Wild Sky Wilderness

Wild Sky Wilderness, photo by Gary Paull, US Forest Service.This is the newest addition to a 2.6 million acre wilderness complex that straddles the rugged Cascade Range from Canada to Snoqualmie Pass.  From the North Fork Skykomish River near the town of Index, the terrain rises from about 600 feet above sea level to over 6,000 feet on Gunn Peak. Annual precipitation is between 150 to 200 inches, most of it coming as snow. Runoff feeds streams that drop into the deep valleys below. Find Douglas fir, western red cedar and western hemlock at higher elevations; silver fir and mountain hemlock at lower elevations. Ice patches permanently cover the north and east slopes of Merchant, Gunn and Spire peaks. Trails in this part of the wilderness are few and cross-country travel maybe difficult.

East of Beckler River and the Straight Creek Fault the terrain becomes more uniform and gentle enough to support large meadows. Meadow Creek, West Cady Creek and Johnson Ridge trails lead through forests into flowery meadows. Several trails are open for stock animals with loop trips passing through the Henry M. Jackson Wilderness to the Pacific Crest Trail.

Evergreen Mountain Lookout is a rental cabin that continues to operate within the wilderness. At 5,587 feet, it provides a spectacular perch to watch the sunset over the rough peaks of Wild Sky and offers panoramic view from Glacier Peak to Mt. Rainier.

West Cady Ridge Trail leads through old growth Douglas fir, hemlock and western red cedar, which provide habitat for a variety of birds and animals.

Logging began around 1920 and continued into the early 1990¿s. Signs of past mining exploration can be seen in the Silver Creek area.  About a dozen mountain lakes attract anglers. Lake Isabel is the largest of these at about 1.5 miles long and 200 feet deep. The historic use of float planes is allowed to continue on the lake.

Congress designated the Wild Sky Wilderness in 2008 and it now totals 106,577 acres in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. Wild Sky Wilderness borders Henry M. Jackson Wilderness to the northeast.

Wild Sky Wilderness Trail Plan

Map



Related Links

Highlights

  • Wilderness.net OffSite Link

    This link will take you to the Wilderness.net—a Web site jointly managed by the University of Montana and the four federal agencies that manage wilderness.