Mount Margaret Backcountry Update

May 16, 2018

Road and Trail Access Information:

The Mount Margaret Backcountry is snow covered.  Johnston Ridge Observatory is open.

Hikers can expect snow at the higher elevations of the Boundary Trail.

Forest Road 26 and 99 are closed for the winter.

Trails and campsites in the upper elevations of the Mount Margaret Backcountry are typically snow covered until late June-mid July.

MMBC Expected Conditions 2018

Please no trash in the composting toilets.  Practice Leave No Trace and pack out your trash. 

  • Boundary Trail #1: Washouts near Whitter Ridge Trail #214, passable.  Washout just above Norway Pass may not be suitable for all hikers. Steep snow covered slopes, sloughing in places between Norway Pass and Johnstone Ridge.
  • Lakes Trail #211: Washouts below Snow Lake, sloughing and brushy in places.
  • There have been reports of cougar and bear sightings along the Lakes Trail.  Please visit the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife website on safety with Cougars and Bears.
  • Due to seasonal weather changes hikers should be prepared for sudden changes in weather and terrain conditions.  Recent rains have caused the Boundary Trail to slough in places.
  • Fires are not allowed.
  • Whittier Ridge Trail #214:  Expect snow and due to steep and uneven terrain this trail is recommended  only for the very experienced hikers.  Trail #214 from the Boundary Trail meets the Lakes Trail on the east side of Ridge and old section of trail is washed out on the west side.  Please stay to the east.
  • Trails in the Mount Margaret Backcountry (MMBC) are rugged and infrequently maintained.  In addition to patchy snow, expect trees across the trails, uneven footing, and small washouts.
  • Hikers may encounter wildlife in the Mount Margaret Backcountry, please respect and keep your distance.
  • Hikers may also encounter hunters during late summer and falls seasons.
  • Camp maps are located under general information on the MMBC web page.

Camping in the Mount Margaret Backcountry requires a permit.  Permits are available by advanced reservation only at Mount Margaret Backcountry Permit ReservationsIn addition each group visiting the backcountry must possess a valid Northwest Forest Pass, when parking at most trailhead access points.  Passes are available at sporting goods stores and Forest Service offices throughout the Northwest.  These permits are required year round.

  • Permits can only be obtained in advance online.  On March 19, 2017, reservations for the 2017 season will be available.  Reservations can be made through the Internet at or by toll-free telephone (1-877-444-6777) or TDD (1-877-TDD-6777).  There is a $10.00 non-refundable reservation fee.
  • Camping is allowed only in designated campgrounds.  There are eight different campgrounds located in MMBC.  Dogs, bicycles, stock and fires are prohibited.