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Pacific Crest Trail

The Pacific Crest Trail In The Darrington Ranger District
A Few Highlights
The PCT is now accessible from the Sloan Creek Road, FSR #49 & the Suiattle Road, FSR #26

Monte Cristo Range from a high point near the PCT around White Pass photo by Gary Paull

The Darrington Ranger District manages a 45 mile stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail from White Pass to Suiattle Pass.  It is one of the most remote and stunning sections of the trail.  It is also one of the most arduous, climbing in and out of three major river drainages.  This section of trail is also entirely within the Glacier Peak Wilderness Area with often spectacular views of its namesake - Glacier Peak.

Glacier Peak Meadows below Red Pass, photo by Zachery LaMance

Beginning from White Pass the trail traverses through alpine meadows to Red Pass then descends into Glacier Peak Meadows and on to the old growth forest of the White Chuck River Drainage.

Ben Monte Calvo works on the turnpike along the PCT near the White Chuck River crossing, photo by Zachery LaMance

The trail crosses the White Chuck River and continues to lose elevation into Kennedy Creek.  After crossing the sometimes difficult and usually bridge free Kennedy Creek the trail begins its ascent into Milk Creek Pass at 6,300 feet.  Enjoy the views as the trail begins another elevation drop into the Milk Creek Valley at 3,500 feet.

Bridget Wisniewski looks down into Milk Creek Valley, photo by Catherine Austin

From the Milk Creek crossing the trail begins the brushy and often damp switchbacks up to East Fork Basin at approximately 5,300 feet.  From here the trail continues climbing through the basin arriving at Vista Ridge.  Wildflowers and mountain views are in abundance.  The trail begins another long descent into the Suiattle Valley.  Here the PCT is being relocated to a more stable bridge site above Canyon Creek.  The old bridge site near Miner's Creek was utterly and absolutely destroyed during a massive flood in 2003.
A section of the PCT relocation near Vista Creek, photo by Dawn Erickson

From Canyon Creek the trail begins a steady climb toward Suiattle Pass at 5,900 feet and onto the wilderness villages of Stehekin and Holden.

A side trip to Miner's Ridge Lookout and Image Lake is well worth the effort.  Hikers are rewarded with great views of Glacier Peak
Photo USFS

Views from Vista Ridge, photo by Gary Paull

For more detailed information on the PCT and ongoing trail projects in Darrington contact the Darrington Ranger Station.

Written by Dawn Erickson, USFS

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