Hike the Cascade Pass Trail

Washington Cascade Pass Trailhead

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This is a breathtaking, 7.4 mile total, out and back hike with 1,800 feet of elevation gain.  This hike offers panoramic views of the Cascade Mountain Range, valleys, glaciers, and passing wildlife. 

The drive to this hike ends in a 14 mile, steep, unpaved road that will require a vehicle with 4-wheel drive to navigate. There is also snow at the end of the trail all throughout the summer, so pack appropriately. The trail head is at the very end of the gravel road, you will not miss it.  Epic views begin before you even reach the trail, mainly in the last few miles of the road.  From the circular parking lot there are immediate views of the Johannesburg Mountain, standing 4,000 feet tall ahead, and several glaciers.  There are outhouses in the parking lot as well. This 7.4 mile total, out and back trip consists of approximately 30 switchbacks and 1,800 feet of elevation gain which begins in a dense forest.  At about the halfway point, the forest clears and there are sweeping views of the valley, the mountains, and several glaciers.  After rounding the final switchback, there is still another mile to go which travels on the cliff side.  After crossing a rock field, you will arrive at the pass and will see a small sign marked "Stehekin," however this town is 30 miles away. From this point you can see Mixup Peak and Magic Mountain, and in between lies the Cache Glacier, all connected to Johannesburg Mountain.  Off near the horizon in the direction you came from, you will see the summit of El Dorado peak and other glacier dotted mountains. There is a bathroom at the top, as well as a semi-circle of rocks good for picnics.  Please pick up food scraps to fight chipmunk obesity. If you choose to continue, the trail climbs another mile up the mountain and another 1,000 feet. You may also encounter wildlife such as deer, pika, marmots, mountain goats, and black bear. 

Pack List

  • Bug repellent 
  • Bear spray 
  • Water
  • Snacks 
  • Sunscreen
  • Binoculars 
  • Camera
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Activities:

Camping, Fitness, Hiking, Photography

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Summer, Autumn

Trail Type:

Out-and-Back

Distance:

7.4 Miles

Elev. Gain:

1800 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Bathrooms
Forest
Groups
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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How to Get There

19 days ago

Amazing Views

I did this hike by myself on a trip to the Cascades last September. I saw a handful of other hikers but had the trail mostly to myself. The views are amazing throughout (starting at the parking lot) but the view from the pass was the best and worth all five million switchbacks. Even saw pikas in the rocks close to the pass.

19 days ago

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