Skyline Divide Trail

MODERATE 74 reviews
#1 of 14 trails in

Skyline Divide Trail is a 7.7 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Glacier, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
7.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2381 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

snow

Directions from Glacier: Drive east on State Highway 542 for approximately 1 mile, turn right on Forest Service Road #39, Glacier Creek Road. Then turn immediately left onto Forest Service Road #37, Deadhorse Road. Drive approximately 13 miles to the trailhead parking lot.

backpacking
2 months ago

This hike is so incredible! I've hiked it twice now and I'm always in awe! It's fairly difficult due to the steepness and the distance. But once you get to the top, it's all worth it. You forget all the pain and mosquito bites your endured on the way up. That view is so worth it!

hiking
4 months ago

Well intended hike, rain and fog closed us in, great exercise with out a view, will return at a later date

hiking
5 months ago

Astoundingly gorgeous. There was a little snow on the ground starting off in the morning, and by the time I got back in the afternoon the forest had changed completely. I went into a fall hike and came out of a winter hike. You’ll definitely want to bring trekking poles as there’s a small area that’s a fall hazard and you need to tread carefully. Visibility was maybe 600yards or so, and gave a creepy/beautiful winter vibe. The reds and greens of the forest mixed with the white snow are gorgeous.

As far as I could tell, I was the only person out there today (Only car in lot, the only other tracks I saw were rabbits).

Snow is about a foot on the actual ridge. I wouldn’t do this hike without waterproof hiking boots now. In a couple weeks, I imagine you’d want traction devices and gaiters too.

On my way back, there were multiple large downed branches I had to break through or driver over. Sagging plants from the snow brushed against my car where they weren’t before. If you have a 2wd drive car with a paint job you care about I’d wait till the snow clears in the spring.

hiking
5 months ago

Windy and cool, not cold, at the top on 10.29.17. Light snow on the ground, no spikes necessary yet. Phenomenal views of Baker, Shucksan, Table Mtn, Koma Kulshan, and more.

6 months ago

Awesome panoramic view of the Cascade.

hiking
7 months ago

One of the best hikes I've been on. Amazing views once you reach the ridge. There are several knolls to your right, if you keep pushing through them you come right up to the foothills of baker.

backpacking
7 months ago

Super fun hike but once you get above the tree line there's very little shade and no streams, at least I couldn't find any, so make sure your pups have lots of water! Saw a bear too which was pretty cool!

hiking
7 months ago

This was an awesome hike! We left Everett a little after 6 am on and were on the trail about 8:45. This is a hike that you want to get to early in my opinion. The only ones we saw heading down were the ones that spent the night. When it was our turn to head down there were tons of people. This a great place to explore with all the little knolls and such. We made it to the sixth one at about 11:15 ish and were back at the vehicle by 1:30ish. There were bugs but none of them were biting and I didnt even use bug spray.

Sadly there are so may bad drivers on the road. The downhill vehicle as the right of way where as its the uphill hiker that has the right away with another hiker.

hiking
7 months ago

Eclipse day, we hiked through all the knolls. Left trailhead at 5:30 am and saw no one till nearly 8. They were sleeping in tents off the first fork. Ate lunch on the last knoll and then saw a few folks heading up as we went down. Took the dog, it is beautiful up there! No flies until around 10 am and way too many flies on the hike down! Yikes.
10.4 miles

hiking
8 months ago

I came out to Washington from Vermont to do some hiking in the Northern Cascades. I went to Skyline Divide and only hiked about 1.5 miles before having to turn around due to the flies. It was not enjoyable because in order to not have at least 30 bugs swarming, we had to RUN! I would love to come back and try this hike again, but definitely not in these conditions. Not to mention- the smoke also made visibility very poor.

hiking
8 months ago

Amazing trail and great views, except for right now the forest fire smoke is very thick and the horse flys are out en mass.

I have hiked this many times and highly recommend the hike. It's best on a clear day.

The road has been recently been redone and could be suitable for cars, some potholes but passable.

hiking
8 months ago

The road is now passable. I didn't enjoy it in my compact car (4 wheel drive or high clearance would have helped), but I made it. The trail is in good condition (in part thanks to some WTA workers this weekend). There are a number of available side trails, some showing on the topo map, some that don't. I enjoyed going around the endpoint shown on this map to the east and south--beautiful meadows and a great view of Mount Baker. The wildflower-filled meadows are a beautiful complement to the icy peak above you.

The trailhead seemed pretty busy--20 cars when I arrived at 9:45 on a Sunday morning and more than 30 when I left at 1:30. Everyone was pretty spread out, though, and the many view points and side trails meant that while it wasn't solitary, it wasn't crowded.

Dog friendly. Lots of flies.

hiking
9 months ago

Went up June 25th 2017, thinking road would be clear. Trees are still there making it impossible to reach the trailhead.

