Little Beaver Trail
ElevationAscent: 4,881' 1,488 m
Descent: -1,332' -406 m
High: 5,197' 1,584 m
Low: 1,648' 502 m
GradeAvg Grade: 7% (4°)
Max Grade: 51% (27°)
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“A long, sometimes brushy trail to awesome views of jagged North Cascade peaks from Whatcom Pass.”— Sarah Baker
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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Photos, Need to Know, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes
Land Manager: NPS - North Cascades National Park