Cascade Pass to Sahale Arm
ElevationAscent: 3,873' 1,180 m
Descent: -3,872' -1,180 m
High: 7,541' 2,299 m
Low: 3,669' 1,118 m
GradeAvg Grade: 13% (7°)
Max Grade: 63% (32°)
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“Climb steadily through endless switchbacks to an awe-inspiring pass with impressive peaks & glaciers”— Michelle Kras
The trail starts right off of the parking area. You'll climb steadily through about 30 or so switchbacks. The trail is mostly covered by trees and there's a chance to see wildlife on the trail. As you climb, a few sections of trees are cleared giving you awesome views of the surrounding mountains (and a little bit of encouragement to keep climbing!) - these are the perfect spots for short breaks. Listen for falling ice or water from the many cascades.
Just when you are about to give up, the trail levels out and you'll have beautiful views. Cross a screefield, and you're almost there. Once you reach the pass you'll be rewarded with open views of peaks and glaciers. There is a short trail to a pit toilet here. This is a great place to stop, rest, and eat lunch. You may be sweaty from the switchbacks, and it can get very breezy and chilly so this is a good time to change into dry clothes before eating lunch. Chipmunks are known to steal food, so watch out!
From here you can continue to explore the area. There are several trails that continue onward toward Sahale Arm or Pelton Basin (campsites available). The remainder of the route continues to be strenuous, but the extra effort is well worth your while. The Sahale Arm trail leads to wonderful views and adventurous trail.
If Cascade Pass is your destination for the day, turn around once you've rested up a bit and head back down the way that you came.
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Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes
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Land Manager: NPS - North Cascades National Park