Explore North Cascades - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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snowshoeing
3 days ago

Lots of snow once you leave the forest. Ended up putting on snow shoes. Turned around before descending into the meadow. To much snow, breaking trail most of the way and ran out of day light. Road is rough coming in so plan on an extra 1/2 hr just to dodge pot holes.

Amazing hike! As others have said, snow on the trail very early on and got to knee deep at the top of the pass. We went on a clear sunny day and lucked out with gorgeous views.

I wouldn’t go too much later in the season as I suspect the trail with be harder to follow with the snow cover-come prepared.

Also a word of warning, the snow was falling off the trees in the undergrowth-so much so that we had our rain gear on for the first hour. So just be wary and bring rain gear.

Yeah yes! I did this trail is incredible it’s very hard I feel proud of my health, on the top it was a big snow you must need snow shose, , the view is amazing, Good Luck for everyone!!!

hiking
16 days ago

Rained off and on with snow on trail about 4,000 ft. About 8" or so deep the last hour of hiking. Wished I'd had my boots and not trail runners. Beautiful hike! Rain cleared out and the clouds moving in and out made more some dramatic scenery.

The hike to Monte Cristo is easy. Once you pass the old mining town, hiking becomes a little more vertical and difficult. Very beautiful and worth the trek.

hiking
19 days ago

this was probably one of the hardest hikes i’ve done. it starts out flat for about a mile and then it’s just straight up the entire way. when you think you’re almost there you have about another mile to go. the basin was beautiful and gorgeous and while we were up there a person fell off the ledges of the hike and had to be airlifted out of there so i really suggest being careful when you’re up there! the hike kicked my butt but it was beautiful!

We went to the summit. It was hard, as the difficulty states. To get to the summit if Mt Forgotten is a little longer than stated here and involves some scrambling on loose rock.

Beautiful hike, to say the least! Breathtaking almost the whole way, In one way or another.Kicked my butt though.

hiking
26 days ago

Had a great time hiking this trail - a lot of fun going up through the pass, and scrambling up to the summit. Some tricky footing with rocks most of the hike. We got a super late start and finished out the last 20 minutes of the hike with headlamps after leaving the summit around 4:30. Amazing views, definitely worth the climb. There is a lot of discrepancy on distance - I think the hike is probably longer than 7, and in the very least is a lot slower than a typical 7 mile hike because of the terrain.

trail running
1 month ago

Super rocky, but super gorgeous. First mile and a half you lose about 1,000 feet then flattish for a short bit then gain about 1,000 to the lake. Incredible view being that close to Shuksan!!

Wow. I have done “hard” hikes and I didn’t expect anything like this. Most challenging hike I have ever done. Straight up the whole way and scaling rocks for a mile. But wow the views are amazing and totally worth it!!

hiking
1 month ago

The last mile is very hard but the views are amazing.

hiking
1 month ago

October 14, 2018: Trail starts off through endless, viewless switchbacks through the forest. The trees eventually give way, but so do the switchbacks! Well above treeline the trail just goes straight up; it's like the trail builders said screw this. Saw a bunch White-Tailed Ptarmigans stomping around on the snow field just before the summit. Gorgeous views, with Shuksan and Baker fairly close.
No snow yet.

hiking
1 month ago

We stopped at random and found this trail off the highway. We only hiked about 2 miles in and had to turn back due to time issues- but those 2 miles were filled with beautiful forest scenery.. something from a fairytale. Those 2 miles I would list as moderate hiking- note we didn’t hike the whole trail.

1 month ago

Nice. Met pikas and a black bear

Really enjoyed hiking this trail on Monday with my brother and friend - was a pretty wet day for the hike but we made the best of it and it stopped raining at the summit long enough to grab a bite. As others mentioned you have to look carefully for the cairns and flags - especially near the summit. Used this app’s gps feature to get back on trail at one point near the summit.

trail running
1 month ago

Hiked/ran this trail for the first time on Sept. 29th. Trail wasn’t super crowded. We saw maybe 10 other people, a few on horses. No bugs today. The weather was a bit crisp, but the fall colors when we came out of the trees at the top were stunning! Nice view of Mt Baker as well. Lovely trail. Distance was pretty spot on with my gps watch. I’ll definitely do it again if I’m back in the area.

backpacking
1 month ago

Absolutely awesome. This one definitely fits the bill for "hard" I think. I recommend planning an entire day here, or camp overnight at the top. Perfect balance of enjoying the forest but with a ton of scenery of the surrounding peaks throughout. Some of the parts, the trail isn't very visible but still easy to know where to go. I can't wait to do it again!

trail running
1 month ago

A beautiful but difficult hike. Planned on 10 miles as some of the reports indicated, but it turned out that AllTrails is accurate. I got 6.8 miles on my Garmin watch. I trail run several of these Mountain Loop hikes, and am very confident this one is about 7 miles long from the trail head. This does not diminish the fact that this is a difficult hike though. Give plenty of time to complete it. The benefit of this hike are the views most of the way up. You could really cut it short at any point after mile 2 and you would still get your fill of the beautiful terrain. Headlee Pass is an experience worth the pain of getting there. 20 or so switch backs in a small gap.
Many portions of the trail are over rock fields, we got off trail a few times, but as long as you understand the big picture of the hike, it’s not hard to get back. Overall the trail is in really good shape, and well worn.

