North Fork Sauk Trail 649

Begin in impressive old-growth forest and enter Glacier Peak Wilderness at 0.5 miles. Climbing gradually, pass through a magnificent cedar forest and occasional avalanche swaths. Find campsites and backcountry toilets in 3.5 miles at Red Creek, 2,800 feet, and five miles at Mackinaw Shelter, 2,950 feet.

From here begin climbing relentless switchbacks, gaining 3,000 feet in three miles. The switchbacks seem unending, but scenic vistas begin and improve as you gain altitude. The alpine meadows and the splendid views make it well worth the effort. At 8.4 miles reach the Pacific Crest Trail 2000 and at three-fourth miles south you can find good camping on the bench below White Pass. Please bring a camp stove as wood is scarce and use existing campsites to protect fragile alpine vegetation. Hikers can also go north 3.5 miles on the PCT, over 6,500 feet, to Red Pass and good camping at Glacier Peak meadows with astounding views of Glacier Peak. 

Washington Trails Association


At a Glance

Usage: Light
Best Season: Summer/Fall
Restrictions: Wilderness regulations apply.
Closest Towns: Darrington, Washington
Restroom: Vault toilet at trailhead and backcountry box toilets at camps.
Passes: A valid Recreation Pass is required at the North Fork Sauk trailhead.
Information Center: Check current conditions or call Darrington Ranger District office at 360-436-1155 or Verlot Public Service Center at 360-691-7791.

General Information


Access 1:
From the Darrington Ranger District office, take Mt. Loop Highway 20 along the west side of the Sauk River. Drive 19.7 miles to Sloan Creek Road (Forest Service road 49) and turn left. Drive 6.6 miles to the trailhead.

Access 2:
From the Verlot Public Service Center (11 miles east of Granite Falls, WA), drive east along Mt. Loop Highway 26.5 miles to Sloan Creek Road (Forest Service road 49) and turn right. Drive 6.6 miles to the trailhead.

General Notes:


  • Darrington Ranger District
  • Green Trails: Sloan Peak 111 & Glacier Peak 112

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information


Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking:
Difficulty Level: Most Difficult


Recreation areas with activity Backpacking:

Viewing Scenery

Recreation areas with activity Viewing Scenery:
Difficulty Level: Most Difficult

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities

Find your favorite spot!

  • Trails & Campgrounds


  Area/Length : 
8.4 miles

  Latitude : 

  Longitude : 

  Elevation : 
2,100 feet - 6,000 feet