Hiking Project Logo

Snoqualmie Pass to Stevens Pass on the PCT, through Washington's Alpine Lakes Wilderness


Your Rating: Rating Rating Rating Rating Rating      Clear Rating
Your Difficulty:
Your Favorites: Add To-Do · Your List
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

72.1

Miles

116.1

KM

Point to Point

5,978' 1,822 m

High

2,990' 911 m

Low

16,105' 4,909 m

Up

15,044' 4,585 m

Down

8%

Avg Grade (5°)

46%

Max Grade (25°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Commonly Backpacked · Fall Colors · Geological Significance · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Overview

Washington's Section J is a 70-mile section of the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) between Snoqualmie Pass and Stevens Pass, east of Seattle. This roadless and remote section provides some of the most breathtaking scenery in the state. It passes through glacially carved terrain within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness featuring lakes, ponds, meadows, old-growth pine forests, and spectacular views across the North Cascades. With significant ups and downs, as well as areas where snow may remain in the summer months, this strenuous section is as challenging as it is beautiful. - Overview by Lani Advokat, Outdoor Project

Section Of

Need to Know

Both Stevens Pass and Snoqualmie are popular trailheads and may get crowded on the weekends. Certain passes and permits may be required to complete this section of the Pacific Crest Trail. For specific info about permits and passes please visit the Washington Trails Association website.

Description

This is a point to point segment which requires a shuttle or car drop off in advance. It is an excellent segment for long distance thru-hikers, as well as a wonderful getaway for nearby city dwellers. The trail is suitable for running, hiking, backpacking, and backcountry camping. June through September are the ideal months to visit this area.

Highlights and mileages (Starting from Snoqualmie and heading north)

For more detailed information consult to the following Guidebooks & Maps:
Pacific Crest Trail Oregon & Washington (Jeffrey Schaffer and Andy Selters) - Wilderness Press

Flora & Fauna

Wild flowers, blueberries, huckleberries, salmonberries, a full gamut of wildlife and spectacular old growth forests.

History & Background

This section is sandwiched between two historical routes across the Cascades. Snoqualmie Pass served as a trade route between the Native American tribes of the East and West, providing access to summer hunting and gathering. Stevens Pass became the first railroad passage to make it to the PNW.

Contacts

Shared By:

Hiking Project Staff with improvements by Matt Schonwald

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 6 votes

#1184

Overall
  4.8 from 6 votes
5 Star
83%
4 Star
17%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#85

in Washington

#1,184

Overall
8 Views Last Month
4,741 Since May 24, 2017
Difficult Difficult

0%
0%
17%
17%
67%
0%

Photos

Stunning view of Rainier at sunset. Bring headlamps!
May 29, 2015 near Riverbend, WA
A few rock cairns along the way. Red mountain in the background.
May 29, 2015 near Riverbend, WA
Snow among the scree.
May 29, 2015 near Riverbend, WA
Kitty kitty katwalk - twlight
May 29, 2015 near Riverbend, WA
Deep snow in May. Hiking for twlight hour.
May 29, 2015 near Riverbend, WA
Ridgeline
May 29, 2015 near Riverbend, WA

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Unknown
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Sep 14, 2023
Michael Young
Sep 1, 2019
B D
Aug 11, 2019
Daniel Webster
Finished in 4 days. Beautiful trip, lots of lakes and sights.
Sep 11, 2016
Andrew Dunn
Aug 22, 2016
Michael Karl
Great hike started on stevens side and ended on Snoqualmie
Aug 20, 2015
Tom Pittman
Aug 1, 2015
Inga Anderson
72mi
Sep 4, 2002
Stan Godyn
Welcome

Join the Community! It's FREE

Already have an account? Login to close this notice.