Pacific Crest Trail: Snoqualmie Pass to Stevens Pass

Section J of the PCT is 75 miles of rugged mountain country with nearly 16,000 feet of elevation gain. Discover spectacular mountain country and alpine lakes as you travel north. This tough route is a true challenge for every backpacker!

getting there

Take I-90 to Exit 52 at Snoqualmie Pass to reach the southern end of this section of the Pacific Crest Trail. Take US-2 to Stevens Pass for the northern end.

on the trail

The route comprises all of Section J of the Pacific Crest Trail and passes through the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. True to the name of the wilderness area, you will see multiple lakes as well as majestic mountains. 


  • This trail is best for experienced backpackers. The trail is rugged and there is notable elevation gain and loss, about 16,000 feet.
  • The distance requires hikers to carry plenty of food and supplies (typically 5-7 days' worth) and anticipate being self-sufficient. There are no resupply points along this section of the trail.
  • Snow may not have melted off some portions of the trail until August, and snow has fallen in September.
  • Be sure to make advance plans for transportation at either end, because public transportation is not available at Stevens Pass or Snoqualmie Pass.

PCT Miles

  • Snoqualmie Pass to Spectacle Lake: 16.9 mi
  • Spectacle Lake to Waptus River: 17.6 mi
  • Waptus River to Deception Pass: 15.3 mi
  • Deception Pass to Hope Lake: 13.2 mi
  • Hope Lake to Stevens Pass: 8.3 mi
  • Difficulty: Very Strenuous
  • Length: 75.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 16,000 ft
  • 5,800 ft
  • Alpine Lakes Wilderness (ALPS)
  • Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass No. 207
  • Green Trails Stevens Pass No. 176
  • Green Trails Kachess Lake No. 208
  • Green Trails Snoqualmie Pass Gateway No. 207S
  • Green Trails Alpine Lakes East (Stuart Range) No. 208SX
  • Green Trails Alpine Lakes West (Stevens Pass) No. 176S
  • Trails Illustrated Alpine Lakes Wilderness
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