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Cascade Pass, North Cascades National Park

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Hiking Trail · Nature / Park
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Cascade Pass (formerly also known as Skagit Pass) is a 5,392-foot (1,643 m) mountain pass over the northern Cascade Range, east of Marblemount, Washington, U.S.

Although an important pass, providing the easiest connection from the Cascade River to the head of Lake Chelan, it is now inside North Cascades National Park, and crossed by only a hiking trail.

From the west, one reaches it by hiking an easy 3.5 mile trail from the end of the Cascade River Road (elev. 3,600 feet (1,100 m)). From the east, it is accessible via a trail from Stehekin up the Stehekin River valley.

The summit of the pass, being at the tree line, is known for its views in all directions. It is also a key departure point for mountaineering; to the north, the gentle ridge of the Sahale arm leads up Sahale Mountain to the summit, as well as to the meadows of Boston Basin and the summits above. To the south, Mixup Arm leads to Mixup Peak and Magic Mountain, as well as to Cache Col, making Cascade Pass the start of the high-level Ptarmigan Traverse.

The pass was originally a major route for Native Americans trading between the coast and the interior. Among the first white men to explore and map the Skagit Pass was New York newspaperman Frank Wilkeson. Alexander Ross probably crossed the Cascades via Cascade Pass in 1814. His writings are too vague to be certain about his precise route.
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Cascade Pass reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
55 reviews
Google
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TripAdvisor
  • Cascade Pass was beautiful on Labor Day. We camped at Pelton Basin and hiked up Sahale Arm and to Horseshoe Basin. Lots of wild blueberries and we saw a bear and mountain goats. 
    Cascade Pass was beautiful on Labor Day. We camped at Pelton Basin and hiked up Sahale Arm and to Horseshoe Basin. Lots of wild blueberries and we saw a bear and mountain goats.  more »
  • I had the opportunity to pass my summer 1984 as a SCA Volunteer as Backcountry Ranger at Cascade Pass. This was maybe the best 3 months of my life ... I am Swiss so I can judge. The Cascades are like....  more
    I had the opportunity to pass my summer 1984 as a SCA Volunteer as Backcountry Ranger at Cascade Pass. This was maybe the best 3 months of my life ... I am Swiss so I can judge. The Cascades are like....  more »
Google
  • The beautiful meadows and mountains are surrounding you, what a beautiful feeling it will be? I could live the views fully but I wish I could spend more time. Colorful meadows were very beautiful and could see few glaciers on the mountains. You can see beautiful views from the parking area itself but hiking to cascade pass is one kind of beautiful experience. Looking forward to coming back.
  • Amazing view! I would highly recommend, though the path to get there is somewhat strenuous. There are many steep switchbacks, but it is totally worth it for the breathtaking view at the top. We were delighted to even spot some marmots!

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