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Twisp Pass

North Cascades

Location

North Cascades -- Methow/Sawtooth
View map below

Length

9.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 2460 ft.
Highest Point: 6064 ft.

Rating

3.83 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2021
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 
 

Venturing to the Twisp Pass trailhead can be a bit of a drive, but don’t despair, there are several day hikes to be done from this one trailhead with accompanying campground! The campground is a quarter of a mile further upstream from the parking lot. Access the trail either from your campsite or your car, as the parking lot offers direct access to the Twisp Pass trail, and a bootpath leads from behind the campground privy to intersect the trail a quarter-mile in. 

On this old mining road turned trail, the first two miles have few obstacles. Open meadowy areas feature aspens turning brilliant yellow in the fall and offering needed shade during the summer. A few small creeks pose no crossing difficulty. Dramatic views of Lincoln Butte, a lesser peak at the head of the valley, may titillate your climbing ambitions.

After these delightful two miles, the trail turns abruptly left, crossing the North Fork of the Twisp River. Perhaps a little hard to follow is the right-hand fork here. This is Trail 426, which continues on to Copper Pass. Once somewhat hair-raising, the log bridge crossing is safer now with a handrail installed, but always be careful crossing the water.

The trail now winds south and then west around the base of Lincoln Butte. After a brief mile and a half, encounter several fabulous domed rock campsites over looking the South Fork of the Twisp River. While they are great sites, they are dry, so be sure to fill up at the river crossing. 

As this trail climbs towards the pass, note the extensive rock cribwork performed. Imagine that 100 years ago this was a proposed route for the North Cascades Highway through to Cascade Pass! Twisting and turning, this glorious trail winds through stunted hemlocks, granite outcrops, and flowery meadows fed by gurgling brooks.

WTA Pro Tip: Twisp Pass is expansive with many little spots to camp or spread out for an afternoon nap. It is also a beautiful gateway to the North Cascades National Park. Please be observant that guns and dogs are not allowed past the pass. For those with more energy to burn there are several cross-country rambles which depart from this location.

 

Twisp Pass

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.4586, -120.5675 Open map in new window

Trailhead

North Cascades -- Methow/Sawtooth

Twisp Pass (#432)

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Methow Valley Ranger District

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: North Cascades (Romano - Mountaineers Books)

Buy the Green Trails Stehekin No. 82 map

Getting There

Drive east on Highway 20 (closed from the west side in winter) through the North Cascades to the small town of Twisp.

Alternatively, take I-90 over Snoqualmie or Highway 2 through Stevens Pass. On either route, transfer to Highway 97 North to Highway 153 towards Winthrop.

In Twisp, turn west (left if traveling northbound, right if travelling southbound) onto the Twisp River Road. Follow this road to its end, about 24 miles. Along the way the road becomes FR 44 and then FR 4440.

A rest room is available at the trail head.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 

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Twisp Pass

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