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North Cascades National Park, WA

Jul 18 - Jul 25, 2019 -- $1325 ★★★★

North Cascades National Park is one of the wildest, most beautiful, least visited and most remote wilderness areas in the lower 48 states. Our trip will traverse old growth rainforest as well as alpine meadows with stunning views of high, craggy peaks. We will hike on established park trails that cross the core of this 2 million acre Federally designated wilderness.

The North Cascades is home to a panoply of common charismatic megafauna such as marmots, pikas, black-tailed deer, Douglas squirrels and the ubiquitous banana slug. Elusive, but also present are gray wolves, fisher, wolverines, grizzly bears, bald eagles, osprey, and Harlequin ducks, all under the watchful eye of 10,778' Mt. Baker.

Our journey will be traverse a several mile long stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail (twice). We'll start on the PCT, hike a loop that traverses McAlester Pass and Rainbow Meadows before ending along the PCT.


Weather is always an important concern when hiking. Expect daytime hiking temperatures in the 70s and nighttime temperatures in the 50s. However, be prepared for the possibility of overnight temperatures as high as 100 and as low as freezing.

View weather averages

Trip Leaders

Dan Shafto
Holly Chambers


$1325 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a room with another participant during the 2 hotel nights. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Seattle / Sea-Tac (SEA), personal equipment and any restaurant meals eaten off the trail.

Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, 6 days of trail meals, ground transportation, Park entrance fees, National Park permits, insurance, satellite phone, and 2 awesome guides.

Important Note

Although the trails through North Cascades National Park are usually well groomed with good footing, there is a fair amount of elevation gain and loss. At times we will be several days away from rescue should an emergency arise. The upside to all this is pure solitude and an amazing enchanted wilderness known only to the select few that traverse this area.

Route subject to modifications if trail or weather conditions warrant it.

Fires are allowed at all camps we're planning to stay at.

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Guides for this trip
Important Note
Difficulty (Please Read)
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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Fly into Seattle (SEA). The best arrival time is between 12PM - 3PM, but if you can save a significant amount of money by arriving a little before or after, you should do so.

Take free airport shuttle to Sleep Inn - SeaTac Airport, 20406 International Blvd, SeaTac, WA 98198, 206-878-3600

Equipment shakedown. We go through your pack and examine everything you brought.

Go to REI, Tukwila to pick up any equipment participants forgot

Trail mix distribution

"Before" body composition measurements taken

Go out for opening dinner, review trip orientation (cost of dinner not included in trip cost)

Friday, July 19, 2019

Second set of "before" measurements taken

All the items that you won't bring on the trail will be set aside and put in storage.

Free hotel breakfast

Shuttle to North Cascades National Park, Rainy Pass Trailhead, WA 20, elevation 4800'

Hike 5.6 miles on the Bridge Creek Trail to Hideaway Campsite, elevation 3600'

Camp at Hideaway Camp, elevation 3600'

Miles today: 5.6. Total miles: 5.6

Possible bailout: Easy Pass

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Hike 0.9 miles on the Bridge Creek Trail to the Twisp Pass Trail, elevation 3700'

Hike 0.5 miles on the Twisp Pass Trail to the McAlester Creek Trail, elevation 3800'

Hike 4.1 uphill miles on the McAlester Creek Trail to McAlestar Lake, elevation 5500'

Camp at McAlester Lake, Elevation 5500'

Total mileage today: 5.5, Total to Date: 10.5

Possible bailout: Easy Pass TH

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Hike 1.2 miles on the McAlester Lake Trail to McAlester Pass and the Rainbow Creek Trail, elevation 6000'

Hike 4.6 downill miles on the Rainbow Creek Trail to the Bench Creek Campsite, elevation 3800'

Hike 3.2 uphill miles on the Rainbow Lake Trail to the Rainbow Meadow Group Campsite, elevation 5000'

Camp at Rainbow Meadow Group Campsite, elevation 5000'

Miles today: 9.0. Total miles: 19.5

Possible bailout: Lake Chelan (to find and wait for a boat)

Monday, July 22, 2019

Hike 8.3 miles on the Rainbow Lake Trail to the Bridge Creek Trail, elevation 3200' (along the way the elevation will get as high as 6200'

Hike 0.5 miles on the Bridge Creek Trail to South Fork Stock Camp (no we don't have stock), elevation 3300'

Camp at South Fork Stock Campsite, elevation 3300'

Miles today: 8.8. Total miles: 28.3

Possible bailout: No ideal options

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Hike 2.4 miles on the Bridge Creek Trail to Fireweed Stock Camp (no we don't have stock), elevation 3700'

Set up camp

Day-Hike 9.0 miles to the summit of Stiletto Peak, elevation 6300'

Camp at Fireweed Stock Camp, elevation 3700'

Miles today: 11.4. Total miles: 39.7

Possible bailout: Easy Pass Trailhad

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Hike 4.7 miles to the Easy Pass Trailhead, end of hike

Miles today: 4.7. Total miles: 44.4

Possible bailout: Easy Pass Trailhead

Shuttle back to Sleep Inn - SeaTac Airport, 20406 International Blvd, SeaTac, WA 98198, 206-878-3600

We will get your stuff from storage and bring it to the hotel

"After" measurements taken

Dinner and awards Ceremony (Dinner cost not included in trip cost)

This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Free Hotel Breakfast

Free airport shuttle

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