Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Outside Hiking Guide

Hiking Guide

WTA's hiking guide is the most comprehensive database of hikes in Washington, and comprises content written by local hiking experts and user submitted information. All data is vetted by WTA staff. This resource is made possible by the donations of WTA members.

We respectfully acknowledge the lands we are visiting are the homelands of Indigenous tribes of the Pacific Northwest, some of whom have reserved treaty rights on these lands. Tribes continue to rely on and share in the management of these lands today. Please tread gently and treat these places with respect.

Results List

147 Hikes
Mine Road Trail

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
4.0 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 650 ft.
Rating:
Average rating:
3.76
(21 votes)
A nice afternoon hike near Darrington up an abandoned road to an old mine.
 
 
Circle Peak

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
16.0 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 2800 ft.
Highest Point: 5983.0 ft.
Rating:
Average rating:
1.80
(5 votes)
A lovely-but-rough hike that uses established trail and old logging roads, the Circle Peak Trail has seen a lot of maintenance from the Darrington Ranger District in the past several summers. Please note that the trailhead is currently inaccessible due to washouts on the White Chuck Road.
 
 
Gothic Basin

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
9.2 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 2840 ft.
Highest Point: 5200.0 ft.
Rating:
Average rating:
4.54
(98 votes)
Rough and tumble is the trail, just like the miners that constructed this path. Though not always easy, the ascent to Gothic Basin, has tremendous rewards. Early on, one simply meanders along side the relentless South Fork of the Sauk. Quickly though this trail will turn to a no-nonsense bee-line to the basin with waterfalls, flowers, and views of the surrounding mountains to keep one distracted. The ultimate rewards come to those who have enough strength to explore the basin after the ascent.
 
 
Youth-on-Age Interpretive Trail

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
0.25 miles, roundtrip
Rating:
Average rating:
2.67
(6 votes)
Trail closed: The presence of hazard trees has led to the decommissioning of this site. Please refrain from parking or dispersed camping here
A paved interpretive trail on the Mountain Loop Highway near Verlot. Perfect for exploring children, curious adults, an extra add-on after a longer hike, or a leg stretch during a driving tour of the area.
 
 
Image Lake via Miners Ridge

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
31.8 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 4400 ft.
Highest Point: 6000.0 ft.
Rating:
Average rating:
4.25
(8 votes)
Trail Closed: The Suiattle River Road is closed just west of the Downey Creek Bridge until October 6 2021 due to forest fire damage.
Hike along a Wild and Scenic river, up a rugged ridge, and to a mirror-like iconic lake in Glacier Peak wilderness. This is a long hike, best done as a backpack, but it's absolutely worth the days you invest to explore here.
 
 
White Chuck Bench

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
5.0 miles, roundtrip
Rating:
Average rating:
2.93
(15 votes)
Hike a beautiful, flat 2.5 mile walk in the woods along the White Chuck River. The trail has been cleared its entire length thanks to WTA trail crews.
 
 
Boulder Lake

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
6.0 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 1960 ft.
Highest Point: 4980.0 ft.
Rating:
Average rating:
3.00
(2 votes)
Boulder Lake is a brilliant, azure gem set deep within a stunning cirque of metamorphic cliffs, but to reach it you will need perseverance.
 
 
Boardman Lake

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
2.0 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 300 ft.
Highest Point: 3050.0 ft.
Rating:
Average rating:
3.52
(21 votes)
The trail to Boardman Lake is one of the most accessible hikes along the Mountain Loop Highway, offering old-growth forest and a two-for-one lakeside opportunity. If you are willing to hike a mile or so in with marginal elevation gain, you can find yourself marveling at peaceful azure waters deep in the verdant backcountry of the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest.
 
 
Whitehorse Trail

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
27.0 miles, one-way
Highest Point: 1200.0 ft.
Rating:
Average rating:
5.00
(1 vote)
The Whitehorse Trail runs for 27 miles along an old railroad grade, connecting the towns of Arlington and Darrington. The route generally follows Highway 530 and the North Fork Sauk River as it approaches the cascade foothills.
 
 
Del Campo Peak

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
11.0 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 4200 ft.
Highest Point: 6610.0 ft.
Rating:
Average rating:
5.00
(6 votes)
A scramble to Del Campo Peak from Gothic Basic. Class 3 or 4. Technical expertise required.
 
 
Silver Lake - Monte Cristo

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
11.0 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 2000 ft.
Highest Point: 4350.0 ft.
Rating:
Average rating:
4.40
(5 votes)
Visit the remains of an old mining town in a basin surrounded by high peaks. Climb to Silver Lake nestled under the steep side of Silvertip Peak with good camping and good views of surrounding peaks.
 
 
Monte Cristo Ghost Town

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
8.0 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 700 ft.
Highest Point: 2800.0 ft.
Rating:
Average rating:
3.86
(28 votes)
Hike to an old mining town by heading up a long-closed road along the South Fork Sauk River. This route largely sticks to the old route taken by miners over a century ago.
 
 
Peek-a-Boo Lake

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
5.0 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 1500 ft.
Highest Point: 4350.0 ft.
Rating:
Average rating:
3.38
(8 votes)
Enjoy a swim in a nice quiet lake surrounded by forest. Due to the narrow road, lack of spectacular scenery and few campsites, this lake does not get as many visitors as other hikes in the area do. The trail receives little maintenance so it is a bit rough, but it is easily followed.
 
