Hiking the Easy Pass Trail

Hiking the Easy Pass Trail

Hiking the Easy Pass Trail should be on everyone’s bucket list because the dramatic views from the pass are some of the finest in the North Cascades.

Chris & Mac of Grey Otter Outventures

Chris & Mac
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Length:  7 Miles Round Trip
Trailhead:  Easy Pass (Highway 20 – MP 151)
Elevation Gain:  2,767’
Trail Type:  Out & Back
Dogs:  Not Allowed
Difficulty:  Moderate to Difficult
Permit Required?  Yes.  $5 Day Pass Self Issue at Trailhead – OR- Annual US Forest Service Northwest Forest Pass – OR- America The Beautiful Pass
Considerations:  Deep Snow Often Present into July
Season:  July – October


Hiking the Easy Pass Trail is not effortless, but is worth the effort.  Why?  Because this demanding trail immerses hikers in an exceptionally scenic area of the North Cascades.  In our view, it’s a fantastic hike that seriously warrants “bucket list” consideration.

Easy Pass Trail

The trail to Easy Pass is a steady climb which takes hikers across creeks, through meadows and up rocky slopes.  The journey is not easy, but the scenery is incredibly beautiful.
The first mile and a half of the trail is an upward trek through pretty forest which includes an almost immediate crossing of Granite Creek on a log bridge.  Mountain views finally emerge near the next water crossing which is a bunch of wobbly logs spanning Easy Pass Creek.   The Easy Pass Trail then continues its relentless climb.  First, it takes hikers through an exposed valley with rocky meadows.  Next, the trail climbs up mostly exposed steeper, rockier slopes.  Finally, it tops out at Easy Pass.

Easy Pass

The Easy Pass Trail continues past the pass, descending into Cascades National Park.  Although the views from the pass are mind blowing, the views of Fisher Basin a little further along the trail are equally incredible.  As such, absolutely venture a little bit beyond the pass.  You will be astounded!

While our summer hike here was filled with lush greenery and wildflowers, the fall scenery explodes when the golden larches put on their autumn show.  Always up for a hike through scenery filled with outstanding fall color, it is likely we will journey here in the fall to witness this for ourselves.  When we do, we will be sure to share what we see.

Weather Matters

The best advice we can give about this trail is to hike it when the skies are clear.  When we set out on this hike the skies were overcast, but the weather forecast indicated they would clear.  Much to our dismay, clouds were still shrouding the peaks once we reached the pass.  Determined to not be bested, and hopeful that the forecast for the clouds to clear was correct, we climbed onto some rocks above the trail and waited for the clouds to lift.  While we sat, a couple of marmots chasing each other around the rocks amused us with their antics. 

Fortunately for us, the clouds did finally clear to reveal astounding views.  If they had not, we would have missed out on some of the best views the North Cascades has to offer.  As such, heed our advice.  This hike is best served up on a sunny day with clear skies.

Scroll down to learn about the GEAR WE USE and OTHER OUTVENTURES in this area.

Additional Information (Click below to follow links.)

Easy Pass Trail Slideshow

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Gear We Use for Day Hiking

To see descriptions of the gear Chris & Mac use for day hiking, as well as links to manufacturers and retailers offering the gear for sale, please CLICK HERE.

Chain Lakes Loop, Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Washington

Articles About Other Regional Outventures

Click below to learn about other regional outventures in this area.

SAFETY DISCLAIMER:  The activities discussed in this website are outdoor activities and, as such, have inherent risks to which participants are exposed.  It is not the intent of this website, nor is it possible due to the variability of weather, terrain, equipment, and experience, to detail all of those risks.  The information contained in this site is informational, but not instructive nor exhaustive.  It is the sole responsibility of the user to ensure he/she is in good health, fully prepared, and fully informed as to dangers before undertaking any of the activities discussed in this website and the user does so at his/her own risk.  The user understands that by using this website he/she acknowledges and accepts all risks associated with use of information from this website and participation in any particular activity addressed herein.  Please see “Terms of Use” for additional information.

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