Cascade Pass and Sahale Arm Trail

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North Cascades National Park

Cascade Pass and Sahale Arm Trail is a 10.9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Rockport, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September.

Distance: 10.9 miles Elevation Gain: 3,858 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

muddy

rocky

snow

no dogs

NOTE: As of May the road leading up to the trail is experiencing full or partial closure due to COVID-19. Please beware you may need to park 5 miles prior to the trailhead and hike on a closed road. The first several miles of this hike were some relatively easy switchbacks. The wildlife is beautiful and you may see marmots, mountain goats, a black bear, pica, mule deer, and grouse.

hiking
rocky
scramble
snow
5 days ago

8/22/19 One of the most beautiful views available of the North Cascades on a clear day. Definitely do not do this trail until July or August unless you’re planning on some technical climbing towards the end. The glacier was unreal and the last scramble/hike up to the top, about .5 miles, is brutal, but the view keeps you going. Snow at the top in August, and the weather changes fast that high up.

12 days ago

Lil update: (05/16/2020) 5 miles before reaching parking lot/trailhead there are chains and warning Sings preventing cars from continuing down the forest service road. (Due to COVID19)Even if you can somehow get around this in your vehicle, there are several more locked gates 2 and 3 miles in so I’d recommend just parking. The road to the trailhead is a gorgeous hike in itself and its 10 miles round trip with essentially no snow. Roughly a quarter mile from the parking lot is when snow begins and there’s very clear signs of past avalanches rolling over the road. The parking lot is buried in snow and if you do not have gps you’re going to have a hard time staying on the intended trail. The snow is relatively easy to walk on but we did not feel comfortable continuing on due to the rain, the certainty that we were alone if something went wrong, and our lack of confidence in staying on the trail. Still a great morning and beautiful views. Be safe.

hiking
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

It’s a bucket list hike. Get a permit to camp, LNT. Best campsite I’ve ever been to. Grab a walk up at marble mount a day before, get there at 6am.

hiking
6 months ago

Hands down one of the most gorgeous hikes I’ve been on.

hiking
rocky
7 months ago

This was the most excruciating, demanding yet most rewarding and amazing trails that I have ever done... the first half of the trail was pretty smooth and easily doable till the cascade pass lookout... further out on the way to sahalie arm glacier, it started to be pretty steep and rocky which made it quite difficult a climb without poles... hence poles are highly recommended!!!! It was one of the amazing and wonderful views that I have ever seen and experienced which takes your breath away!!

hiking
muddy
snow
7 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Many gentle switchbacks to get to the pass. Many great views along the way. Once at the pass omg. Then to the arm. Many grueling switchbacks but once up again omg. Worth the effort.

hiking
muddy
rocky
snow
8 months ago

Hiked this trail 9/23, took a total of 8 hours with plenty of rests and a lunch break. Unfortunately we had bad luck with the weather- it was foggy/cloudy the entire hike, so there weren’t many views to see. The weather on the Sahale Arm portion was very intense, with sleet, ~60?mph winds, and most likely sub 40 degree temps. We did see a bear, Wolverine, pikas, grouts, etc. which was neat. The trail was quiet, we only saw 6 other groups of hikers the entire time.

hiking
muddy
rocky
8 months ago

Hiked yesterday September 20. Foggy and clouds beyond the Pass so no great views. But some nice ones in the morning with low clouds at The Pass. Went to 6635 feet up, about 5 miles in. Turned back since nothing to see. Trail up to the Pass is mostly long, easy switchbacks with some flat near the Pass. Made it to the Pass in 1:48. Trail beyond the Pass (follow Stehekin signpost for Sahale Arm, then almost immediately turn for Sahale Arm at another signpost) is mostly steep and very rocky in two areas. Don’t miss the junction at Doubtful Lake Trail on your way back to the Pass. Nice hike, would like to return in clear weather. The access road is lots of washboard with some big potholes in spots. About one hour drive. Total time hiking (to 6635 feet, 5 miles in) with lots of pictures and lunch: about 4.25 hours. Descent time was 3.5 hours (from 6635 feet, 5 miles in) with time for pictures. Saw two bears at the Pass, lots of friendly grouse, marmots and pikas.. Total vertical gain to 6635 foot turnaround was 2983 feet.

hiking
8 months ago

What a beautiful, challenging trail! The switchbacks, although there are many of them, are designed to be long and gradual. There were a lot of soft spots and some mud in the switchback section. The rest of the trail was great...except for the last 1/4 mile. Could not make it to the end due to all of the snow covering the boulder field. I think hiking poles would have helped although it was still just really slick and hard to tell where your foot was going (snow was fresh and there were no footprints marking the trail). Saw a bear in the meadow near Doubtful Lake. And many marmots, pikas, ground squirrels and a hawk of some sort. And blueberries galore (sooooo delish)! Took 5 hours & 20 minutes to hike 13 miles. Hiked fast, but stopped a few times for pictures and to chat with people. No real “rest” though.

5 star views!

Great.

hiking
8 months ago

PHENOMENAL TRAIL. So many highlights -- panoramic view of waterfalls everywhere you look for 180 degrees, stunning alpine meadows, fresh mountain blueberries off the bush, a fun boulder field to climb, a glacier. All this more than compensates for the access road being the worst road I've driven on, and the never-ending switchbacks at the beginning (and end) of the hike.

hiking
8 months ago

This trail offers amazing views right from the parking lot all the way up. It did get cold and windy quickly as we kept climbing (in August) so I would recommend bringing lots of layers. The people we passed coming down who had hiked in shorts looked frozen!

This was likely the most eventful hike I will ever do. We knew it was going to rain later in the evening, and thunderstorms at night. The ranger station gave us a good to go and on we went! 9:30am start. We paced pretty quick as I had a surprise for everyone at the top and I wanted to beat the weather. It was sunny and perfect all the way to the top at which, with impeccable timing, it clouded over as we hit camp. We poured a round of cognac for the group and I hit one knee to propose. We hugged, cried, laughed, and then my hair stood straight up along with the sound of crackles and pops. A prompt bolt of lightning struck down just out in front of us. I hit the ground like a bag of rocks, all thoughts left my head and we began frantically packing our bags to head down. I was stunned people were camping up there. I have never been that close to being struck by lightning, let alone actually feeling it. I proposed to my now fiancé and shook hands with Thor. On the way down we ran into bear, got caught in a torrential downpour, and took a photo of a perfect double rainbow.

hiking
rocky
8 months ago

awesome awesome trail. first half was like every washington trail, regular switchbacks through the forest but the views the entire way are incredible. the second half was challenging because of the incline and hiking through a boulder field. seeing the glacier at the end was really cool too. would love do hit this one again sometime.

hiking
8 months ago

Great hike with many views. Road to trail has a few bumps but easily manageable. We got to trail at 7am and there was already quite a few cars at the trail. We saw marmot and one bear off in the distance. Closer to 12 miles but can’t beat the views at the top

bugs
no shade
rocky
8 months ago

What a beautiful hike! First 4 miles are pretty easy but get much harder after that, with the last 3/4 mile being the hardest part. It’s a tough climb but worth the effort. Didn’t see any bears or mountain goats, but we saw a few marmots, mule deer, and grouse. Road up is super bumpy with a ton of potholes. We got through fine in an suv but smaller cars might have a harder time.

hiking
bugs
rocky
8 months ago

Perfect trail to check yourself! After middle of the trail almost no people - take a warm jacket, water and enjoy! As a bonus - fantastic views.

hiking
bugs
no shade
8 months ago

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