Explore the most popular river trails in North Cascades National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

A late start at 2:45 on a mostly sunny warm day. I only hiked until 5 and then turned around, only because of the late start. This is definitely a strenuous trail, more on the downhill trip. Fantastic views at a couple of places where the trees thin out. I am going to try this trail again and being trekking poles to help on the descent. The pics at the top seem to make the trip worthwhile.

hiking
1 day ago

I did this hike on July 23, 2018. It was a little hot but beautiful sunny skies. One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been is Blue Lake and I’ve been hiking all summer in many national parks. This took me about 3 hours with a lunch break. Definitely a moderate hike for the average hiker. Don’t miss this hike!

8/12:/18 Perfect hike for me and the lake was stunning. Spotted momma and baby mountain goats.

backpacking
3 days ago

Awesome trail. We hiked in to 6-Mile and camped. Good camping at Hideaway and South Fork as well, right in the creek. Plenty of water and berries. Can grab the shuttle to Stehiken at High Bridge.

Great trail home to many mountain goats

8/11/18 Enjoyed this trail from beginning to end. Beautiful scenery of the mountains, glaciers, wild flowers and lake. Its a moderate hike, our walking sticks helped our knees on the way back down. Make sure to wear good shoes We saw a couple of people in flip flops who im sure we’re struggling. There was a black bear on the trail on our return back, about a 10th of a mile from the parking lot.

we went up over the last weekend and there wasn't any snow up there.

hiking
8 days ago

Hiked to Cascade Pass the other day with my sister and dad. It was pretty special because my dad originally did the hike in 1968 - and 50 years later, he was able to do it again. It starts out in the forest in switch backs and then opens up to gorgeous views. After having lunch on the pass, we ventured a little further up Sahele Arm, which was definitely challenging in hot weather! Made it to the lake lookout and cooled ourselves by doing snow angels in some leftover patches. I would love to get back here next summer but quite a drive for me for a day hike - might end up being a backpacking trip! Amazing views, amazing hike. One I will remember forever.

Best hike we've ever done! This hike is really hard being its all uphill pretty much the entire way but the views are totally worth it!

hiking
11 days ago

Easy hike compared to Maple Pass & Cascade Pass that we did. Great recovery day with gorgeous scenery. Stop by Winthrop for a burger and beer after!

Amazing hike with fantastic views. The lake was a lovely sight!

hiking
11 days ago

Fairly easy hike compared to the other hikes in the area. The trail is well maintained and clear. Hiked it on a beautiful August day. Lots of sunshine and good rewarding hike. Beautiful views of the lake at the top Nice views of the mountains along the way! I highly recommend this for all experience levels of hikers. Enjoy!

Best views ever. Worst descent ever.

Hiked yesterday, 8/2/18. Getting into the park around 9:45 AM, the ranger said I best hurry if I wanted to make it to the top before potential cloud coverage that would prevent any views. With this in mind, I hurried over to the trail and made my way up the never-ending wooded switchbacks, occasionally peering out through the trees to see already-impressive views.

Multiple times I figured I was close to getting out of the trees, but the wooded switchbacks were endless and steep. Getting to the creek by the Sourdough campsite, I stopped and filtered some water to keep fully stocked.

This is when the hike really starts getting worthwhile. The views open up to the right down onto the bright, turquoise lake as wildflowers start to populate the fields and the incline tapers off a bit.

A few more switchbacks until the top, and then you are greeted by the most amazing views on every side of the mountain. Glaciers, jagged peaks, rolling clouds, mountain lakes, and even more jagged peaks off on the horizon that made me yell to myself “WHAT ARE THOSE!!!” as I was only sharing the top with one other hiker. You could spend the whole day up there with a set of binoculars picking apart every bit of the scenery.

Now for the worst part. The hike was incredibly steep on the way down too (who would’ve thought), and the return of trees to prevent views really made me hate myself. I made it up in around 3 hours, and ended up only shaving off about 20-30 minutes due to just how painful it was on my knees. USE HIKING POLES TO SAVE YOURSELF.

The views were second-to-none, but the hike down was a special type of hell.

Edit: forgot to mention bugs. Weren’t an issue on the way up, and usually don’t bother me much in general so I never use bug spray. They were a bit annoying for the final stretch on the way down when I started taking breaks - so would probably be terrible for those that attract bugs. No mosquitos, just lots of little gnats and flies.

