Climb sweeping switchbacks through open woods for three miles to Bingley Gap at 4,425 feet. The trail turns east and continues climbing up along the ridge, entering Glacier Peak Wilderness shortly before meadows and a saddle overlooking 12-acre Round Lake at 5,100 feet. No stock animals are allowed beyond this point. At 0.7 miles a side trail drops 550 feet down to the lake where camp spots and a box toilet can be found among the trees. The main trail continues past a series of camps with water before becoming hard to follow. This seldom maintained trail has sections of dense brush and faint tread as it ascends and descends steeply through a number of small basins. Early season travel can be hazardous because of high-angle snow slopes and difficult route finding. Passing through meadows and sporadic forest, the trail passes little Hardtack Lake at 9 miles and reaches 9.9-acre Camp Lake at 11 miles where you will find good camping. From here the Lost Creek Ridge Trail climbs to a knoll, then drops to a rocky basin and descends to 51.2-acre Lake Byrne at 5,550 feet. Surrounded by dramatic cliff walls, this lake melts out in August.
Camping is limited and campfires are prohibited, so bring a stove. The trail descends 2,250 feet for two miles to the former Kennedy Hot Springs and the junction with the White Chuck Trail 643. Floods in October, 2003, washed out bridges over the White Chuck River and Kennedy Creek. Fording the Whitechuck River is extremely dangerous and not recommended at any time of year. Be sure to carry water on this route.
Washington Trails Association
At a Glance
From the Darrington Ranger District office, drive south 19.7 miles on the Mt. Loop Highway to Sloan Creek Road (Forest Service road 49) and turn left (east). Follow this road for 3.5 miles to the signed trailhead. There is limited parking available.
Darrington Ranger District
Greentrails: Sloan Peak 111, Glacier Peak 112