Washington Pass Overlook hike

North Cascades National Park
View Photos

Washington Pass Overlook hike

Distance: 0.2mi
Elevation: 20ft
Time: 0.5h

Difficulty Rating:

User Ratings:
9.6 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

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 5600ft heights of Washington Pass. This little leg stretch is an excellent way to break up the drive between eastern and western Washington State.

Washington Pass Overlook hike Map

Getting there

From Newhalem, head east on Highway 20 for 42.0mi to milepost 162. Turn left onto the signed overlook road.

I’ve done this 12 people have done this
I want to do this 14 want to do this route

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


Washington Pass Overlook
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Washington Pass Overlook hike

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 700ft 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 0.3mi 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

To add rating to your comment you need to log In or sign up.

SandraK88 2 months 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
max 3 months 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
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
Becks Red 3 months 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
Otis 3 months 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
Burokai 3 months 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

Similar hikes to the Washington Pass Overlook hike

Ladder Creek Falls

Difficulty:
0.5mi
200ft
0.5h

Hiking to ladder Creek Falls is a great family-friendly hike for those in Newhalem. Take a short hike over the…

Blue Lake

Difficulty:
4.3mi
1001ft
2-3h

The family-friendly hike to Blue Lake is another North Cascades gem. The whole family will enjoy a leisurely hike out…

Diablo Lake Trail

Difficulty:
4.4mi
801ft
3-4h

The hike along the Diablo Lake Trail rises 700ft above Diablo Lake, delivering hikers to a view of…