Copper Pass Trail #426


The trail from Gilbert Trailhead passes through avalanche chutes and subalpine forest with large spruce trees for the first 2.2 miles. The last mile before the pass, crosses open basins with scattered stands of subalpine forest. The upper basin can hold snow into July. The upper Copper Basin is scenic. From the pass there are fine views of Stiletto Peak, Gilbert Mountain, and Kangaroo Ridge. The trail from the Pacific Crest Trail side is seldom maintained. Impassable for stock. This route is recommended for experienced backcountry travelers only as trail may be faint and hard to follow in places. This is a good hike for experienced backcountry travelers who are looking for isolation. The eastern portion of this trail is not recommended for stock as the trail is very rocky for stock east of Copper Pass.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: For current conditions go to: http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/okawen/alerts-notices
Area Amenities: Interpretive Site, Fee charged for some activities, Picnic tables, Toilets, Parking
Fees: A Recreation Pass is required. ($5/vehicle/day Northwest Forest Pass can be purchased from a self-pay station provided at the trailhead).
Open Season: Late July
Best Season: August-September
Busiest Season: August
Restrictions: Wilderness regulations apply. Certified weed free hay is required on National forestlands (processed grains are okay).
Closest Towns: Twisp, WA
Water: No potable water
Restroom: Yes
Passes: A Recreation Pass is required a both trailheads. ($5/vehicle/day Northwest Forest Pass can be purchased from a self-pay station provided at the trailhead).
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Methow Valley Ranger District. 24 West Chewuch Road, Winthrop, WA 98862  509-996-4000

General Information

Directions:

From Twisp, Washington, drive west on Twisp River Road (Okanogan County Road 9114) for 10 miles, then the county road becomes Forest Service Road 44. Continue straight on Forest Service Road 44, travel 4 miles, continue straight onto gravel road (where Forest Service Road 44 becomes Forest Service Road 4440). Continue straight on Forest Service Road 4440 for an additional 6 miles to the Gilbert Trailhead on the right (after crossing North Creek) about 24 total miles northwest of Twisp.  From Gilbert Trailhead hike west on Twisp Pass Trail #432 for 2 miles. This trail begins just prior to the Twisp Pass Trail footlog bridge, turn right onto Copper Pass Trail. 

For an alternate, less used route starts from the Bridge Creek Trailhead on Highway 20 and find  a 100 foot long path leading to the main trail, at 0.8 miles the trail divides. The right fork is the Pacific Crest Trail and the left is the Stiletto Spur Trail (old Bridge Creek Trail). Take the left trail and cross State Creek, in 0.1 mile there is another signed junction, where the left trail goes east to Copper Pass.


General Notes:


Activities

Day Hiking

See additional information under Backpacking.

Backpacking

This is a good hike for experienced backcountry travelers who are looking for isolation, as the trail receives little use. The upper Copper Creek Basin is scenic. From the pass there are fine views of Stiletto Peak, Gilbert Mountain, and Kangaroo Ridge. The truly adventurous could follow the trail over Copper Pass and down the Twisp River side to connect with the Twisp Pass Trail. Specific Hazards/Difficulties: This trail is recommended for experienced backcountry travelers only. The trail may be faint and hard to follow in places.

Amenities

Interpretive Site: information bulletin board
Picnic tables: for day use only at trailhead
Fee charged for some activities: self-pay stations available for required recreation pass
Parking: Stock ramp & hitch rails at parking area.
Toilets: vault toilets at trailhead only