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Sun Mountain Snowshoe Loop

North Cascades

Location

North Cascades -- Methow/Sawtooth
View map below

Length

2.8 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 686 ft.
Highest Point: 2877 ft.

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Pick up the access trail across the entrance road from Sun Mountain Lodge. Look for a sign (it may be partially hidden by a snowplow berm) that says, “Access to Moose and Click a Pic.” The same sign also says that snowshoes are required - Sun Mountain does not allow bare boots on these snowshoe trails.

The access trail leads to the bottom of a hill where you take a sharp left, following a sign that says, "To Moose Trail."  The next junction is just 50 feet ahead, signed and marked by a gate. Go through the gate and take a left onto the Moose trail. 

The Moose trail gets right down to business with a steep descent, then cruises along through open terrain and small stands of trees. Notice that the trail is marked by wooden sticks painted orange at the top, as well as bright flagging. If route-finding becomes difficult, these markers will always show you the way.

After 0.7 mile you’ll reach another marked junction. Take a right onto the Black Bear trail and enter the forest, winding through the woods via gentle ups and downs. This trail shortly leaves the woods to cross an open plateau with amazing views up valley towards Mazama and beyond. Pause a moment to read the sign that names all the peaks in the distance before continuing on your way through another gate that is marked with orange flagging.

At approximately 1.5 miles from the lodge, you’ll start climbing gradually but consistently. At 1.75 miles, you’ll reach another signed junction, where you should take a right to continue climbing on the Black Bear trail. 

The Black Bear trail eventually turns into Click-A-Pic, although the transition is not currently marked. Regardless, you’ll know you’re going the right direction because soon enough you'll see the lodge looming ahead of you. Snap a few final photos of the gorgeous views from the aptly named Click-A-Pic trail before completing the loop and retracing your steps up the access trail and back to your car.

WTA Pro Tip: To get the best views, and to increase the likelihood that the trail is packed down and easy to follow, we recommend going on a sunny day. Although it’s beautiful when the snow is falling, flat light and fresh snow can sometimes make route-finding a bit difficult.

 

Sun Mountain Snowshoe Loop

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.4766, -120.2560 Open map in new window

Trailhead

North Cascades -- Methow/Sawtooth

Methow Trails

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Getting There

From downtown Winthrop, head southeast on Riverside Ave, taking a right over the bridge and then immediately turning right onto Twin Lakes Road for about 3 miles. Take a slight right onto Patterson Lake Road. Follow Patterson Lake road for 6.3 miles to the top. Just before you reach Sun Mountain Lodge, look for a large parking area on your left and park there.

 

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Sun Mountain Snowshoe Loop

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