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    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    935 m
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    12.9 km
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
    Intermediate (Square)
    Suitable for intermediates who are ready for a little bit more adventure.
    Physical DIFF
    Easy (Circle)
    Suitable for beginners, families, young children, and those looking for a casual adventure.
    Technical DIFF
    Directions to Trailhead

    Easy Pass

    Easy Pass hike in North Cascades National Park

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    Table of contents

    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.

    Route Description for Easy Pass

    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 2.7 km. 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 1.6 km of relentless switchbacks, reach the National Park boundary - marked by a post. The pass itself is 0.2 km further, topping out at just above 1,981 m. 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.

    Want to find other amazing hikes in North Cascades National Park? Check out the Diablo Lake trail, Maple Pass Loop or the Cascade Pass trail.

    Insider Hints for Easy Pass

    • 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.

    Getting to the Easy Pass Trailhead

    From Newhalem, drive Highway 20 east for 51.5 km. Turn right between mileposts 151 and 152 onto a road signed for Easy Pass. Northwest Forest Pass required.

    Route Information

    • When to do:

      July to October

    • Backcountry Campsites:


    • Toilets:

      Yes, at trailhead

    • Family friendly:


    • Route Signage:


    • Crowd Levels:


    • Route Type:

      Out and back

    Easy Pass Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

    Check Area Weather


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