Twisp, McAlester & South Passes

A strenuous 26 mile loop with 5,500 elevation gain over three mountain passes, beginning with South Pass, and continuing along the high divide between the Twisp and the Stehekin Rivers. See glacier-carved valleys, lofty ridges, jagged peaks, majestic old-growth and wildflowers. Camp in high alpine meadows.

on the trail

Suggested itinerary for a three day exploration:

Day 1 - Hike up the South View Trail and ascend to South Pass. Continue to and camp near McAlester Pass. Ten miles, 2,800 feet of elevation gain. The two camps near the McAlester Pass are High Camp and Hidden Meadows.

Day 2 - From McAlester Pass, hike to and camp near Daggar Lake. Eight miles and 1,800 feet of elevation gain.

Day 3 - Hike to Twisp Pass then back to starting trailhead to complete the loop. Eight miles with minimal elevation gain.


  • Stop at Wilderness Information Center in Marblemount for free required permit. 
  • Bear canisters, though not required in this part of North Cascades National Park, are a good idea.
  • "Water shoes" are recommended for the multiple stream crossings. 
  • Suitable Activities: Backpacking
  • Seasons: July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Length: 26.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 5,500 ft
  • 6,300 ft
  • Green Trails Stehekin No. 82
  • Trails Illustrated North Cascades National Park
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.

  • South Pass-Twisp Pass
  • South Pass-Twisp Pass Loop
  • South Pass & McAlester Lake
  • South Pass & McAlester High Camp
  • South Pass & Hidden Meadows

There are no resources for this route/place. Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.