Washington Pass Overlook

North Cascades
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Washington Pass Overlook

Distance: 0.4km
Elevation: 6m
Time: 0.5h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.6 Overall Rating
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The Washington Pass Overlook hike is a must-do for anybody in the North Cascades. This hike takes you on a paved path that leads to incredible Liberty Bell views from the 1707m heights of Washington Pass. This little leg stretch is an excellent way to break up the drive between eastern and western Washington State.

Getting there

From Newhalem, head east on Highway 20 for 67.6km to milepost 162. Turn left onto the signed overlook road.

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About

When to do

Spring - Fall (Highway 20 closed during winter)

Backcountry Campsites

No

Toilets

Yes

Family friendly

Yes

Route Signage

Average

Crowd Levels

High

Route Type

Circuit


Elevation


Detailed Description

Everyone – even non-hikers – can enjoy the soaring Liberty Bell Mountain views from the top of Washington Pass. A paved path cuts through pine-scented forest to the overlook, where Liberty Bell and Early Winters Spires dominate the view. Peer down on a hairpin turn in Highway 20, some 213m below. You can return the way you came for a 5-minute round trip walk, or continue around the loop for additional views.

To turn this walk into a short hike, take the 0.4km circuit route. From the overlook, follow the path north. This portion of the trail is not wheelchair accessible, as it alternates between dirt and stairs. From the northern high point, Silver Star Mountain is on display, along with countless rugged ridges and spires.

Washington Pass provides an excellent introduction to the North Cascades, showcasing their wild, jagged, sky-piercing peaks. It’s also a learning environment, telling the story of the North Cascades Highway (Highway 20) through interpretive signage. Opened in 1972, the North Cascades Highway is less than 50 years old – and Washington Pass is its highest point. Take your time wandering the path. It’s not difficult to imagine a time when no road existed here, when the wilderness remained wild and free of modern technology.

Insider Hints

  • With easy access for all, the hike to the Washington Pass Overlook is wheelchair accessible, kid-friendly, and leashed dogs are welcome.

  • Birds, squirrels, and other wildlife may beg for food in this heavily-trafficked area. Don’t feed the wildlife!

  • For a longer hike around the back side of Liberty Bell, check out the nearby Blue Lake Trail.

Comments

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SandraK882 weeks ago

Washington Pass overlook was great. Many people were there enjoying the views. Great spot for pictures or exploring the area with binoculars.

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
1h 00m Time Taken
max2 weeks ago

What a place! Takes my breath away every time! Amazing views. Picnic areas, clean bathrooms, pet-friendly on leash, big parking lot! It's a must-see place!

10.0 Overall Rating
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Physical Difficulty
Becks Red2 weeks ago

Washington pass overlook is really easy to go to and it awards with spectacular views. everyone there was really nice and you can really take pictures and enjoy it

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
0h 30m Time Taken
Otis2 weeks ago

Liberty bells views are amazing. It's a must-see outlook since it's easy to get to

10.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Burokai3 weeks ago

It's not a hike, just a walk towards the overlook. Observation point was amazing. Lots of families might get crowded but once you see the views you know it's for a reason

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
0h 30m Time Taken
5 Comments

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