The trail starts at the Hannegan Campground. The route follows the Ruth Creek Valley through a second-growth forest, which then opens to sweeping views of the local craggy peaks. After a relatively flat first mile, views start to open up to Ruth Mountain as the trail passes through avalanche shoots. In early summer, waterfalls cascade down the steep cliffs of Mt. Sefrit and Nooksack Ridge.
The trail climbs gently for the next 2.5 miles towards Hannegan Pass. A half mile below the pass, a spur to the right leads to Hannegan Camp
. Continue to the left up steep switchbacks through a sub-alpine forest.
At the pass, the Hannegan Peak Trail ascends steeply to the left and an unmaintained mountaineering route leaves to the right towards Ruth Mountain and Icy Peak. Continue straight, descending into the North Cascades National Park one mile from Hannegan Pass. The popular Copper Ridge Trail
leaves to left adjacent to the Boundary Campsite Spur
Leaving behind most people, the trail switchbacks steeply down through a lush forest following the Chilliwack River. The trail passes over the roaring Copper Creek at 7.3 miles and passes Copper Creek Campground. The trail becomes a more gentle descent following the Chilliwack River Valley.
At US Cabin Camp
, the trail opens up, passing through large avalanche shoots before crossing the Chiliwack River at 11 miles. The route then gently climbs to the intersection with the Brush Creek Trail
and Chilliwack Trail
which lead to Whatcom Pass, Easy Ridge, and eventually Ross Lake.