Easy Pass hike

North Cascades National Park
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Easy Pass hike

Distance: 7.1mi
Elevation: 3,068ft
Time: 5-6h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
8.5 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
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We love the hike to Easy Pass. This stunning North Cascade hike has peaks aplenty and rewards hikers at the top of this not-so-easy pass. Gaze across Fisher Basin to Fisher Peak, and check out Mount Logan’s glaciated goods from afar. Hiking to Easy Pass is excellent during fall when the subalpine larches turn golden-yellow. Snow-dusted peaks are icing on the cake.

Easy Pass hike Map

Getting there

From Newhalem, drive Highway 20 east for 32.0mi. Turn right between mileposts 151 and 152 onto a road signed for Easy Pass. Northwest Forest Pass required.

I’ve done this 7 people have done this
I want to do this 17 want to do this route


When to do

July to October

Backcountry Campsites



Yes, at trailhead

Family friendly


Route Signage


Crowd Levels


Route Type

Out and back

Easy Pass
Elevation Graph

Route Description for Easy Pass hike

According to the US Forest Service, “This route was called ‘Easy’ Pass because it was the only place possible to put a trail across rugged, ragged ridges.” But don’t let the name fool you. Hiking to Easy Pass is anything but easy. This trail traverses rocky meadows and steep talus slopes in search of higher places, with views deep into North Cascades National Park.

Begin the hike in heavy timber, dropping a little to rushing Granite Creek. Fortunately, a log bridge spans the waters. Begin gaining elevation beneath the trees, reaching Easy Pass Creek and the first mountain views at 1.7mi. Cross this creek carefully – there is no bridge. Shortly thereafter, the trail emerges from the forest into meadows, with views straight ahead to New Morning Peak.

Climb through the open, talus-strewn slopes towards Easy Pass. Graybeard Peak towers overhead. The trail travels toward the saddle between Graybeard and New Morning Peaks, with ever-improving views northeast to Mount Hardy and Golden Horn each time you turn around. Re-enter a forested area before breaking out into exposed talus again, climbing all the while. Look and listen for pika scurrying about in the rocks while you hike by.

After about a 1.0mi of relentless switchbacks, reach the National Park boundary – marked by a post. The pass itself is 0.1mi further, topping out at just above 6500ft. While there’s no obvious turnaround spot (the trail continues for several miles into the National Park), it’s easy enough to find a scenic lunch spot atop the pass.

Enjoy endless views across the Fisher Basin to Fisher and Black peaks. Look deep into the park for a far-off glimpse of glaciated Mount Logan. Fall colors against the backdrop of black rock and white snow makes for a stunning contrast. Easy? No. Worth it? Absolutely.

Hike back the way you came.

Insider Hints

  • Trekking poles are helpful, especially on the steep, rocky descent.

  • The best time for hiking Easy Pass is during fall, providing vibrant colors and snow-capped peaks.

  • Bring plenty of water and sunscreen, especially on hot days. The route is very exposed.


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Cykelly 3 months ago

Easy Pass was really strenuous. A lot of elevation, but beautiful. You really see some truly amazing forests and mountains surrounding you. Lots of birds and noises.

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
5h 00m Time Taken
Burokai 3 months ago

What a misleading name - it wasn't that easy! But definitely worth it as the views when you hike out of the forest were stunning

8.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

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