Call the Wilderness Information Center at (360) 854-7245 the day of or the day before your trip to obtain a permit Mt. It was 2pm and we still had another 5.5 miles with another 3,000’ of gain in front of us. It's time to immerse yourself at Cooper's Lake. There are three camps on Copper Ridge (Silesia, Egg Lake, and Copper Lake), and a number of camps along the Chilliwack River Trail, starting with Boundary Camp. An hour later we were at camp. Since there are no designated sites in this area we were on the lookout for an established site on a durable surface (snow, rock, or bare dirt). Turn right and head south 4.1 miles (6.6 km) to McAlester Lake. Copper Creek via Chilliwack River Trail. The views were a welcome distraction as we made our way to Whatcom Camp. A map showing the campgrounds and trails is found at this link . Please take care to avoid trampling the vegetation by hiking and resting only on durable surfaces such as the trail, snow or rocks. Hanging out at Copper Lake. I parked the car, turned off the engine, and walked over to join them. We cleaned up, changed into fresh clothes, pulled out our snacks for the car ride, and then hit the road for another hike! The Tapto lakes are in a cross-country zone of the national park, which means there are no designated trails, campsites, or signage. Similar to the clouds at Tapto Lakes they danced up from the valleys and swept across hilltops and ridges. 80 Miles, 3-Day Stage. We descended to the lakeshore and enjoyed a quick lunch before looking for a campsite. The route is 46.1 miles and covers 13,200’ of elevation gain and loss but also offers sprawling mountain views, pristine lakes, and the opportunity to see black bears foraging for berries. For longer backpacking trips and a true immersion in wilderness, hikers can take a side trip up the Brush Creek Trail to Whatcom Pass, or continue onward to Ross Lake or State Route 20 via the Little Beaver or Big Beaver trails. Crews are working to repair the road, but when it will reopen is unknown at this time. It didn’t look like it would rain quite yet but we still gathered our packs and continued our ascent. We reluctantly hiked down from the lookout and continued toward Silesia Camp. The park recommends hikers stay at least 100 yards from bears so we kept our distance as we photographed it. Silesia is known as one of the prettiest, if not prettiest, camps along the loop. COPPER LAKE CAMP: 11.4 miles from Hannegan Pass TH, 1.2 miles beyond Copper Mountain Lookout. North Cascades National Park started a new lottery system this year with their backcountry permits. We hoped that the clouds would clear overnight and allow for night photos, both Alex and I set multiple alarms. The trail enters North Cascades National Park after 1.4 miles (2.3 km). Turn left (east) and continue past the Fireweed stock and hiker camps for.4 mile (.6 km) to the junction with the McAlester Creek Trail. Google Map of Trailhead: View Map. North Cascades. The forecast for day two called for overcast skies and rain in the evening, but the day dawned relatively clear. 98284. Use the form below to check walk-up camp availability to help you in your backcountry trip planning. The Copper Ridge trail often has steep snow sections that require an ice axe for safe travel as late as July. Here the trail splits, with one fork heading up to Copper Ridge and the other continuing down the Chilliwack Valley. The permit I secured was to camp one night at Egg Lake. The last backpacking trip I wrote about mentioned how easy and glamorous backpacking could be, Copper Ridge Loop was the complete opposite.. Copper Ridge Loop is a 36 mile permitted loop in North Cascades National park. The bear moving from berry bush to berry bush. After rising and falling along the ridge for many miles, the trail eventually makes a precipitous descent to the Chilliwack River valley (dropping 2400 feet in five miles -- 730 m in 8 km). Rating. A composting toilet is available at Whatcom Camp. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until September. It was lovely, but it was also long. Alpine lake reflections. Baker from Copper Ridge. Nearly our entire third day was spent hiking through the forest. Host your event here on over 500 acres with a variety of terrains to suit your needs. Access: Take the Mt. That sunrise was the cherry on top of an incredible trip. Lake Cascade is worth the time to at least slow down and drive around the lake and of course get out for some nice photos. Along this stretch we finally began to run into dayhikers again, it wasn’t many, but after seeing only a handful of hikers in the preceding days, it was a reminder that our trip was coming to an end. This route is a true “off the radar” gem. Although Alex and I were feeling insurmountably exhausted when we went to sleep, we awoke feeling energized. DIFFICULT 7.6 mi. We maintained a brisk pace and made it to Hannegan Pass in an hour and a half. During late July and August the river is often less than knee deep, and can be forded. North Cascades. I was thankful for our 3am Seattle departure. So peaceful. Campfires are not allowed anywhere on the ridge because of the extremely delicate nature of the plants and soils. 