Waptus River Trail #1310

The Waptus River Trail begins at Salmon La Sac Trailhead and ends at Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail #2000. This trail accesses the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

Waptus River Trail follows a gentle grade for most of its length, with several uphill and downhill stretches over the first 6 miles. It winds among rocky bluffs and ponds, through forest, and eventually along Waptus River. From the 6-mile point, the trail is level for a while before starting uphilland leaving the river near the junction with Trail Creek Trail 1322. Two miles later, the trail reaches the junction with Waptus Pass Trail 1329; From here, there once was the hiker trail to the right that headed down to the Waptus River and a bridge crossing, then  followed Spinola Creek north for 0.5 mile and crosseed it on a bridge before heading west 0.5 mile to Waptus Lake. NOTE:  The bridge over Waptus River was destroyed in a flood and has not been replaced.  On the west side of Spinola Creek is the junction with Spinola Creek Trail 1310.1 which heads north up the creek for 1 mile to a junction with the Pacific Crest Trail. 

All users, both hikers and stock users must now use the Waptus Horse Ford Trail 1329.1, which crosses the river 0.25 mile upstream of the hiker bridge and is accessed from 1329; it then heads straight to the lake where it meets 1310 again. From that junction, 1310 continues on a fairly level grade along the north shore of Waptus Lake for 1.5 miles. It then leaves the lake and heads uphill through forest for 0.5 mile to trail’s end at the junction with Pacific Crest Trail 2000 near Spade Creek.              

At a Glance

Operational Hours: June - October
Fees: $5/vehicle/day or Northwest Forest Pass, or Federal Interagency Recreation Pass required at Salmon La Sac Trailhead.
Permit Info: Wilderness permits are required to enter Alpine Lakes Wilderness. The self-issuing permits are free and available at trailhead.
Open Season: Early Summer
Best Season: Summer
Busiest Season: Summer
Restrictions: Mountain bike and motorized use prohibited. Wilderness regulations apply. See: Alpine Lakes Wilderness Regulations Booklet.
Closest Towns: Roslyn, Cle Elum

General Information


Access from Salmon La Sac Trailhead


Day Hiking

Dayhiking to the river makes a common destination in 3 miles one way.

Difficulty Level: Easy


Can be combined with other trails in area to form a loop. 

Difficulty Level: Easy to Intermediate

Horse Riding

Popular for both dayrides and packing.  Horsepackers please use well established camps at Waptus Lake.  Check bulletin board for other stock use regulations in Alpine Lakes Wilderness or call the Cle Elum Ranger District.

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Related Information

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities


  Area/Length : 
11.0 miles

  Elevation : 
2560 ft. - 3120 ft.