This trail leads between Cottonwood camping area, in the Stehekin River Valley, and Johannesburg, at the head of the North Fork Cascade River. The trail is eight miles one way gaining 3,000 vertical feet. It leads through scenic wood and talus-covered terrain, passing 13 waterfalls. The route is rated moderate by the National Park Service.
Begin this hike from the Cottonwood camping area, hiking westward along the upper reaches of the Stehekin River. The route follows the eastern bank of the river very closely for the first mile and a half. It crosses two small streams before reaching a trail junction.
The trail leading northward is the Horseshoe Basin Trail. Follow the Cascade Pass Trail westward as it veers northward from the river. In less than one mile the trail crosses the Stehekin River and begins to switchback. At the bottom of these switchbacks the trail has gained 1,350 feet from Cottonwood camping area.
From the top of these switchbacks the trail gains elevation steadily for one mile as it follows the contour of the valley. The last half mile to Cascade Pass the route ascends 600 feet. Once on the summit of the pass you'll see a trail leading northward. This trail leads to Sahale Arm camping area and Doubtful Lake. Follow it a short distance for excellent views of the Stehekin Valley.
To reach Johannesburg Trailhead descend the western side of Cascade Pass. In the first half mile the trail descends steeply then levels somewhat to a lesser grade for a short distance. The last mile to Johannesburg is steep with switchbacks descending 1,150 feet.
Directions: From Cascade River Road, Follow Cascade River Road southeastward along the North Fork Cascade River to its end at the Johannesburg Trailhead.
Elevation: 2,750 feet
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North Cascades National Park, Washington
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