Pacific Crest Trail: Rainy Pass to Suiattle River

Hike 51 miles of Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Section K. Follows Bridge Creek to Stehekin River before hiking out of Agnes Gorge and following Agnes Creek then South Fork to Suiattle Pass, where there is an option to take Miners Ridge Trail to Image Lake to enjoy the incredible views before rejoining the PCT until leaving it on the Suiattle River Trail. You can also do just part of this trip by starting or ending at Stehekin.

getting there

rainy pass

Drive SR-20 to the Rainy Pass and park in the south parking lot. This is the Rainy Pass Trailhead (4,875 ft).


From SR 20 or SR 2, drive SR 97 to Chelan.   Take the Lady of the Lake or Chelan Seaplanes to Stehekin.  From there a shuttle is available to take you the 11 miles to High Bridge Camp where this section starts.  

Suiattle River Trailhead

Drive SR 530 north from Darrington or south from Rockport to the Suiattle River Road (Forest Road 26).  Turn east on Suiattle River road and drive  23 miles to the road's end and the trailhead.


The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) follows the highway from Rainy Pass on the south side about 1.5 miles to the Bridge Creek trailhead, then heads south.  At 0.8 miles from the Bridge Creek Trailhead, the trail forks: the right fork is the PCT and the left fork goes east across the creek to access trails to Copper Pass and Stiletto Peak.

Stay on the PCT at this fork and descend gradually along Bridge Creek, 2.7 miles further is a junction with the Twisp Pass and McAlester Pass trail to the left (east).  There are camps less than a half mile east and west (Fireweed Camp and Hideaway Camp). Continue west on the PCT.  At 2.5 miles past the Twisp Pass trail junction (7.3 miles from Rainy Pass) reach a junction with the Rainbow Lake Trail and, just beyond that, the South Fork camps.   Continue on the PCT and steadily descend 3.8 miles where the North Fork Bridge Creek Trail joins from the north. The North Fork camps can be found here, 11.1 miles from Rainy Pass.

From North Fork camp it's another 3 miles and 600 feet of descent to the Stehekin River Road at Bridge Creek (now closed). Hike the PCT (above the road) for 5.2 miles, past Howard (aka Coon Lake) to where it joins the Stehekin River Road at High Bridge.

Stehekin Exit (or Entrance): From High Bridge it is possible to catch a shuttle 2-3 times a day into Stehekin during the summer season, where there is lodging, a basic general store, a post office and visitors' center.  If you don't want to wait for the shuttle, it's an 11 mile walk from High Bridge into town.

From High Bridge Camp, head southwest crossing Agnes Creek and ascending in old hemlock and fir forest through Agnes Gorge.  At 5.1 miles is Fivemile Camp (2,200 ft), the first of several creekside camps along the creek.  Turning mostly south, the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) continues 3.0 miles to Swamp Creek camp  (2,800 ft), then 4.3 miles later, to Hemlock Camp (3,600 ft), 12.4 miles from High Bridge.   Here the trail forks.  Take the right fork and continue south on the PCT heading for Suiattle Pass and Image Lake goes right at Hemlock Camp and stays high above Agnes Creek, traversing the side slope under Sitting Bull Mountain and Plummer Mountain, for 7.0 miles to forested, non-descript Suiattle Pass (5,983 ft) and 7.5 miles from Hemlock Camp.

Alternative Route: Take the left fork, leaving the PCT and hiking Trail No. 1239, which hugs Agnes Creek and continues 6.1 miles over Cloudy Pass to Lyman Lakes, a starkly gorgeous, though sometimes windy, overnight spot.  From here, make the classic crossing of Spider Gap to Spider Meadow and the Phelps Creek Trailhead. Or descend Railroad Creek under the shadow of Bonanza Peak to Holden and Lake Chelan.

At 0.8 miles from Suiattle Pass, stay straight on Trail No. 785 when the PCT turns left to head steeply down to Miner's Creek.  After 1.6 miles, go right and climb steeply north for 1.4 miles to Lady Camp, then west for a mile to stunning Image Lake (6,056 ft).  Set up camp in the established camping area, but don't skip a walk on the loop trail around to the north side of the lake, and uphill a little bit, for the classic photo south across the lake to Glacier Peak, also a great sunset spot!

From Image Lake, continue west for 0.8 miles to the junction with a short spur trail to a lookout on Miner's Ridge, then switchback steeply and endlessly downhill for 4.7 miles to the junction with the PCT, formerly and in 2.5 miles, the Suiattle River Trail, No. 784, (2,880 ft). Turn right (west), and hike 10.8 long forest miles along the river to the Suiattle River Trailhead.


  • Rainy Pass to Stiletto Peak junction: 2.3 miles
  • Stiletto Peak junction to Hideaway Camp:  3.7 miles
  • Hideaway Camp to South Fork Camp, Rainbow Lake Trail junction:  1.5 miles
  • South Fork Camp, Rainbow Lake Trail junction to North Fork Camp:  3.8 miles
  • North Fork Camp to Bridge Creek Camp, Stehekin River Road:  3.0 miles
  • Bridge Creek Camp, Stehekin River Road to High Bridge Camp:  5.2 miles
  • High Bridge to Fivemile Camp:  5.5 miles
  • Fivemile Camp to Swamp Creek Camp:  3.1 miles
  • Swamp Creek Camp to Hemlock Camp:  4.5 miles
  • Hemlock Camp to Suiattle Pass: 8.7 miles
  • Suiattle Pass to Trail No. 795 junction:  0.8 mile
  • Trail No. 795 junction to Miner's Ridge Trail (No. 785) junction: 8.3 miles
  • Miner's Ridge Trail (No. 785) junction to Suiattle River Trail: 2.5 miles
  • Suitable Activities: Backpacking
  • Seasons: July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Easy/Moderate
  • Length: 58.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 4,700 ft
  • 6,000 ft
  • Green Trails Stehekin No. 82
  • Green Trails McGregor Mtn No. 81
  • Green Trails Washington Pass No. 50
  • Green Trails Holden No. 113
  • Green Trails Glacier Peak No. 112
  • Green Trails Mountain Loop Highway No. 111SX
  • Trails Illustrated North Cascades National Park
  • Trails Illustrated Glacier Peak Wilderness
Trip Reports

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Pacific Crest Trail: Rainy Pass to Stehekin
  • Pacific Crest Trail: Stehekin to Suiattle River
  • Pacific Crest Trail: Stehekin to Image Lake & Suiattle River

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