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North Cascades National Park, Washington

Looking for the best backpacking in North Cascades National Park? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around North Cascades National Park. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Backpacking Spots in and near North Cascades National Park

  • Marblemount, Washington

    Terror Basin and West McMillan Spire

    16.98 mi / 8868 ft gain
    The Picket Range is a remote and rugged subrange of Washington's North Cascades. It draws very few visitors per year, and the odds of seeing another human on your adventure are very low. West McMillan Spire is an 8,000' peak located in the Southern Pickets. It is a Class 3 climb involving bot...
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  • Rockport, Washington

    Sourdough Mountain Trail

    5.0
    9.34 mi / 5046 ft gain
    Going east from Newhalem on highway 20, turn off towards the small town of Diablo. There are signs from there on where to park. This hike is very difficult. It is very steep and gains elevation very quickly and right from the start. Once you get above tree line though you are greeted with great ...
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  • Marblemount, Washington

    Thornton Lakes & Trappers Peak

    3.7
    10.57 mi / 3885 ft gain
    To get to your campground or to Trappers Peak, hike roughly five miles along the trail to ridge, where the trail divides. If you head left you'll go down into lake basis where you can drop your gear. Come back to the divide and head right, which will lead you up to trappers peak. Something to ke...
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  • Marblemount, Washington

    Winter ascent of Trappers Peak

    9.78 mi / 3448 ft gain
    North Cascade National Park is home to some of the most rugged and remote mountains in the lower 48 states. Because of this, the area is rarely seen up close and personal in the winter, but there are a few spots where you can see these wild mountains that will defy all imagination. In terms of lo...
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  • Rockport, Washington

    Camping in the North Cascades at Diablo Lake

    4.0
    Diablo lake is the perfect place to camp if you're looking for solitude and natural beauty. It's northeast from Seattle in the North Cascades. Colonial Creek Campground has large camp sites right on the lake. It is first come first serve, however check out is at noon so arrive around 11:30 to sna...
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  • Rockport, Washington

    Backpack to High Camp on Ruby Mountain

    17 mi / 6300 ft gain
    Ruby Mountain is one of the North Cascades more prominent peaks, sitting high above Diablo and Ross Lakes. This trip is one for more experienced hikers with a very aggressive incline from start to finish. If that does not scare you then definitely add this amazing hike to your list. While it can ...
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  • Rockport, Washington

    Backpack to Fourth of July Pass from Thunder Creek

    11.2 mi / 2400 ft gain
    Starting at the Colonial Creek Campgrounds, the trail starts out fairly flat taking you along Thunder Creek for about two miles to the Fourth of July Pass trail head. Once you reach here, the trail begins to climb.Beginning with switch backs, the path straightens out for a while before coming to ...
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  • Rockport, Washington

    Backpack Thunder Creek

    10.48 mi / 1027 ft gain
    This hike along Thunder Creek in North Cascades National Park is perfect for families and beginner backpackers. The trail is at a lower elevation in the park so it is a great early-season hike, but be sure to check with the ranger station for trail and weather conditions before you go. Starting ...
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  • Concrete, Washington

    Anderson and Watson Lake

    5.68 mi / 1165 ft gain
    The drive up to the starting point of the trail to Anderson and Watson Lake was easy, but at the end it gets a little tricky - the service road is sharp gravel and runs for about 10 miles to the trailhead. Some spots are steep and there are large potholes, but slow and steady wins the race. There...
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  • Marblemount, Washington

    Lookout Mountain Trail

    5.0
    9.06 mi / 4610 ft gain
    Beginning about 7 miles down the Cascade River Road from Marblemount, the Lookout Mountain Lookout trailhead is on the north side of the road with parking for about 4-5 cars. With about 4500' elevation gain in 4.7 miles, this hike is definitely a thigh burner. The trail begins with a steep climb...
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  • Marblemount, Washington

    Hidden Lake Lookout

    4.9
    7.39 mi / 3415 ft gain
    Be careful when heading up this 4.5 mile trail since there can be snow coverage into the summer. When you start the trail, you'll get a little tree coverage as you start climbing up. Unfortunately, the shade starts to dissipate after about a mile, where you'll cross over Sibley Creek and enter th...
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  • Deming, Washington

    Climb Mt. Shuksan via The Fisher Chimneys

    Out of all of the ruggedly beautiful, non-volcanic mountains in the Pacific Northwest, Mt. Shuksan is the center piece. Rising to a height of 9,131 feet, Mt. Shuksan is one of the most photographed mountains in the world with its jagged ridges, hanging glaciers, steep rocky faces and ease of acce...
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  • Deming, Washington

    Winter Backpack to Artist Point

    4 mi / 1000 ft gain
    You do need a Northwest Forest Pass to park in the lot overnight. You can buy a day use E-pass online here (pick Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest from the drop down menu) and print it out and it's ready to use. Or you can buy the annual pass here.The adventure to Artist Point begins in the ...
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  • Deming, Washington

    Lake Ann and Lower Curtiss Glacier

    5.0
    11.67 mi / 3241 ft gain
    The trail begins just below Artist Point and is well marked from a paved parking lot. Make sure to have a Northwest Forest Pass for your vehicle. Start your hike by descending on switchbacks through sub-alpine forest. It's a nice start, but remember, that means an uphill hike out. After entering...
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  • Deming, Washington

    Winter Backpack in the Mt. Baker Backcountry

    6 mi / 1500 ft gain
    Arrive at the upper ski resort parking lot (approx. 4300 feet elev.) and snowshoe, skin, or split board up. Make your way toward Artist Point and eventually Huntoon Point, gaining approximately 1500 feet of elevation over approximately 3 miles (one way). Past Huntoon Point, there are several grea...
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  • Deming, Washington

    Winter Backpack to Lake Anne Ridge

    14 mi / 2000 ft gain
    Arrive at the upper ski resort parking lot (approx. 4300 feet elev.) and snowshoe, skin, or split board up. Make your way toward Artist Point and halt at Austin Pass, gaining approximately 1200 feet of elevation over approximately 2 miles (one way). From Austin Pass, turn left (south) to take the...
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