The first mile and a half of the Pacific Crest Trail National Scenic Trail built on the former Great Northern Railway grade is level. After that it is up and down for the next thirty miles as the PCT passes through the Skykomish District on its way to Dishpan Gap and the Darrington District before reaching the ultimate destination-Canada. The trail travels through old growth forests, meadows of wildflowers and over ridges with breath taking views that attract hikers from around the world.
The first 1.5 miles of the trail are level, following the original grade of the railway. Enter the Henry M. Jackson Wilderness and just a little over five miles from the trailhead you will see deep clear blue water of Lake Valhalla (4,838 feet), nestled under the dramatic Lichtenberg Mountain.
After 1.8 miles, the PCT reaches the first of many junctions, Smithbrook Trail 1590 at Union Gap. From there, head 2.2 miles to Lake Janus (4,146 feet). There is no reliable water source between Lake Janus and Grizzly Peak although you’ll enjoy refreshing views of Margret Lake, Glasses Lake and Heather Lake. Find two more junctions within the next mile past Wenatchee Pass, Top Lake Trail 1506 and Meadow Creek Trail 1057 at Pear Lake (4,809 feet). After that, it’s approximately 10.5 miles to the next lake on the PCT; Lake Sally Ann (5,479 feet).
Continue through Saddle Gap where the trail intersects West Cady Ridge Trail 1054 .7 miles below Benchmark Mountain. The trail drops to Pass Creek Trail 1053 junction in 1.6 miles, continues through Cady Pass and intersects Cady Creek Trail 1501 in 0.3 miles. Cady Pass crosses over from the west to the east side of the Cascade Crest.
Skirting Skykomish Mountain Peak in the next 4.3 miles, pass Lake Sally Ann and continue to the Cady Ridge Trail #1532 junction. The PCT intersects two more trails in 1.4 miles at a point known as Dishpan Gap: North Fork Skykomish River Trail 1051 and Bald Eagle Mountain Trail 650. The PCT leaves the Skykomish District at Dishpan Gap 1.5 miles north of Sally Ann. A short distance from here at Meander Meadow enter Glacier Peak Wilderness.
At a Glance
The Pacific Crest Tail enters multiple wilderness areas where wilderness regulations apply.
The trail is closed to motorized vehicles and bicycles.
Maximum group size is 12 (people and stock combined).
Camp in established campsites.
A valid Recreation Pass required at Pacific Crest - Stevens North Trailhead.
Check current conditions or call Skykomish Ranger District office at 360-677-2414.
Access from Pacific Crest - Stevens North Trailhead.
Skykomish Ranger District
Green Trails #144