Best Hiking Trails in Glacier Peak Wilderness
Glacier Peak Wilderness is a hiker and climber's mecca, with more active glaciers than anywhere else in the lower 48 states. This rugged mountain area boasts hundreds of lakes, valleys and alpine meadows with 450 miles of hiking trails in Washington state's Okanogan-Wenatchee and Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forests. Located in the Cascade Mountains near North Cascades National Park, the area is surrounded by protected lands and is home to Glacier Peak at 10,541 feet, the most remote major volcanic peak in the Cascades. It's also home to climbing routes on over 140 peaks and faces, with surrounding slopes offering habitat to bears, mountain goats, elk, cougars, and lynxes.
The closest main towns are Leavenworth and Darrington, though the area can be accessed from various points. The Suiattle River Trail is a great place to start from the west, and joins the Pacific Crest Scenic Trail (PCT), which extends roughly 60 miles through the wilderness area.
When to Go
Accessing the area is dependent on snow melt, though mid-July through mid-September are your best bet.
Some trailhead parking lots require a recreation pass. Check out the Recreation Passes and Permits page for details. Backcountry permits are required to enter the wilderness area via the self-serve trailhead permit boxes.
Dogs are allowed in the Glacier Peak Wilderness, though are not allowed in the adjoining North Cascades National Park except via the Pacific Crest Trail.