3.4 miles
1,923 ft
-167 ft
1 mile
High Point

Cascade Pass Trail Details

  • Activities
    • Hike
    • Trail Running
  • Riding Area
  • Difficulty Rating
  • Hiking SAC Scale
    T2 Mountain Hiking
  • Trail Type
  • Direction
    Both Directions
    Popular direction shown
  • Trail Visibility
    Always easy to follow
  • eBike Allowed
  • Global Ranking
    #14 in Hiking [+]
    • #37188 in Trail Running

At Cascade Pass, the wow factor far exceeds the “ow” factor – perhaps no other trail in the state delivers as much reward for the effort. From the high peaks on either side of the pass, verdant meadows curve down to a saddle that offers sweeping views of nearby valleys, glaciers, mountains, and passing wildlife. Sedately climbing a little less than 1,800 feet in 3.6 miles, it is the perfect hike to show new hikers the extraordinary places their feet can take them.

The epic scenery begins before you even hit the trail. The unpaved section of Cascade River Road skirts massive old growth trees on the way to the circular parking lot tucked underneath Johannesburg Mountain, towering more than 4,000 feet overhead.

As you travel through the 30-some switchbacks that define the first 2.7 miles of trail, Johannesburg (a malapropism of the nearby Johnsberg mining claim) continues to make its presence felt, even when barely visible through the trees. On warm days, snow and ice from its hanging glaciers break loose and boom down the mountainside.

Once you round the final switchback, you have one mile to go, proceeding more or less straight for the pass. The trees grow steadily thinner as you reach open slopes and the pass comes into view. After crossing a long rockfield, the trail makes a few final bends and arrives at the pass, where a post marked for Stehekin points the way into the lush valley below. But don't be fooled -- the little community of Stehekin lies at the head of Lake Chelan, nearly thirty miles from where you currently stand.

Cascade Pass offers views of several impressive peaks and glaciers. The ridge from Johannesburg Mountain connects to Mixup Peak and Magic Mountain, in between which lies the Cache Glacier. Back the way you came, the horizon is comprised largely of the glacier-dotted lower slopes and snowy summit arête of El Dorado Peak.

Nearer by, you may very well be treated to views of wildlife. In addition to the local population of marmots and pika, the occasional deer, mountain goat, or bear may wander through on the way to and from steeper, rockier places or the wildflower and blueberry fields just above and beyond the pass.

We humans have likewise been using Cascade Pass as a crossroads for thousands of years, and today it is still not at all the end of the trail. From here, the trail to Stehekin continues east through the abandoned mining claims of Horseshoe Basin. To the north, a trail continues to Sahale Arm. To the south, a backcountry high route known as the Ptarmigan Traverse marches up the slopes of Mixup Peak and disappears over the ridge.

One trip here, though, and you may rightfully conclude that it is a spectacular destination in its own right.

Local Trail Association
More Stats for Cascade Pass Trail hike trail trail
  • Altitude change
    1,756 ft
  • Altitude min
    3,647 ft
  • Altitude start
    3,653 ft
  • Altitude end
    5,410 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    3 miles
  • Distance down
    2,418 ft
  • Distance flat
    1,194 ft
  • view trail stats
on Sep 21, 2022
Avg: 5 (1 votes)
Your vote: 0

view (133)
Trail Conditions
  • Unknown
  • Snow Groomed
  • Snow Packed
  • Snow Covered
  • Snow Cover Inadequate
  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
  • Prevalent Mud
  • Wet
  • Variable
  • Ideal
  • Dry
  • Very Dry
Trail Flow (Ridden Direction)
Trailforks scans users ridelogs to determine the most popular direction each trail is ridden. A good flowing trail network will have most trails flowing in a single direction according to their intension.
The colour categories are based on what percentage of riders are riding a trail in its intended direction.
  • > 96%
  • > 90%
  • > 80%
  • > 70%
  • > 50%
  • < 50%
  • bi-directional trail
  • no data
Trail Last Ridden
Trailforks scans ridelogs to determine the last time a trail was ridden.
  • < 2 days
  • < 1 week
  • < 2 weeks
  • < 1 month
  • < 6 months
  • > 6 months
Trail Ridden Direction
The intended direction a trail should be ridden.
  • Downhill Only
  • Downhill Primary
  • Both Directions
  • Uphill Primary
  • Uphill Only
  • One Direction
Contribute Details
Colors indicate trail is missing specified detail.
  • Description
  • Photos
  • Description & Photos
  • Videos
Trail Popularity ?
Trailforks scans ridelogs to determine which trails are ridden the most in the last 9 months. Trails are compared with nearby trails in the same city region with a possible 25 colour shades. Think of this as a heatmap, more rides = more kinetic energy = warmer colors.
  • most popular
  • popular
  • less popular
  • not popular
Max Vehicle Width

Radar Time
x Activity Recordings
Trailforks users anonymized public ridelogs from the past 6 months.
  • mountain biking recent
  • mountain biking (>6 month)
  • hiking (1 year)
  • moto (1 year)
Activity Recordings
Trailforks users anonymized public skilogs from the past 12 months.
  • Downhill Ski
  • Backcountry Ski
  • Nordic Ski
  • Snowmobile
Jump Magnitude Heatmap
Heatmap of where riders jump on trails. Zoom in to see individual jumps, click circles to view jump details.
Trails Deemphasized
Trails are shown in grey.
Only show trails with NO bikes.

Save the current map location and zoom level as your default home location whenever this page is loaded.

      Directions to cascade-pass-trail trailhead (48.475440, -121.075030)

      Outside Logo Articles

      North Cascades National Park: Cascade Pass
      Sep 20, 2013 from backpacker.com
      Satisfy your wanderlust on this 5.4-mile out-and-back, which offers stop-and-gawk panoramas of the jagged Cascades blanketed by glaciers.
      update trails status or condition

      Cascade Pass Trail Trail Reports

      Sep 21, 2022 @ 2:02pm
      Sep 21, 2022
      view all reports »

      Recent Ridelog Activity on Trail

      Past Week
      • 0 rides
      6 Months
      • 10 rides
      • 11 miles avg distance
      • 76 rides


      no photos have been added for Cascade Pass Trail yet, add a photo.

      Routes with this trail

      Cascade Pass - Sahale Arm11 miles
      Cascade Pass7 miles
      Ptarmigan Traverse30 miles

      Reviews / Comments

      No reviews yet, be the first to write a review or ask a question.
      Use trail reports to comment on trail conditions.

      We hope you've been enjoying Trailforks!

      Create a FREE account to view trail comments and much more.


      no videos have been added for Cascade Pass Trail yet, add a video.
      • subscribe
      • flag
      • login to download gpx or kml files.