10 months ago

Impassable trees are blocking the road six miles before the trailhead :(

hiking
11 months ago

Beautiful view of mountains and mountains up there. I could be hike for longer or shorter distance depends on your plan. We finished round trip of 10km in about 4 hours in July.

camping
Thursday, September 15, 2016

Rad place to hike up and stay the night to make the miserable drive up worth while.

hiking
Monday, September 05, 2016

It was a nice hike but very foggy at the top. The road into the trailhead was rocky but we got in no problem with our minivan. I would do it again on a less muggy day. Not a hard elevation at all.

hiking
Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Definitely a beautiful hike, but get ready for a 12 mile drive up a pothole covered road that'll take you anywhere between 1 hour or longer. If you have a sturdy 4×4 vehicle you should do just fine. It was a very gorgeous day when we went so the views were stunning. I was a bit upset I didn't see many wild flowers since a lot appeared to be dried out, but the view of Baker is absolutely amazing. Took us about 7.5 miles roundtrip to do this hike according to my fitbit. I saw reviews that said the trail was very buggy, but it's just flies. I was lucky enough to not experience mosquitos on the trip.

hiking
Thursday, August 25, 2016

beautiful views of baker and Shuksan. it was a longer drive than it was a hike. great camping spots at first overlook

hiking
Sunday, August 21, 2016

Starts with a 12 mile drive up a road that is truly pot hole covered. If you are not in an ATV, then count on 45-55 min to go that 12 miles. Started up the trail and so glad to have bug spray. There are a ton of bugs on this hike. Having the bug spray made all the difference. Don't do this hike without it.
It's a small challenge first couple miles that are mostly up. Once you get done that, you hike the ridge line with stunning views!! Truly worth the climb and the bugs. Mt Baker looked amazing on the bright blue sky. This is a must do hike if you like incredible views.

hiking
Friday, August 12, 2016

Four stars only because it's pretty steep at the beginning and can be buggy. But SO worth it. Once you get above the trees the views are magnificent. The trail continues over a saddle once you've reached the "Wish You Were Here" point, and I didn't think it was worth the extra. There are toilets at the trail head but NO WATER on the trail. Get there early as parking is limited.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Awesome Hike and fairly hilly but to totally worth your time! Lots of flies around so be prepared.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Aug 6-7, 2016 once you turn right onto Glacier Creek road and then take an immediate left, it's s bumpy potholed road, but totally doable for a car. I was pretty cautious with mine so it took about an hour I think to drive the 12 miles. About 15 minutes short of the trailhead a bear cub ran in front of our car… Keep that in mind when you're camping overnight and thinking that you might leave your food in your tent. ;) The trail has a good incline that an overnight pack added had me sweating pretty good. However, 50 minutes later we were already at the first camping option and since it was 9:30pm we set up our tent with the intention to go further the next day. Hiking up we got a glimpse of the sunset and a couple glimpses of the mountains and then everything went behind the clouds. The sky above cleared to show some wonderful starry displays but there was still cloud all around. We woke up at 5:30 am, clouds everywhere. Back to bed, in the morning we were still covered in clouds, our tent and the ground were drenched from the moisture. We regretfully packed up and headed down in about 25 minutes. I will definitely be back for those spectacular views, sunset, sunrise and further hiking when the forecast looks better. Reminder, there is no water source at the first camping area. I heard from others there is a lake a couple hours further. Perk, there was no bugs due to the crummy weather. My 3 stars rating is not really fair considering the weather prevented the 5 star views...

hiking
Sunday, July 31, 2016

Gorgeous trail, the entire way. Lots of potholes on the drive up. We were lucky enough to not have swarms of bugs attacking us.

hiking
Friday, July 15, 2016

Elevation gain moderate for the first mile or so not too bad, my 11 yr old had no problem. Opens up to amazing views at the top. Only a little snow it's almost gone.
More Wild flowers should be open in a week. Adding this hike to my list of favorites.

hiking
Monday, July 04, 2016

Nice, misty, little bit of snow.

hiking
Monday, July 04, 2016

First two miles are rough. It's cold and breezy at the top, so plan to bring an extra jacket... Gorgeous, challenging hike.

hiking
Thursday, June 30, 2016

My friends and I started it around 10:45 and got down at 3:30 we went up to the sixth knoll I believe. The trail got lost under the snow at a certain point after the fourth knoll so we free hiked up a hill instead of trying to cross over the snow and we then found the trail which had split in two. Other than areas of the trail being covered in easily passable snow the trail was damp but wonderful and great! I do recommend you bring and wear sunscreen! Reapply it often! One of the dorks with me didn't wear any and got absolutely toasted! The first two miles are the hardest but just push through and it's all worth it. The wild flowers hadn't quite bloomed yet but we will definitely be back in the next month. Also the road up to the trailhead is a lot of blind turns and big potholes so drive safely and at the speed limit! Also it fails to mention that if you continue onto the knolls it gains a good 4200 feet elevation.

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Slightly intense hike but well worth the beautiful a views of the mountains! We hiked this in the evening, watched the sunset, and did the hike down in the dark with headlamps. Loved every minute.

hiking
Monday, August 17, 2015

While the views to the east were amazing today, the views to the west were occasionally blocked by clouds that were rolling in. As some others have mentioned the first part of the trail you gain about 1,500 feet to reach the ridge line, so I'd consider the trail moderate. But the trail was in pretty good shape, so just go slow and you'll make it. Once you're at the ridge the rest of it is fairly easy. The gravel road to the trail head in was in decent condition, but being on a motorcycle it does becoming challenging on the ascent, where there are more bigger rocks that make traction on two wheels a bit harder. Also, make sure you bring water, there were no water sources at the trail head or anywhere along the trail during my visit.

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