This trail accesses Glacier Peak Wilderness. Begin hiking on an old road that climbs steadily and then drops to a junction with the Crystal Lake Trail. Stay right and continue another four miles to the former road end where the trail takes off left and climbs steeply through dense woods before reaching the first meadow. A small stream nearby suggests a relaxing pause for lunch. Continue on for another 1.5 miles until the junction with the Meadow Lake Trail 657A on the left (east). Drop down 0.7 miles to the 11-acre lake. The main trail continues on past the lake turnoff, angling up a ridge passing forest and meadows at two miles.
Continue gaining and losing elevation, with numerous switchbacks and excellent views of Glacier Peak. Although camp spots are frequent along the way, the first site with guaranteed water is at 8.5 miles. The ridge crest is neared at 5,850 feet. From here, you’ll need a compass and map to reach 9.6-acre Diamond Lake at 5,250 feet and 11-acre Emerald Lake at 5,150 feet, since there is not a trail to either lake. The trail continues up and down, remaining below the ridge crest and proceeding through patches of trees, flowers and views. At 12 miles the trail drops steadily as you pass Fire Mountain. Good camping can be found here. This is the point to turn back and return to the trailhead. If continuing, the unmaintained trail will drop steeply down switchbacks 4.5 miles to the junction with the former White Chuck Trail, which was obliterated in the 2003 floods. The old route leads west, back to the now decommissioned upper five miles of the Whitechuck River Road 23.
Washington Trails Association
At a Glance
From the Darrington Ranger District office, take Mt. Loop Highway for 9 miles to White Chuck Road (Forest Service road 23) and turn left (east). Follow this road for 6 miles to Rat Trap Pass Road (Forest Service road 27). Turn left (north) and drive 2.4 miles to the trailhead on your right
From the Darrington Ranger District office, take Highway 530 north 7 miles to Suiattle River Road (Forest Service road 26) on the right. Follow Forest Service road 26 for 10 miles to the junction with Forest Service road 25, turn right, crossing the river, and proceed 3.5 miles to Rat Trap Pass/Straight Creek road (Forest Service road 27) on the right. Follow Forest Service road 27 for 7 miles to the Meadow Mt/Crystal Lake trailhead on the left.
Limited parking at trailhead.
Darrington Ranger District
Green Trails: Sloan Peak 111