50 Trip Reports for this trail, below Copper Lake Map & Directions. I am well aware that a five day trip in the North Cascades could have easily consisted of nothing more than rain, so our billowy clouds and clear sunrises feel even more sweet with that knowledge. The trail to Copper Ridge requires a steep climb from Boundary Camp. For me the North Cascades fit the bill perfectly. Whatcom Peak and Challenger Glacier from camp at Copper Lake. Cross the braided channels of the Chilliwack River at this point via a series of fords--watch that you don't lose the trail! It is another 1.7 miles (2.7 km) to the junction of the Twisp Pass Trail. EASY 1.4 mi. After nine hours of hiking the signpost designating “Whatcom Camp” came into view. Length. Rangers checked our permits twice on our trip. Once back on the trail we fell into a rhythm. While the day wasn’t strenuous or difficult, it seemed to drag on and on as we plodded along the trail. Copper Lake’s three campsites sat empty, including one that includes a small island you can reach by rock hopping. There were a few wispy clouds, but they seemed to be dissipating and left us hopeful that the forecast would be wrong. An east to west crossing of the entire North Cascades National Park. Located just 5 miles south of the international border, copper Mountain offers sweeping views of the heart of the North Cascades. Boundary Camp is in a subalpine area and fires are not permitted. Copper Lake via Copper Ridge Trail. We lingered at the river shore, watching them flit back and forth, their pink bodies catching flashes of the morning sun. There are seven campgrounds on the trail. It wasn’t a typical mountain sunset, but it may have been one of the most unique scenes I have ever witnessed. By a hiking miracle we were able to secure the site on a walk-up permit. (This mileage is not included in the header for Day 4.). 3.20 out of 5 (5 votes) Log in to rate Save Hike to My Backpack. We were in a cloud, so I went back to sleep. Trail Name: Copper Ridge Loop / North Cascades Loops. Ford the Chilliwack River only at low water--use the cable car crossing at other times. They sat like gems twinkling in a basin below Red Face Mountain. “You got this!” I’d chirp to Alex, meanwhile my own glutes were screaming under the strain of each step. Sefrit, 7,191' Granite Mtn., 6,688' Goat Mtn., 6,891' SILESIA EGG LAKE BOUNDARY CAMP WHATCOM GRAYBEAL COPPER CREEK US CABIN TWIN ROCKS To Mt. 4. This made for a long hike. Our final day was quick and easy compared to the previous day. I hiked down to the lake to capture some photos of Whatcom Peak reflecting in the mirror-like Tapto Lake before the wind picked up and swept the reflection away. We felt overjoyed by the fact that we finally made it, but were too tired to celebrate. A few minutes after we entered the meadow we saw it. After snapping a few photos we continued on, checking on the bear every few steps to make sure it was still a safe distance away and not moving closer to us. Date of Trip: Sep 1-3, 2006. The first days hike took us up to Hannegan Pass and then, entering the North Cascades National Park, up to Selesia Camp on Copper Ridge. There are a number of campsites along both routes. It was quiet, cool, and the forest smelled of fallen leaves and those first hints of autumn. The ranger asked me for our itinerary and I listed off the camps we wanted to book. The landscapes were rugged and beautiful, the solitude was serene, and the weather cooperated nearly every step of the way. You may notice a coarse netting material covering several areas around Egg and Copper Lakes, or stakes marking informal trails as closed. Dogs are also able to use this trail. The 12 hours of sleep reinvigorated us and we felt ready to tackle our second day on the trail! After dinner the clouds began to put on a show. 2000 feet gain (610 m) / 620 feet loss (189 m), 1817 foot gain (554 m) from Boundary, 4170 foot gain (1271 m) from Chilliwack River. Last year I was finally able to make a return visit to Whatcom Pass and Tapto Lakes, in North Cascades National Park. Easy Peak 6615', North Cascades National Park Most people only visit Easy Peak as a gateway to the Northern Pickets: an inconsequential bump and potential high camp … I am still