Witness all that the North Cascades have to offer as you travel through low valleys, along high ridges and past alpine lakes.
Permits are required in order to camp inside of North Cascades National Park, which can be obtained for a $20 reservation fee online or for free at the park itself.
Start out from popular Hannegan Pass trailhead. You'll find Hannegan Camp
at 3.7 miles, with access to water. Hannegan Pass sits at 4.2 miles with a short yet steep side trail to Hannegan Peak
climbing 1100 feet in 1.1 miles.
From the pass, drop down to the National Park boundary and the Boundary Camp at 5.1 miles. Water is accessible only via a short and steep climber's trail. Go left at the junction with this camp, continuing along a steep narrow trail to Copper Ridge. From here on, the trail may be overgrown, and blueberries may be found alongside you.
At 8.1 miles arrive at Silesia Camp
with no water. However at 8.2 miles is the junction to Egg Lake, with water and camps below via a 0.3 miles trail. Continuing past the junction, climb up and above the lake to some of the best views along the hike as you approach Copper Mountain Lookout at 6260 feet, 9.9 miles from the trailhead.
Next, the trail makes a dramatic drop from its highest point to its lowest point. Copper Lake and its camps are at 11.2 miles, and a small waterfall is a half a mile further. this is the last reliable water source for nearly 6 miles, where there is a small stream.
At 17.9 miles is the lowest point on the trail at 2225 feet. Make a wet crossing across the Chilliwack River, and follow the route a short ways to another crossing of Indian Creek. Go right to find Indian Creek Camp and the 19 mile point. Cross Indian Creek via suspension bridge, then climb 400 feet to the junction with the Brush Creek Trail
at 21.8 miles. Whatcom Pass is a roughly 10 mile round-trip hike form here, with Tapto Lakes
above offering views and camping via a steep climber's trail. If you're able, try to get reservations for Graybeal Camp, 2.1 miles along the Brush Creek Trail
. Note that this camp is dry in late summer, so you'll have to get water from Brush Creek a half mile along the trail before camp.
Continuing along the trail, bypass the horse ford to the famous cable car crossing. Pull yourself across the Chilliwack in this two-person car. Gloves may be advised, as the crossing can take some strength. After the crossing, find the U.S. Cabin Camp at 23.6 miles, then the Copper Creek Camps at 26.1 miles.
Beyond the Brush Creek junction, 22.6 miles from the trailhead, bypass the horse ford to get to the cable car crossing. At 22.9 miles, pull yourself across the Chilliwack in a small two-seater cable car. The pull rope is rough and requires some strength; gloves are advised. Make a final steep climb up to Hannegan Pass, completing the loop. Take the final five miles back to the trailhead to the finish line!