Hiking Project Logo

blue Cascade Pass Trail


15.4 mile 24.7 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 1,906' 581 m
Descent: -3,393' -1,034 m
High: 5,366' 1,636 m
Low: 2,133' 650 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 25% (14°)


No Dogs
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Tom Robson

Spectacular views of high peaks, glaciers, and everything else in between on this amazing trail.

Tom Robson

Features River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Cascade Pass is the site of a major revegetation effort. Seeds and cuttings are collected here and nurtured in greenhouses. Later they are planted back to heal old scars. Please help in this effort by staying on designated trails and stopping for breaks on trail or rock!


The Cascade Pass Trail is a stunning hike with views of peaks and glaciers. The trail rises steadily to the pass, from which hikers may explore in several directions. The Cascade Pass Trail is also a popular starting point for climbing routes to Sahale, Boston, Mixup, and Magic Peaks, and the Ptarmigan Traverse into the Glacier Peak Wilderness.

The trail switchbacks through dense, wet forests then traverses through meadows to the pass. While hiking listen for the roar of falling ice from hanging glaciers on Johannesburg Mountain and the sound of water from the many cascades which give this park and its mountains their name.

Just to the east of the pass, the Sahale Arm Trail veers steeply north towards Sahale Peak. The views from Sahale Arm are breathtaking as the trail ascends through subalpine meadows and over steep rock scree, before ending at the toe of the Sahale Glacier and a designated campsite.

From Cascade Pass, you can also head east and downward towards campsites at Pelton Basin and a popular side-trip to Horseshoe Basin - a spectacular steep-walled cirque with waterfalls, wildflowers, and an historic mining site.

Past Horseshoe Basin, the trail continues into the Stehekin Valley, following the course of this scenic river for much of the route. This trail provides access to the east side of the park, including the village of Stehekin. Because of severe flood damage to the old Stehekin Valley Road, it is now a 23-mile (37 km) hike from the Cascade Pass parking lot to the Stehekin shuttle bus at High Bridge.

Flora & Fauna

Look and listen for wildlife, such as marmots and pikas on rock slopes. Deer, and sometimes black bear, may be seen in meadows. Please help the wildlife stay wild; do not feed them!

Cascade Pass is in the subalpine life zone, a place of deep snows and brief summers. A show of yellow glacier lilies and other brightly flowers quickly follow melting snow. Look for mountain heather, a short, woody evergreen shrub with pink blooms. Although heather thrives in this harsh environment, its brittle stems easily succumb to careless steps.

Hiked this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know

Is something wrong? Let us know. Have photos to share? Help fellow hikers know what's here.


Rate This Trail

Rate Quality

   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Check In


Aug 28, 2018
Ethan A
7mi — 5h 00m
Aug 21, 2017
Grey Cannibal
Jul 3, 2017
Brett Sabol
Sep 24, 2016
Thoren Palacio
Mar 16, 2016
D14411 F
Cascade pass trail as the lead-in to the Ptarmigan Traverse. The Ptarmigan Traverse as a whole is the best outdoor adventure I've had to date, a m... 44.8mi — 192h 00m

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 8 votes


  5.0 from 8 votes
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Trail Rankings


in Washington


200 Views Last Month
2,519 Since Jan 14, 2016
Intermediate Intermediate



Hiking Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Hiking