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Backpack - Easy Pass & Park Creek Pass Loop

Six day strenuous backpack through North Cascades.

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  • Very Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 59.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 14,000 ft


 Backpack 59 miles on a loop crossing spectacular Easy and Park Creek Passes, and exploring North Fork Bridge Creek.  Harvey Manning described Easy Pass views as “dramatic”, Park Creek Pass and its surroundings as “one of the scenic climaxes of the North Cascades National Park,” and North Fork Bridge Creek Trail as leading to a “magnificent . . . huge cirque . . . beneath the ice-hung precipices of 9160-foot Goode Mountain, 8515-foot Storm King Peak, and 9067-foot Mt. Logan.”

Although open to all club members over age 18, this trip is also part of the B3 Backpacking Building Blocks series and eligible for B3 course credit.

We will plan to spend 5 nights/6 days on the trail.  North Cascades National Park does not accept reservations for backcountry campsites, so our specific route will depend on availability.  My first choice:

Day 1:  Stage one car at Rainy Pass Trailhead, and then drive 12 miles to the Easy Pass Trailhead.  Hike 6 miles over 6,500’ Easy Pass to Fisher Camp.  If we have time after setting up camp, day hike about 1 mile into Fisher Basin.

Day 2:  Hike 9 miles to Junction Camp.  If we have time, search for hidden Rock Cabin (I was able to find it on an earlier trip).

Day 3: Hike 8 miles to Upper Thunder Basin.

Day 4:  Hike 15 miles over 6,100’ Park Creek Pass to North Fork Camp.

Day 5:  Day hike 13 miles round trip from North Fork Camp to the end of North Fork Bridge Trail.

Day 6:  Hike 8 miles to Rainy Pass Trailhead and cars.  Pick up second car at Easy Pass Trailhead and return home. 

Guide Books:  101 Hikes in the North Cascades (Mountaineers Press); Backpacker Magazine June 2010 “Secret Hikes of the Classic Parks.”

Leader permission is required, which you can obtain by sending an e-mail to the leader.

I expect low overnight temperatures will be in the 20s. You should check the current weather report shortly before departure: 

Rain should be expected, and you should bring rain coat, rain pants, and pack cover and clothes that will keep you warm when wet (no cotton!). The trip is subject to change or cancellation if the predicted weather is unusually poor.

Conditioning:  This trip requires excellent conditioning.  We will average about 2 mph on the trail, including breaks.  You should be able to climb Mt. Si with a full backpack in 3 hours or less, and be able to repeat the climb on the next day. 

Other gear notes:

1. Bear canisters are required. 

2. You should bring some method of water purification.

3. Bugs are certainly possible; bring bug repellant.

4. To reduce pack weight, you should consider sharing gear, especially stoves, cooking pots, water filters, and tents. About 2 weeks before the trip, I will send an E-mail to all. If you are interested in sharing any items, Reply All to this E-mail, describing gear you would like to provide for sharing or if you are interested in sharing another’s gear. Sharers should make arrangements directly with any interested people.

5.  We may camp some distance from water, so you should bring containers sufficient to carry 1 gallon of water. 

Carpooling will be encouraged and I will send out an e-mail regarding carpooling and our car shuttle about 2 weeks before departure. 


Easy Pass & Park Creek Pass Loop

  • Green Trails McGregor Mtn No. 81

    Green Trails Diablo Dam No. 48

    Green Trails Mt Logan No. 49

    Trails Illustrated North Cascades National Park
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports