War Creek Trail #408

Area Status: Not Cleared

A historic route that follows War Creek within Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness to a high pass that has wonderful views of the Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Mountains range. This trail leads into the Lake Chelan Recreation Area, managed by North Cascade National Park. A North Cascades National Park backcounty permit is required to camp in the recreation area.The trail travels through a forested area, which becomes thinner as you travel up the trail. The last 0.5 mile is steep. South Fork War Creek Trail 409, which is not maintained, branches left at 2 miles.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: For current trail 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
Permit Info: Wilderness permit not required.  Note: Permit required year round for all overnight stays in the backcountry of North Cascades National Park Service Complex (North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake and Lake Chelan National Recreation Areas).
Open Season: Late June
Best Season: summer
Busiest Season: summer
Restrictions: Wilderness regulations apply
Closest Towns: Twisp, WA
Water: No potable water
Restroom: At trailhead
Passes: A Recreation Pass is required. ($5/vehicle/day Northwest Forest Pass can be purchased from a self-pay station provided at Twisp River Horse Camp or Gilbert trailhead). 
Operated By: Forest Service
Information Center: Methow Valley Ranger District

General Information


From Twisp, drive west on Twisp River Road (county road #9114), in about 10 miles turn left onto Buttermilk Creek Road (county road 1090) which crosses a bridge across Twisp River, follow the road to the right West Buttermilk Creek Road onto road that becomes Forest Service Road #4420. Drive about 4 miles to junction with  Forest Service Road #4430, continue straight on #4430 and turn left onto War Creek Trailhead Road #4430-100 road and travel about 1.5 miles to the trailhead.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information



Hide detail HIDE

Day Hiking

Recreation areas with activity Day Hiking: See additional information under Backpacking.


Recreation areas with activity Backpacking: The trail has a wonderful view of the Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Mountain range from the pass.

Horse Riding & Camping

Show detail SHOW


Picnic tables day use picnic tables
Interpretive Site Informative interpretive signs
Toilets at trailhead only
Parking parking with hitchrails
Fee charged for some activities self-pay stations available to purchase recreation pass at Twisp River Horse Camp or Gilbert Trailhead
Areas & Activities


  Area/Length : 
9.3 miles


Fire Danger LOW graphic

Fire Restrictions

Outdoor Essentials poster

Outdoor Essentials Link opens in a Pdf Document

Recreation App Available

Download Our New Official Recreation App!

No Drone Zone sign

No Drones in Wilderness Areas

Okanogan-Wenatchee NF vicinity map

Forest general vicinity map Link opens in a Pdf Document

Outdoor Essentials poster

Outdoor Essentials in Spanish Link opens in a Pdf Document

Outdoor Essentials poster

Outdoor Essentials in Russian Link opens in a Pdf Document

Wheelchair at Washington Pass Viewpoint

Wheelchair Accessible Trails