White Pass to Pilot Ridge Loop
ElevationAscent: 7,886' 2,404 m
Descent: -7,886' -2,404 m
High: 6,265' 1,910 m
Low: 2,113' 644 m
GradeAvg Grade: 10% (6°)
Max Grade: 65% (33°)
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“Highly run-able ridge route in the Glacier Peak Wilderness.”— Jason Santos
Once at Dishpan Gap, take a right onto the Bald Eagle Trail for about 0.8 miles until you hit the Blue Lake High Route trail. Climb up to the ridge and drink in the view of Blue Lake before dropping 700 feet to the lakeshore and outlet. This is the last place to get water until you reconnect with the North Fork Sauk, a scant 10 miles away, so stock up.
Climb out of the lake basin up and over the ridge below Johnson Mountain and ramble along the hillside with the Monte Cristo Range in your face across the valley. Prepare for a quad warm-up as there are a few steep roller-coaster descents along Pilot Ridge.
At around mile 24, prepare to have the check handed to you; you didn't think all those views and beautiful trail were free did you? Drop 2,400 feet in 2.25 miles in a series of quad-busting switchbacks and rocky, rooty tread as the trail comes to collect. Once you finally hear the roar of the Sauk and reach the river, cross on the far left log and rejoin the North Fork Sauk Trail #649 shortly after. From here, it's a nice easy 1.5 miles back to the trailhead.
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