PCT: WA Section J - Snoqualmie Pass to Stevens Pass is a 70.3 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Snoqualmie Pass, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. Dogs and horses are also able to use this trail.
Directions from Skykomish: Drive east on U.S. Hwy. 2 to the summit of Stevens Pass. Continue to the residences just east of the ski area and on the south side of the highway. Turn right into parking area just east of residences. The trailhead is located near the southeast corner of the parking lot.
Section J is a trail for in-shape, experienced hikers. They're not kidding when they say that it's over 13,000 feet of elevation gain and 12,000 feet of elevation loss. This part of the Cascades is very verticle. You'll encounter a lot of switchbacks, scree, tree fall, and overgrown trail. Along with this is the most amazing scenery anywhere on earth. There is plenty of water, even in drought. Use a filter for lake water, but streams are clean above trail. You'll see glaciers, animals, beautiful wildflower fields, and deep forest.
Went back in from Hwy 2 headed south. No snow! I hiked to Lake Susan Jane, had some lunch and hiked back out. Trail is in excellent shape. I ran into three guys hiking the State of Washington from the Oregon border. Gave them a ride to the Hiker's Haven in Baring. They said the trail all the way from Oregon is open, a few spots of snow at the higher elevations but nothing real serious.
I put on the backpack and hiked in south from Stevens Pass. Time to get back in shape, and I wanted to see how far I could get. I made it in about 1.8 miles before the trail became impassable due to the snow. Before that I lost the trail a few times as it entered larger snow fields. The trail in in great shape, seems to have had some recent love as a couple of downed trees had been cleared.
I plan to go back up late July for an overnight, will report back.