9-10-18 The sign at the trailhead says 3.2 to the top, however the top is not the top but more half way, there is another 3 miles to the actual summit. Took us 6 hours to hike. According to our Fitbit it was 13 miles Round trip . It was raining and not too slippery absolutely beautiful and lots of blueberries and huckleberries!! Absolutely a must do hike. Will do again on a nicer day. Pack warm clothes!!!

hiking
2 months ago

This is more difficult than it looks on paper. Only 2500’ but requires a lot of focus on your feet with all the rocks. Zero bugs and 72 degrees, absolutely perfect. Still plenty of water for your pooch, but beware of the cute Pica - they are endangered so don’t let your dog chase them.

Allow lots of time for pictures and videos. Arrived at 8:30 am on a Thursday and already a dozen cars in the lot.

Road is chip seal so easy driving - parking lot is paved. No outhouse.

backpacking
2 months ago

Breathtaking views, I'll never forget!!

hiking
2 months ago

A great hike. Absolutely worth the panoramic views you get! We completed the hike in around 6 and half hr with lot of breaks for taking pictures and lunch at the lake. Pro tip: Start early so you get more time to spend at the lake :)

Incredible!! Everyone must do this one at least once!

backpacking
2 months ago

A 50 lbs pack on this hike was a real leg burner but worth it. We camped 2 nights and 3 days. The downside is that we got stuck in a constant rain+wind storm for 2 days and couldn’t see more than 30 feet in front of us. The the views were of a gray cloud that we were stuck in. Upside, bears and bugs don’t like that weather so no run in’s, ha. I have an inReach Garmin and kept holding onto hope for Monday, our last morning, since the weather report kept updating at 0% chance rain. It did finally blow out and I’ll admit, seeing that happen was almost worth the storm. Once the sun finally pierced through the clouds, it was amazing. Then it took about an hour for the cloud cover to blow away and reveal why the North Cascades are my favorite. Photos don’t do it justice, you just have to come and see for yourself. Just don’t be a jerk, pack out what you pack in and no fires. The plant life up here is like a PNW rainforest. It’s gorgeous and there are also tons of wild blueberries around. We got to spend 3 hours exploring around which was great. We all had tent fever pretty bad and needed to stretch out minds and our legs. I’m just happy we were able to see the endless sea of Cascades before heading down. We were also stoked that we didn’t have to scramble down wet and muddy rocks. I will say that the scramble area is way longer than posted on here. It wasn’t constant but there were scrambles for the last mile. Some of them were so high that my full pack top touched what I was climbing. Trekking poles and hiking boots are a must, and not worn down hiking boots, you’ll need good outsoles. Also, the split from Barlow trail to Gothic Basin happens a little before what’s posted on here. The original trail is unsafe, looked like a tree fell through. They made a new trail to connect over, just follow the wooden sign that says “Gothic Basin” and ignore your preloaded maps. I use OnX, it lets you preload high resolution maps for offline use. They’re better than my Garmin maps. Definitely bring a bear canister or ursack. There was a warning sign saying they “strongly discouraged camping” at Barlow pass, which is the trail you begin on. Apparently it’s a bear hangout and the trial head where you park, bears have gotten into vehicles and aren’t easily scared off. So while Gothic Basin isn’t Barlow pass, they share the same parking and part of the trail and it’s still bear country. So be smart. Do your research and enjoy the view! It’s worth every bit of leg burn.

hiking
2 months ago

We hiked from the Lake Ann trailhead to the lake and then took the offshoot trail to the Lower Curtis Glacier. Adding the extra bit was an extra mile or so each way, and took us 2 extra hours, by my estimate. The glacier trail was easy to follow for the first 2/3, but then became more of a scramble over rocks and boulders on questionable trail to get to the actual glacier. Worth it, but a LOT of work.

Excellent yet strenuous trail. Views at the top were phenomenal. Mileage is not accurate, as this trail was 11+ miles round trip. The exact one-way mileage was 5.67 miles, according to my watch’s GPS.

Trail ran this today. Similar to what the other reviewer said, biggest regret was not bringing a tent. The basin is pretty awesome. Hard to describe and pictures don’t do it justice. Hike was smoke free, bug free. Super steep at times so be prepared to have your legs burning. Kind of like Mt . Si but 3 miles longer. First 2 miles are flat and easily runnable. Hiking poles and hiking shoes are a must. Trust me. I post photos of my hiking adventures on instagram under “adventuringKR”. One final note, this hike is 30 miles from cell service so download some offline maps and get a lot of gas before you get there.

hiking
2 months ago

Only regret is not bringing our tent. Take your time, and bring hiking poles if you’re unsteady on your feet. Plan on hanging out in the basin for a while!

Very nice and extra hard trail however well worth the view all the way to the lake

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