Cascade Pass Trail
The Cascade Pass Trail is a 3.7 mile (one way; 6 km) hike with spectacular views of peaks and glaciers. The trail climbs steadily 1800' (550 m) to the pass. Hikers may explore in several directions from the pass. The Cascade Pass Trail is also a popular starting point for climbing routes to Sahale, Boston, Mixup, and Magic Peaks, and the Ptarmigan Traverse into the Glacier Peak Wilderness. Always carry the "10 essentials". Be prepared for abrupt weather changes. Snow and ice may remain on high slopes well into mid-summer.
This well-graded trail can be hiked, round-trip, in about five hours. It switchbacks through cool forests for 3 miles (4.8 km), then traverses through meadows to the pass. As you reach the pass, you are following the footsteps of travelers from ancient times. Native Americans used this route as a passage through the rugged Cascades. In 1811, fur trader Alexander Ross explored this route. Later, prospectors with dreams of gold and silver came this way.
Before the Basin Creek Bridge, a 1.5 mile(2.4 km) side trail climbs in to Horseshoe Basin, a spectacular steep walled cirque with waterfalls, wildflowers, and an historic mining site. Inspired by the grandeur of this area, the Mazamas, a mountaineering and hiking club, made the first formal proposal for a National Park in the North Cascades in 1906.
To Stehekin Valley
Cascade Pass is in the subalpine life zone, a place of deep snows and brief summers. A show of yellow glacier lilies and other brightly flowered plants quickly follow melting snow. Look for mountain heather, a short, woody evergreen shrub with pink blooms. Although heather thrives in this harsh environment, its brittle stems easily succumb to careless steps.
Look and listen for marmots and pika on rock slopes. Deer, and sometimes black bear, may be seen in meadows. Please help the wildlife stay wild; do not feed them!! Ptarmigan chicks tag along behind their mothers across snow patches. Water pipits play in the glacial streams. Watch for hawks and golden eagles soaring overhead during autumn migration.
Pets and firearms are prohibited in National Parks. Fires are allowed in some low elevation camps where fire grates are provided. Be sure to stop at the Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount (360-873-4500 ext. 39) to pick up your permit, required for all overnight stays in the backcountry. Rangers have maps and current information to assist you in planning a safe, fun trip.
For Additional Information Contact:
Cascades National Park
For more information visit the National Park Service website