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Little Beaver Trail



17.4 mile 28.0 kilometer point to point
87% Runnable


Ascent: 4,881' 1,488 m
Descent: -1,332' -406 m
High: 5,197' 1,584 m
Low: 1,648' 502 m


Avg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 51% (27°)


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Trail shared by Sarah Baker

A long, sometimes brushy trail to awesome views of jagged North Cascade peaks from Whatcom Pass.

Sarah Baker

Features Birding · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife

The black flies can be horrible! Make sure to bring your bug spray or bug netting.

The trail is known for being very brushy! Bring light, long pants to protect your legs from the scratchy brush.


The trail starts at the dock on Ross Lake. The trailhead can be accessed via a water taxi that leaves from near Ross Dam which can be accessed from the Ross Dam Trail. Make sure to call ahead for reservations! You can find more information about the water taxi service here (…).

From the dock on Ross Lake, the trail immediately climbs through an evergreen forest for the first mile. The trail descends briefly, then flattens while gradually ascending with some minor downhills along the canyon of Little Beaver Creek. The trail passes through some brushy meadows where the brush can stand over six feet tall. In this section, the trail passes over a couple creeks, some requiring you to ford the waters by removing your boots.

At 4.6 miles you pass Perry Creek Campground which is located just to the east of Perry Creek. Continue through more brushy meadows along Little Beaver Creek. This part of the trail offers a few views out from the valley floor, but the best views are still to come.

At 10.5 miles, the Big Beaver Trail forks off to the left. This trail leads to Stillwell Campground and up to Beaver Pass. The main Little Beaver trail continues to the west up the valley.

After another 3.5 miles, you'll pass Twin Rocks Camp. The trail then starts ascending more steadily. This part of the trail can be very brushy and can really slow down your progress. Wearing long pants can help preserve your legs from getting scratched up, as the trail can be quite overgrown.

As you get closer to the head of the valley, the trail passes beautiful waterfalls cascading down the cliffs on the south side of the valley. Look south to see Mount Challenger and Whatcom Peak with their glaciers spilling into the valley. The views only get better from here. The trail ascends steeply up switchbacks through a forest of large firs with views out to large, gnarly peaks.

Once you've made your way to Whatcom Pass, take in the views of Whatcom Peak, Easy Peak, Mount Challenger and many more jagged peaks in the heart of the North Cascade range. From here, you can continue onto Brush Creek and Whatcom Pass Campground, or climb up to Tapto Lakes.

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625 Since Feb 29, 2016



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