightning Creek Stock, Cat Island, Boundary Bay, Little Beaver, Silver Creek.
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.
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
06/09/19: Trail in excellent condition and has been logged out to Sulphide Camp.

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
07/19/19: Trail is clear until Beaver Pass, lots of mosquitos!
Boulder Creek
Trailhead 1200', Purple Pass 6800'
Hiker, Stock

06/06/19:Boulder/Purple loop completely logged out. Patchy snow between Reynolds camp and War Creek junction. Some snow in Juanita Lake 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

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
07/12/19: Trail up to Cascade Pass has one patch of snow. Please follow flagging to stay on trail, avoid walking on fragile alpine vegetation. Composting toilet at the pass is melted out! Trail to Basin Creek camp requires a difficult crossing of Doubtful Creek, use extreme caution.

Pelton Basin camps are currently closed until further notice due to bear activity.

Sahale Arm trail is melted out, all of the tent pads at the camp are melted out and the toilet is ready for use. Please no trash in the composting toilet!
Company Creek
Trailhead 1200', leaves park at 2500'
Hiker, stock
Current: Unknown

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
07/06/19: Switchbacks up from Boundary camp are clear, you hit patches of snow after you break out of treeline on the ascent up to the ridge. Trail along ridge to Silesia, Egg Lake and the Copper Lookout is 30-40% snow covered, trekking poles recommended and route finding skills required. Trail down to Egg Lake is mostly snow covered, post holing along the way. All the camps and composting toilets are melted out! Visitors reported that the trail is partially snow covered beyond Copper Lake and brushy and overgrown down to Indian Creek.

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
6/28/19: Trail is logged out and snow free, Stiletto Lake is mostly snow covered.

Backcountry permits required for overnight stays at Stiletto Lake; dogs not permitted.
Desolation Peak Trailhead 1605', Lookout 6108'
Hiker only
07/06/19: Trail is snow free but there is no water on the way up, must fill up at Ross Lake.

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: Unknown

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, some trees down.
East Bank /
Hozomeen Lake
Trailhead 1800', Hozomeen Lake (highest pt.) ~2900'
Hiker, stock
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
07/14/19: Trail is snow free up and over Easy Pass. Lots of wildflowers blooming! Many down trees past Fisher Camp to Junction Camp.

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
1700' - 2000' Current: Unknown
Fourth of July Pass Thunder Creek 1200', 4th of July Pass 3500'
Hiker only
06/07/19: Snow free and clear all the way to Fourth of July 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
5/24/19: The trail has been logged out until the snow line, which is approximately 4 miles up.

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.

Trailhead to Boundary camp is clear of snow, the creeks are running lower than normal this time of year, high creek crossings on Chilliwack trail.

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
07/03/19: Lots of amazing wildflowers in bloom! Trail is snow free until just after the meadows, then there are some large snow patches where trekking poles would be helpful, watch out for postholing. Trail is completely snow covered just below the ridge, but rocky scramble up to the lookout is melted.

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
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.
07/13/19: Trail is in good shape from Little Beaver to Perry, beyond Perry Camp the trail is overgrown and brushy with knee deep water running on parts of the trail. A ranger has put up some flagging along the way to indicate the trail, but map and compass recommended. Whatcom Pass is snow free.

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
06/18/19: Camps are melted out,watch out for ticks, mosquitos and black flies!
McGregor Mountain
Trailhead 1700',Heaton Camp 7000'
Hiker, stock
06/06/19: McGregor logged out to snow (just below 6,000').

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
Current (06/28/19): Trail is clear for the first three miles until the trail splits. A few trees down past the NPS boundary and patchy snow on trail in the subalpine area. Camps and trail at Monogram Lake snow free.

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
5/24/19: Trail has been logged out to Walker Park, pretty consistent snow after the first mile.

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 07/17/19: Bear boxes have been installed at all the camps along the PCT. Fireweed Hiker and Stock Camps are closed until further notice due to bear activity.
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: Open

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
06/07/19: Snow free and cleared of down trees.

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
07/16/19: No snow but be careful on loose rocks on either side of the pass trail.
Purple Creek / War Creek Trailhead 1200', Purple Pass 6900', War Creek Pass 6500'
Hiker, stock
06/06/19: Boulder/Purple loop completely logged out. Patchy snow between Reynolds camp and War Creek junction. Some snow in Juanita Lake camp

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
06/07/19: Snow free and clear of downed trees.

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
Current: Open, Cleared to Rainbow Ford and bridge 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 Rainbow Lake 5630', Bowan Pass 6200'
Hiker, stock
07/07/19: A few patches of snow at Bowan Pass, trekking poles and good boots recommended to kick in steps, otherwise trail is snow free. Bridge Creek river crossing by South Fork camp is challenging in early season conditions. Do not cross the creek at the trail, scout for a wider part of the river to cross. Ticks, mosquitos and black flies!

General conditions: Must ford Bridge Creek at South Fork Camp.
Rainbow Loop
Elevation 1200' to 2200'
Hiker, stock
06/10/19: Trail is clear, few down 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
07/19/2019: Some snow on the ridge up to the lookout.

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
Hiker only
Current: Unknown

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
Current: Unknown
Thornton Lake Trailhead 3000', ridge above lake is 5000', Thornton Lake 4500'
Hiker only
06/19/19: The trail is in good condition up to junction with Trappers Peak, trail to Thornton Lakes camp is steep and loose but the camps are melted out. There are areas of patchy snow on approach to Trappers Peak, trekking poles/ice axe recommended.

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.

07/16/19: Trail between Thunder Basin and Thunder Basin Stock camps is brushy, some down trees on trail slow down travel. Ford of Thunder Creek is difficult mid-day, scout for a location where water level is lower.
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
07/16/19: Trail is clear. Flat Creek camp is currently closed due to hazard trees.


Last updated: July 19, 2019

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