filled with a deep sense of gratitude for the experiences we had on this trip. The water was so clear they appeared to be floating in air. We hoped to hike the Copper Ridge/Chilliwack River Loop with an extension to Whatcom Pass and Tapto Lakes. As Jill said, "It was the best backpacking trip EVER." Pets and hunting are not allowed at Boundary Camp or beyond in the national park. We were able to secure our ideal itinerary: Below is the park’s map of the loop. Baker Highway (State Route 542) east to 8.5 miles (13.7 km) past the town of Glacier. The setting sun painted streaks of orange and pink on the clouds. Northern North Cascades Loop Trail is a 44.6 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Maple Falls, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The amount of time you take to complete the loop will depend on your hiking ability, and which campsites you are able to get permits for. The Copper / Chilliwack loop is one of the most popular backcountry destinations in the park, therefore permits can be difficult to obtain during busy periods. Register in person at ranger station (no fee) A backcountry permit is required to camp overnight in North Cascades National Park. We talked loudly to warn it of our presence and looked behind us often as we hiked, just to make sure it wasn’t tucked away in a stand of trees. Views of Challenger Glacier and the Little Beaver valley are expansive. Copper Ridge Loop is a challenging 34-mile journey including a high fire tower boasting incredible views, a gorgeous alpine lake and a tranquil river teeming with sockeye salmon. The park only allows three groups to stay in the Tapto Lakes zone each night—this preserves the fragile landscape and ensures solitude for the groups that are permitted to camp there. It was this vision that first drew me to Whatcom Pass many years ago. Our second day’s hike was planned to be brief—only 1.5 miles—so we lazed around camp, enjoyed some fresh blueberries, and took our time packing up camp. I was grateful when we finally made it to Indian Creek Camp in the mid-afternoon. The day was going to be 8.5 miles, and it would be all downhill so we didn’t feel the need to rush the morning. Views of Ruth Mountain dominate this area. I's likely that the first ascent was made by Henry Custer in July 1859, as part of the American Boundary Survey. An hour later my second alarm sounded and once again I saw we were engulfed by clouds. After the light faded, we headed for the tent. We tried to maintain our pace, but the views were making it difficult as we stopped often to take photos of the surrounding valley. Filing the information about the bear in the back of our minds, we continued our hike. We had over 11 miles and 5,000’ of gain ahead of us along the famed Copper Ridge section of the Copper Ridge/Chilliwack River Loop. We knew the following day was going to be another big uphill day and we wanted to get a good night’s sleep before tackling it. 810 State Route 20 Shuksan and Mt. Information comes directly from our permitting system and is updated every 10 minutes. Copper Ridge Trail To Copper Lake is a 21.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Maple Falls, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. To my pleasant surprise, when I peered out of the tent the next morning I saw that it was clear. Distance - one way: Elevation gain / loss: Use: Difficulty: To Boundary Camp: 5 miles (8 km) 2000 feet gain (610 m) / 620 feet loss (189 m) Hiking and stock: Moderate: Copper Ridge Trail: 13.9 miles (22 km) 1817 foot gain (554 m) from Boundary, 4170 foot gain (1271 m) from Chilliwack River Further down the Chilliwack River Trail are Indian Creek and Bear Creek, the trail to Little Chilliwack camps has been abandoned so camping there is no longer an option. By the time the doors opened there were at least 20 groups in line. Besides the staggering beauty, my favorite part of this hike was the solitude. The Baker Lodge sits high in the North Cascades surrounded by epic mountain views and hundreds of miles of trails. Free topomap North Cascades National Park. