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North Cascades National Park

Hidden Lake Peak Trail

Hidden Lake Peak Trail is a steep 4.5 miles (one way; 7.2 km) day hike or overnight backpack. It offers magnificent views, a high mountain lake, and an historic fire lookout. It is also an access route for climbers entering the Eldorado/Triad area. Snow remains on sections of the trail and the lake stays frozen until late summer.

USFS Road #1540, Sibley Creek Road, leaves the Cascade River Road 10.2 miles (16.4 km) from State Route 20. This 4.5 mile (7.2 km) road is moderately steep and prone to washouts. The Northwest Forest Pass si required for parking at any national forest trailhead and some National Park Service trailheads. It can be obtained at any ranger station.

Forest to Flowers
The trail climbs for 1 mile (1.6 km) through the forest before entering Sibley Creek Basin at the base of Hidden Lake Peak. The trail switchbacks through avalanche and flower meadows, and may cross recent mudslides. Look for the icy dome of Mt. Baker to the northwest. A long, open traverse angles through meadows and talus slopes to a saddle overlooking Hidden Lake. From this 6600' (2000 m) saddle there are sweeping views of the North Cascades, including the Cascade Pass area. An additional .5 mile (.8 km) hike down a boulder field leads to the lake.

Hidden Lake Peak Lookout
The 6890' (2100 m) lookout cabin is .5 mile (.8 km) from and 300' (90 m) above the saddle. If snowy, this pitch may require an ice axe and climbing experience to negotiate. The lookout, built in 1931, is no longer used for fire protection but is maintained by a volunteer group under an agreement with the US Forest Service and is open to the public.

Subalpine Vegetation
During the short summer season, the meadows below the lookout are alive with color and sound. At this elevation, summers are short and intense. Watermelon snow, a type of green algae, colors the snow fields red. Look for glacier lilies blooming through snow edges.

Watch for Ptarmigan and water pipit in the subalpine and near Sibley Creek. Observe migrating hawks and eagles near Sibley Pass during autumn. Listen for the piercing whistle of marmots sunning on rocky slopes.

Hikers enter the National Park at the saddle before descending to the lake. Travelers must follow cross-country regulations: group size is limited to six; camp at least a half mile from trails, a mile from designated campsites, and 100 feet from rivers, lakes, and streams. Fires are not allowed in this fragile subalpine zone. Be cautious, plants grow by the inch but die by the foot.

Pets and firearms are prohibited in the National Park. Information and permits are available at the Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount (360-873-4500 ext. 39). A permit (no charge) is required for all overnight stays in the backcountry. Washington State fishing regulations apply. Rangers have maps and current information to assist you in planning a safe, fun trip.




For Additional Information Contact:

North Cascades National Park
2105 State Route 20
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284-9394
(360) 856-5700


For more information visit the National Park Service website