 
Beaver Lake

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
4.2 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 100 ft.
Highest Point: 1000.0 ft.
Rating:
Average rating:
3.33
(15 votes)
Discover this quiet ramble along the wild Sauk River as you follow the site of an old railroad grade. The trail will take you over a sturdy bridge across small Beaver Lake. End your hike at a scenic spot by the river and eat lunch with views of surrounding peaks. This is an especially good hike in the winter and early spring when the leaves are off the trees.
 
 
Crystal Lake

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
4.4 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 350 ft.
Highest Point: 4500.0 ft.
Rating:
Average rating:
3.20
(5 votes)
A relatively easy hike to a tranquil mountain lake.
 
 
Lake Kelcema Snowshoe

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
10.0 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 1600 ft.
Highest Point: 3182.0 ft.
Rating:
Average rating:
3.00
(3 votes)
For a more strenuous snowshoe, head out to Deer Creek and the Lake Kelcema trail. From the parking area, the route proceeds up Deer Creek Road (Road 4052). Watch out for tubers and sledders on the lower portion.
 
 
Forks of Canyon Creek

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
3.8 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 1400 ft.
Highest Point: 2400.0 ft.
Rating:
Average rating:
3.67
(3 votes)
 
Road Closed: The 41 Road is closed here, necessitating a 4-mile road walk to access this trailhead
A primitive, difficult to navigate trail switchbacking downhill to the confluence of the forks of Canyon Creek, hence the name. Now situated behind the road closure on the Road 41 system, this trailhead is inaccessible by car.
 
 
Pass Lake

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
1.0 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 300 ft.
Highest Point: 3900.0 ft.
Rating:
Average rating:
3.75
(4 votes)
 
This trail goes through old-growth timber and meadows, eventually ending at 2.4-acre Pass Lake. This nine-foot-deep lake offers fair fishing.
 
 
Twin Lakes - Monte Cristo

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
17.2 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 2939 ft.
Highest Point: 5300.0 ft.
Rating:
Average rating:
5.00
(2 votes)
Take a nice long walk up the old Monte Cristo Road grade and stop by the townsite on your way. Rougher terrain begins on entering the Henry M. Jackson Wilderness area, and past Silver Lake, the trail becomes difficult to find. Trek along a steep mountain-side before finally cresting the ridge to look down on Twin Lakes and make the steep descent to the camp sites.
 
 
Kelcema Lake

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
1.2 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 29 ft.
Highest Point: 3040.0 ft.
Rating:
Average rating:
4.11
(9 votes)
This short hike to a lake in the Boulder River Wilderness is a great trail for families.
 
 
Saddle Lake via Meadow Mountain

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
21.0 miles, roundtrip
Rating:
Average rating:
4.50
(4 votes)
 
Saddle Lake is along the route that accesses the Three Fingers Lookout. It requires an 8-mile road walk before the 2.5 miles to get to the lake. There is no camping allowed at this lake.
 
 
Goat Flats

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
25.0 miles, roundtrip
Rating:
Average rating:
3.00
(6 votes)
 
Goat Flats is part of the route used to access Three Fingers Lookout.
 
 
Kennedy Hotsprings

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
Rating:
Average rating:
3.40
(5 votes)
 
Formerly a popular hot springs site, Kennedy Hot Springs were buried in a 2003 flood. They are now inaccessible.
 
 
Mount Higgins

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
18.0 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 4700 ft.
Highest Point: 4849.0 ft.
Rating:
Average rating:
2.90
(10 votes)
 
A summit outside of Darrington without an official trail system.
 
 
Downey Creek

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
13.2 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 1280 ft.
Highest Point: 2400.0 ft.
Rating:
Average rating:
2.75
(8 votes)
Trail Closed: The Suiattle River Road is closed just west of the Downey Creek Bridge until October 6 2021 due to forest fire damage.
This trail provides access to Bachelor Creek Trail, Bachelor Meadows, Cub Lake and the Dome Peak area.
 
 
Sulphur Mountain

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
10.0 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 4200 ft.
Highest Point: 6000.0 ft.
Rating:
Average rating:
3.40
(5 votes)
Trail Closed: The Suiattle River Road is closed just west of the Downey Creek Bridge until October 6 2021 due to forest fire damage.
This trail has a brutal elevation gain in a short time, but the views from the peak of Sulphur Mountain are worth the climb.
 
 
Sulphur Creek

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
3.6 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 900 ft.
Highest Point: 2250.0 ft.
Rating:
Average rating:
3.57
(7 votes)
Trail Closed: The Suiattle River Road is closed just west of the Downey Creek Bridge until October 6 2021 due to forest fire damage.
Not the easiest hike, but the reward is a hot springs if you are persistent.
 
 
Squire Creek Pass via Eight-mile Trail

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
5.4 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 2350 ft.
Highest Point: 4107.0 ft.
Rating:
Average rating:
4.17
(6 votes)
Cascading waterfalls from the numerous streams and the frequent tarns located along the way make this an enjoyable hike. Mountain goats are known to frequent the area. During the late summer, ripe huckleberries can be found at the pass. But it comes at a cost -- a steep scramble on an unmaintained trail.
 
 
Old Government

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
4.0 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 300 ft.
Highest Point: 2400.0 ft.
Rating:
Average rating:
2.40
(5 votes)
 
This is a pleasant, short, lowland forest walk, accessed in Barlow Pass, the popular jumping-off point for locations like Monte Cristo and Gothic Basin.
 
 
Marten Creek

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

 
6.6 miles, roundtrip
Gain: 1400 ft.
Highest Point: 2800.0 ft.
Rating:
Average rating:
2.90
(10 votes)
Follow an old mining route through quiet forest near Darrington. This trail hasn't seen much maintenance in recent years, so it may require some route-finding experience to visit.