From the trailhead follow an old road briefly on the flats approaching the North Fork Sauk River. There is no bridge across the river and an often difficult ford is required to continue. This trail receives sporadic maintenance. Be prepared for windfalls and brush.
After crossing the river, climb steeply through timber to enter Henry M. Jackson Wilderness in about a mile and cross Cougar Creek near large falls in two miles. Crossing can sometimes be difficult during times of heavy snowmelt. From here cross a recent avalanche path where the trail has been obliterated, creating difficult cross-country travel but impressive views. Beyond the slide area ascend into meadows at the base of Sloan Peak with good views and the turn-around point for hikers.
From the Darrington Ranger District office travel south along the Mt. Loop Highway 16.3 miles. Turn left (east) on the Sloan Creek Road (Forest Service 49). Continue on this road for 4.5 miles to the trailhead on your right.