Explore the most popular rock climbing 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.

This is my favorite hike within driving distance to Seattle. I haven’t been since last year but am planning a return this summer. Stunning views. Definitely a climb but not difficult like Lake Serene. ❤️ this hike!

My very favorite hike to do in Washington with absolutely amazing views. I highly recommend this hike!

Great hike! Still a lot of snow. Can almost park at the trail head as of 5/12/18

This must be one of my favorite, if not "the" favorite hike - it has really just about everything: an adventurous drive to the trail-head (more on that later), a forest to start your hike in, a lush mountain meadow, plenty of snow-fields (mid July) all the way to a rock-scrambling part to the lookout at the end. And the views, oh my, the views. Going up, they are beautiful already but once you make it to the ridge that will get you to the lookout, you're in for a real treat. I just wish we had known that it was possible to stay overnight in the lookout - sunset and sunrise must be absolutely stunning from there.
The hike itself is not easy and the last part would be tough for people with vertigo but otherwise we didn't think it was too difficult. It's easily manageable in an afternoon even if you take plenty of time to soak in the views at the top. We saw a bear and a pica rabbit too.
Oh, and I almost forgot, the drive. I saw cars parked at the trail-head that had pretty low clearance, so it must be possible to get there in just about anything but I was really happy that we took a rental 4WD SUV. The forest road is quite steep in places and littered with potholes large enough to break your axle in, so having a higher clearance vehicle comes in handy.
Overall, if there is just one hike you are going to do in this part of the park, make it this one!

hiking
5 months ago

Incredible. Most beautiful hike I’ve ever been on in the US so far.

Hidden lake lookout. Attempt number 3. Success.
It was king of challenge for me, I tried to get to the lookout two times before (May and November), two times in snow, two fails.
The initial plan for today was relax and enjoy snowshoe around Artis Point, but yesterday evening when I was checking reports I found on alltrails.com that somebody put 5 stars for Hidden Lake trail 5 days ago, it was enough for me to change my plans and try Hidden Lake again. Despite great weather I was not sure if I can make it, I still remember how much snow and avalanches was in May, but I decided give it a shot.

Came to trail around 10:30, actually I didn't get to trailhead even on AWD and parked mile or so before TH, 6 or 7 cars already were there. I reached TH in 40 mins and tired, it was difficult to go by snow, decided put on snowshoe after forest part. Forest part was easier, since less snow there, you can do in hiking boots, but gaiters recommended. Met two people going back, they done forest part of the trail and turned back.

Once I reached basin area I starded to follow by ski track, it was not easy, but doable in snowshoe which is a must at this part. I folowed ski track by right side from the stream, when actuall trail goes by left side. There are few avalances already came down, snow looks stable and solid, but anyway pay attention. Clibmed up to second avalanch, which came from the top and turned left to actual trail. Then did couple switchbacks and crossed this avalanch again toward to travers part of the trail. Despite hard and stable snow it was little bit scary to walk by avalnches, but I decided to go, maybe not too smart.

Travers part was very nice and much easier! View was gorgeous, clear views of peaks around, mt Baker, sun, snowshoe. Btw there are some steep slopes on this part as well, I even used iceaxe to go throug it, but as I said I followed by ski track, maybe it possible to find less steep route.

Once I reached end of the travers part I saw many snowshoe footprints at this point I realized that it should be some winter route. Definitely! I've seen many cars but met only two people, and ski track I followed by was few days long.

From this point there are few snowshoe trackы - first is regular trail, second goes to hidden lake peaks. I climbed up by second one, but at this point I did't know that it goes to the peaks, i realized it lated once I got closer. I didn't get to the peak, because it was already 2:30 pm and I had not so much time. I turned right towards to the lookuout, getting closer I've seen some people doing travers by peak to the lookout. In some report guys called this part "do it or die", kind of true :)

So, I reached lake viewpoint, then I took one of the snowshoe track up, travers part to the lookout is very steep, if you will go there you need to be very careful. I put of basket from my right pole and used it as iceaxe, before doing next step I put it deep in snow.

Finally I reached lookout, there were five people and two dogs, they came for overnight. They told me about winter route, it is shorter and much steeper. But! it much safer from avalanch standpoint since it goes through forest and there less snow now. So, if you go tomorrow or before next snowfall you can go by regular route, after snowfal basin area will be risky, but you can try winter route. But as I said it is very very steep espesially at the beginning (from road to lookout)

I took some food and photos and went down by regular route. Yeah, views were just awesome!

On my way back I met three people going up, they came by regular route as me. So, I tool winter route back, first half was easy, since I went down, moderate level of snow, good snowshoe track. Second part was more tough, slopes were much steeper, lots of fallen trees, I lost track little bit, because snow disappeared and I just followed direction to the road. Finally I reache the road, walked down to my car and went home.

Finally I can cross Hidden Lake Lookout trail in my list as completed.

Lots of snow up there. I got to the lake viewpoint but not to the lookout, since I was first on the trail and spent lots of time for trail finding and overall visibility was awful. Poles, gaiters is a must. Snowshoe, spikes might be helpful. Find my report on wta

Northern Cascades at its finest.

Amazing hike! Absolutely beautiful views; definite bucket list worthy. Just be very careful on your way down as there’s no clear trail markings.

My favorite hike in the lower 48!

backpacking
8 months ago

I absolutely loved this hike! We got up to the lookout early so we could secure our spot, but I would have loved to camp out by the lake as well. The lookout is the most maintained and well kept lookout I've been to! I will definitely be doing this hike again.

hiking
8 months ago

Hiked this on Sunday, 15th. It was a gorgeous hike and like others have said, the larches were out in all their glory.

