Cascade Pass to Stehekin, Stehekin River Valley

09/03/12

Cascade Pass to Stehekin, Stehekin River Valley

A trip report for Cascade Pass
Posted by rlwarren
Road Issues: Road is great
Trail Condition: Easy to navigate
Bugs: Bring spray
Snow Level: No snow

Over Memorial Day weekend, three trekkers completed a multi-night backpacking trip from Cascade Pass down the Stehekin Valley to High Bridge, where the Stehekin Shuttle can be caught to bring hikers to the head of Lake Chelan. The round trip hike is upwards of 40 miles with about 1,800’ elevation gain on the way in and 4,300’ on the way back. Most trip advisories suggest taking several days to complete the trek, but that is up to the discretion of the trekkers.

To get to the trailhead, drive Hwy 20 to the little town of Marblemount. Keep going straight when 20 turns left and you will be on Cascade River road. Drive the 23 miles to the end where you will reach the parking lot.

The views are amazing, even from the parking lot, with Johannesburg, Eldorado, Mt. Forbidden and many more towering above. After climbing slowly but steadily for 3.7 miles, you will reach Cascade Pass (elevation 5,292’) where the views are even better. Continue East on the Stehekin River trail, where you quickly descend the pass (it’s a much rougher and steeper trail on the east side). In another 5.5 miles form the pass you will reach Cottonwood Camp. From this point on, it is an easy grade down to High Bridge because the trail used to be a road that came all the way up Stehekin Valley to Cottonwood. At about 12 miles from Cottonwood you will reach High Bridge, where you can catch the Stehekin Shuttle. (Make sure you check the shuttle times at www.stehekin.com because it is a long walk into town! Cost is $6, cash only).

When you get into town, be sure to enjoy the infamous Stehekin Pastry Company!

The view of Lake Chelan from Stehekin

Comments (4)

im leaving on the 7/1/2016 one way to stehekin.

Looks amazing

Yeah, unbelievable. I need to do this soon.

looks fantastic. what a great way to spend the weekend!