Backcountry Trail Run - Stirrup Lake from Stampede Pass


Backcountry Trail Run - Stirrup Lake from Stampede Pass

OMG PCT IRL ... YOLO! Evening out & back on the world-famous PCT trail

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 10.44 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,000 ft

Stampede Pass PCT access point, 4:30pm. You must drive unpaved gravel Forest Service roads to reach it. Usually the roads are pretty good- but I recommend  driving slower and with care!


Take exit 62 from I-90. If you're heading eastbound from Seattle, turn right from the offramp. Keep an eye on your odometer: the distance from I-90 to the Stampede Pass access point for the PCT is almost exactly 5 miles. It's just a dirt pullout by the side of the road.

You'll head south, follow the frontage road and go into the Crystal Springs sno-park parking lot. Keep going and continue on Forest Road 54 aka Stampede Pass Road.  Continue on Stampede Pass Rd (NF-54) for 1.1+ miles.

  • 1.1 miles: Stay straight (left fork) on NF-54 at intersection with NF-5480 for 1.4 miles;
  • 3.5 miles: Stay straight (right) on NF-54 at junction with NF-41 for 1.1 miles;
  • 4.6 miles: Arrive at Stampede Pass.
  • You should be comfortable with running at night and with this distance and elevation gain.
  • Headlamp required 
  • I estimate that this run will take about 2.5-3 hours.  So we'll probably finish in the dark. Sunset will be at approx. 7:24pm.
  • We'll follow all state and club guidelines about COVID-19 safety.
  • Water purification method  recommended so that you can refill at Stirrup Lake or the spring near the PCT
  • No permit or pass required

Stirrup Lake

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

  • The Ten Essentials
  • Sturdy running shoes
  • Pack to carry your water, snacks, headlamp, personal items, etc.
  • Water treatment method 
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