Trail was amazing. A black bear and plenty of Pikas were out on this cold and snowy day. There is about 6 inches (and growing) of snow up top near the forks to both Stehekin and Doubtful lake so I stopped there, if you want discontinue make sure your prepared for snow and weather changes. Was definitely worth it before the road closes! Get out and do it! only took me about 4.5 hrs.

Amazing views throughout. Upper half of the trail had plenty of snow but thankfully hikers before us blazed an easy trail. The snow made the rocks at the top pretty slippery but still manageable at a slow pace. Snow also made it difficult to get to the lookout cabin so we'll have to do that next time!

hiking
8 months ago

What a beautiful day for an adventure! My son (6 years old) and I arrived at the trail head around 10:30am and there were still a few spots in the parking lot. After gearing up, grabbing our dog, and signing in, we made our way up the trail. The first 2/3 are wooded with the remaining portion exposed. There were some parts of the trail that had compact snow and ice, and while they weren't impassable, some sort of traction would be helpful. The larches are out in full force so if you want to see them now is the time.

This hike is the same as Cascade Pass I believe since it includes Sahale Arm and Doubtful Lake. I'm repeating my review here: Beautiful hike! Not sure I would call it difficult but it was certainly steep with plenty of switchbacks. I think maybe the views helped distract me from the steep trail, but I don't recall being completely wiped out from it. Glaciers top all the mountains and you can see large chunks falling away, and hear the glacial runoff stream down the mountains. Very green the whole way with grassy meadows at the top and sections of beautiful red wildflowers. Stay on the trails here so as not to squash these delicate plants. Plenty of marmots and even some deer. I topped out above Doubtful Lake, taking in the panoramic view. Highly recommended hike for anyone who has hiked steep trails before! Bring plenty of water, food, and good hiking shoes.

hiking
8 months ago

Beautiful hike! Not sure I would call it difficult but it was certainly steep with plenty of switchbacks. I think maybe the views helped distract me from the steep trail, but I don't recall being completely wiped out from it. Glaciers top all the mountains and you can see large chunks falling away, and hear the glacial runoff stream down the mountains. Very green the whole way with grassy meadows at the top and sections of beautiful red wildflowers. Stay on the trails here so as not to squash these delicate plants. Plenty of marmots and even some deer. I topped out above Doubtful Lake, taking in the panoramic view. Highly recommended hike for anyone who has hiked steep trails before! Bring plenty of water, food, and good hiking shoes.

Good trail: a bit rooty for the first half hour in the trees.Upper elevations rocky with some side slabs.
Views are amazing. Cool fire Lookout perched at the Peak. Treatable water throughout, including tarns 600 feet lower than the Peak. Snow can be a problem as approach trail climbs a shaded steep valley.

Beautiful lake, fall colors, trail was in great shape. Snowed very lightly up at the lake. I'd rate it easy.

hiking
8 months ago

Incredible. Sunny and blue skies after a light snow fall. Only made it to the glacier as the trail becomes hard to find due to snow (and ranger suggested possibly needing a pickaxe), but the views are unparalleled the entire way up. The road to the trailhead is slow with lots of washboards and some big potholes, but doable. Start early to get up before the fog rolls in.

hiking
9 months ago

We did this trail on a clear, sunny day with moderate temps. After hiking the 36 switchbacks to the pass we continued up the Sahale arm until we could see Doubtful Lake and the glacier above it. We heard from other hikers that a black bear eating berries was visible below the trail but we did not see it. There was a mountain goat and her kid roaming around the pass. The views are spectacular and I couldn't stop myself from taking lots and lots of photos. This was a 'bucket list' hike. 9/14/17

Amazing hike great views!

Amazing!! So worth the hike

hiking
9 months ago

Friday 9-15-2017: My friend, wife, and I hiked to Hidden Lake Lookout. The road to the trailhead is rough. The weather was sunny and the temperature was 42 to 75 degrees. The mountains, glaciers, and the lake were beautiful. There were abundant ripe blueberries around the rock garden. We enjoyed 360 degree view at the lookout cabin. It was a great hike.

Thursday 9-14-2017: My friend, wife and I hiked to Cascade Pass and Sahale Arm. The weather was sunny and the temperature was pleasant 52 to 75 degrees. The mountains, glaciers, and the lake were beautiful. There were abundant ripe blueberries around Cascade Pass. We also saw chipmunks, squirrels, pikas, a deer, a mother and a baby goat. It was a great hike.

hiking
9 months ago

Thursday 9-14-2017: My friend, wife and I hiked to Cascade Pass and Sahale Arm. The weather was sunny and the temperature was pleasant 52 to 75 degrees. The mountains, glaciers, and the lake were beautiful. There were abundant ripe blueberries around Cascade Pass. We also saw chipmunks, squirrels, pikas, a deer, a mother and a baby goat. It was a great hike.

We hiked up on a cold rainy day, but it was nice watching the fog roll in. Scramble to the top is quite steep.

VIEWS! This day hike exceeded expectations. Plenty of water along the trail this day in early Sept. Saw a mountain goat, marmots, and pika, etc. A lot of full sun exposure, so come prepared for that. Stopped at Sahale, did not feel comfortable crossing to go to Quinn Sabe.

hiking
9 months ago

Was an amazing hike! Started at 10am and finished right at 1pm. Also took a dip in the lake, quiet chilly but totally worth it!

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