Hiking Project Logo

Bald Eagle Trail #650

Intermediate
 5.0 (1)

From the river valley fir forests to a long, scenic ridge hike in the open, high mountain meadows, beauty is everywhere.


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

13.4

Miles

21.5

KM

Point to Point

5,812' 1,772 m

High

2,419' 737 m

Low

4,921' 1,500 m

Up

1,800' 549 m

Down

10%

Avg Grade (5°)

67%

Max Grade (34°)

Dogs Off-leash

Features Commonly Backpacked · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Description

Bald Eagle Trail is found at the Bald Eagle Trailhead. Climbing gradually, the trail starts as an old road in the fir forested creek valleys near where Cadet Creek empties into Sloan Creek. Heading south in the forest, the trail follows Cadet Creek, to the right/west, upstream, but not close enough to the creek to see it through the forest. The forested ridge separating Cadet Creek from Sloan Creek rises to the left/east. After a little over two miles the old road ends and the trail narrows, as it veers to the east and climbs up the ridge on a few switchbacks.

Continuing to follow a creek upstream on the forested ridge, the trail levels off as it goes through the forest with views of nearby peaks through the trees and in a few open areas. At the 3.9 mile mark Curry Gap, a good place to camp, and a trail junction with Quartz Creek Trail is reached. Veer left/east here to continue on Bald Eagle Trail.

Leaving Curry Gap behind, Bald Eagle Trail swichbacks up the ridge to the left/northeast and then finishes the climb to the ridge top at about the 5.2 mile mark. Now in grassy, high meadows with patches of fir forest, spectacular views open up in all directions as the trail continues. Traveling along or near the ridge line now until the trail ends, the trail turns east-northeast as it passes Bald Eagle Mountain, 5,700 ft., on it steep north slopes at the 6.5 mile mark.

With awesome views everywhere, the North Fork Skykomish River valley is now to the right/south of the trail with ridges and mountains into the distance beyond it. Long John Mountain, 5,697 ft., is passed at the 8.3 mile mark on its southern slopes. At the 10.5 mile mark the junction with Pilot Ridge Trail #652 to the left/north, is reached. Stay to the right/straight here to continue on Bald Eagle Trail.

After passing Pilot Ridge Trail #652, Bald Eagle Trail continues on the upper slopes of the grassy ridge with the North Fork Skykomish River valley below to the right/south. At the 12.5 mile mark an unsigned trail junction with Blue Lake High Trail #652.1 to the left, is passed. Continue straight here to stay on Bald Eagle Trail. The trail then bends to the right/southeast, providing great views down the North Fork Skykomish River drainage from its headwaters and sources here on this ridge. A mile after the Blue Lake High Trail #652.1 junction the PCT is reached at Dishpan Gap where Bald Eagle Trail ends.

Flora & Fauna

Fir forest and grassy, high mountain meadows with summer wildflowers.

Contacts

Shared By:

Joan Pendleton

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#4157

Overall
  5.0 from 1 vote
5 Star
100%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#191

in Washington

#4,157

Overall
4 Views Last Month
15 Since Jul 22, 2021
Intermediate

0%
0%
100%
0%
0%
0%

Photos

Snowy Glacier Peak is in the distance to the north, seen from a lookout at the Bald Eagle/Blue Lake High Trail junction.
Jul 22, 2021 near Skykomish, WA
Bald Eagle Trail traverses a high ridge with the North Fork Skykomish River drainage below to the left/southeast.
Jul 22, 2021 near Skykomish, WA
The North Fork Skykomish River drainage, seen looking southwest from high on Bald Eagle Trail.
Jul 22, 2021 near Skykomish, WA
The east end of Pilot Ridge is seen to the north from Bald Eagle Trail. Sloan Creek flows in the valley between Pilot Ridge and the Bald Eagle Trail ridge.
Jul 22, 2021 near Skykomish, WA

0 Comments

Weather


Current Trail Conditions

Update Conditions
All Clear 59 days ago See History
Add Your Check-In

Check-Ins

Jul 14, 2021
Joan Pendleton