Hiked on 7/30 during heat wave. Most of the trail is in woods and shaded but there are some expsosed areas. No wildlife sightings because of heat. However, view from Blue Lake is gorgeous! Pack your bug spray and extra water. Very cool to see and hear the glaciers moving above.

We did this as a day hike up to the Fourth of July pass campground and back. It's a steady and steep switchback climb once you separate from the Panther Creek trailhead. I would not recommend the trip as we did it. The views from the campground were not what we were expecting for the work we put in - beautiful, but mostly obscured by trees. I'd imagine if one was backpacking or doing the entire pass crossing all in one go, the views would be better.

hiking
19 days ago

The hike starts out very steep, going through a forested with very few openings for views. Because it is so steep and difficult, it is hard to keep motivated with redundancy of forested switchbacks. Once you come out of the forest, the views are stunning, but the steepness of the hike is relentless. You will cross Sourdough Creek which is very refreshing and a good place to refill water. Then you continue to the top where you will cross some snow fields and hit the lookout. The view of Diablo Lake was perfection, capturing the turquoise color.

My biggest complaint, which is not the trails fault, but the bugs were the worst I have ever seen. We got over 100 mosquito bites each and they did not care what clothing or bug spray we were wearing.

Advice — take your hiking poles. They are super helpful on the way down and will give your knees some ease.

Beautiful hike. We used our hiking poles to save our knees coming back down. Bugs at the top were awful and prevented us from sitting down to relax and enjoy the view. The 360 pano from up top is unreal though.

Great first BIG hike for my 4 yr old son! I grew up hiking this almost yearly! We LOVE seeing the BIG hikers treaking towards PCT! THIS memory is still a pushing permanent desire that my 8 yr old son and I still hold. THAT day atop that endless vastness, BIG TEARS ROLL DOWN HIS FACE, he Whales "I WANNA KEEP GOING WITH THEM!"I promised to take him back....ALL THE WAY! In the meantime let's see what other hikes you can do buddy❤️

hiking
23 days ago

Cascade Pass Trail was absolutely gorgeous! We started our hike around 4PM and got the trail all to ourselves. The climb is pretty steep, with approximately 35 switchbacks leading through beautiful, dense forest. After the final switchback, the trail levels off and you walk out of the forest into views of high peaks, glaciers, wildflowers, marmots, pikas and mountain goats. Would recommend trekking poles because there are several snow fields that you must cross to get to your final destination. Wonderful hike!

Hiked this trail via Thunder Creek TH. Gorgeous and stately old growth forest welcomes you into the inclines about 2 miles in. Trail is steep but well kept, lightly traveled, and cool with shade from the forest. Peek a boo glimpses of the glacier and a small lake add to its appeal.

hiking
26 days ago

My boyfriend and I absolutely loved this trail. We are hiking beginners and there are definitely some steep parts but the views are 110% worth it!

Not too bad of trail but if you come through the Panther Creek trail head, expect some brutal switchbacks to start. I also wouldn't choose this route if you have small children as some of the downhill switchbacks are tight and have steep drop offs.

hiking
29 days ago

Really great views for such a short and fairly easy trail.

Elevation gain is pretty much unrelenting however it seemed to be the steepest to start the hike. If you have ever wanted to hike a mile... up... here is a perfect chance to. Views from the top and steep meadow before are excellent.

on Cascade Pass Trail

backpacking
1 month ago

road closed 3 miles before trailhead, adds quite a bit of elevation gain to the hike. Other than that it was absolutely beautiful!

hiking
1 month ago

Fairly easy hike with beautiful views. Bummed we didn't see any mountain goats but saw some marmots! Definitely recommend.

What the guy said below. The snowfields at the top still have some vertical gain so our poles were helpful but did it in hiking shoes.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked on 7/3/18. This hike is incredibly scenic surrounded by peaks. It has a beautiful meadow with amazing 360 views and lots of wild flowers. We were lucky enough to spot 8 mountain goats, 2 were babies, clamoring down the climbing trail towards us. We also saw a few marmot climbing about the rocks. The lake is beautiful. There were several others hiking this day and I see why it’s a popular trail. That is the only draw back.

Easy Day hike for smaller children. We took our four month old on the trail and it was just the right length, time and elevation gain.

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