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This is a steep trail to a glacial tarn on the western border of the park. Hikers are required to pay the park entrance fee.

This five mile trail leads northward then eastward from Cascade River Road to glacier-formed Monogram Lake. The route ascends the northern wall of the Cascade River Valley for an elevation gain of 3,900 feet to the lake. Camping and fishing are allowed at Monogram Lake with the respective permits. Hikers should take precautions to avoid stinging nettles along the trail.

Begin this hike from the turn out on Cascade River Road. Look for the trailhead approximately seven miles from Marblemount. The trailhead lies on the northern side of the road. The switchbacks start almost immediately and steepen as you ascend. The last three quarters of a mile to the trail fork the gradient of the trail lessens. During this ascent the trail parallels Lookout Creek. It crosses a tributary of this creek immediately before the trail fork.

The trail splits two and three quarter miles from the trailhead after ascending 2,460 feet. At this split the left side of the fork leads to Lookout Mountain, elevation 5,718 feet, and a historic U.S. Forest Service lookout station. The right fork leads to Monogram Lake.

To reach the lake continue ascending, albeit less steeply, to the ridge crest. The trail turns eastward as it ascends the ridge and reaches a high point of 5,400 feet. From this point the trail descends 500 feet to the lake shore. You'll find camping on the northwestern side of the lake. Fires are not permitted at these campsites.

Directions: From Marblemount, Drive southward on Cascade River Road 7 miles to the turn out for Monogram Lake Trail. Park your car and cross the road to the trailhead.

Elevation: 1,312 feet

Ending Elevation: 4,900 feet

Difficulty: Strenuous

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North Cascades National Park, Washington

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The details, dates, and prices mentioned here were accurate at the time of publication.

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