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest to the North Cascades National Park. https://www.nps.gov/noca/planyourvisit/upload/Wilderness-Trip-Planner-2017_compliant.pdf. We wanted to put a majority of the forested trail behind us and spend more time in the high alpine, but we actually found the forested hike to be peaceful. As I drifted to sleep, the rain that had held off all afternoon began to fall on the tent, softly at first, and then with more force. Our alarms rang early on our fourth day on the trail. Composting toilets and food storage lockers are available at all three sites. Hiking down from Hannegan Pass with Ruth Mountain in the background. DIFFICULT 6.6 mi. Unauthorized duplication of any of this website's content, including but not limited to photographs and written word, without the author's explicit permission is strictly prohibited. We enjoyed the morning scene as it unfolded with a cup of coffee and a bowl of oatmeal, complete with fresh berries Alex picked from near our camp. Backpacking the Copper Ridge Loop in the North Cascades September 5, 2019 Ever since I started backpacking in 2014, I’ve wanted to venture into the North Cascades to experience the ruggedness and remoteness of the landscape for myself. Combined with the scenic Chilliwack River Trail, the beautiful old growth valley route that follows the Chilliwack River from its source near Hannegan Pass to Chilliwack Lake in Canada, this is a popular but strenuous backpacking loop. 5. I let the sound lull me to sleep and remained hopeful that the storm would clear by morning. The ranger paused mid-typing and looked up at me, “You know the mileage for that?” I nodded, “Yes, about 17 miles. “Cable Car is closed for reconstruction. The sun dipped toward the horizon and golden, wispy clouds began to dance up from the valley below. Permits are limited. From Hannegan Pass it was just four miles downhill to the car. This site uses cookies to improve your experience and to help show ads that are more relevant to your interests. Lake Ann, 8 mile out-n-back; Accommodations. We set up camp and settled in for a well-deserved “lazy” day. Slowly, ever so slowly, we made our way uphill. Thankfully, Alex and I had our sights set on a different hike than our early bird companions. Sedro-Woolley, WA This is a range that I could easily spend a lifetime exploring and I’m certainly excited to plan more backpacking routes there in the future! I went to bed with tired legs but a full heart. Jill stops for a snack along the trail up McAlester Creek. This carried us through the first few miles and couple thousand feet of elevation gain. We wished we had more time to spend at the lookout, to be able to truly appreciate the 360-degree views it offered, but we didn’t want to risk being caught in a storm on a ridge. Holden Village is a year-round Lutheran Christian center in the North Cascade mountains of the U.S. state of Washington. We broke down camp and hit the trail. Location. Stay on the main trails at all times. Our camp at night, with Mount Challenger and Whatcom Peak in the background. We finally hit the trail at 10am, and it wasn’t long until we ran into a couple groups coming down from Tapto Lakes. Little Chilliwack camp is no longer accessible and closed to overnight stays. After a few hours of hiking we broke out of the woods once again and were treated to our first glimpses of the views we would have from the ridge. You will work hard for your views, ascending steeply to the ridge no matter which direction you hike the loop, so plan reasonable mileages. ... Copper Lake via Copper Ridge Trail. Copper Ridge has very fragile vegetation. The final 5.5 miles took us 3.5 hours, a markedly slower pace than the miles we completed earlier in the day. Whatcom Peak reflected in the lake at sunrise. At that moment those numbers were daunting. It is very important that you do not walk on or otherwise disturb the covered areas. The third day of our trip dawned crisp and clear. Follow the US Forest Service Hannegan Pass Trail #674 to Boundary Camp, then either head up to Copper Ridge or down along the Chilliwack River, depending on your permitted itinerary. There were no creeks or streams at which we could fill up our water bottles, so instead I had to hike to Egg Lake. A mile beyond, the trail crosses the Chilliwack River. While the morning was relatively clear, clouds began to sink lower and lower in the sky as the day wore on, but thankfully any rain remained at bay. August 19-23, 2006 A few photos of our lovely four night backpacking trip in the North Cascades. We’ve taken out all the logistical headaches and turned this trip into 3 sequential supported runnable days through one of the most rugged mountain ranges in the lower 48. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. 6,260 ft NOCAGIS9 September2003 AREA OF DETAIL North Cascades National Park North Cascades National Park Ross Lake National Recreation Area GLACIER Elev. Tapto Lakes came into view after just over an hour of hiking and their beauty far surpassed my highest expectations. COPPER LAKE Mt. Taking a dive into the lake. Print Copper Lake Hike Info. There is a social trail that leads from Whatcom Pass to the lakes but it is rugged; it’s steep, full of rocks, roots and overhanging branches, and requires the use of all four limbs to clamber up some of its steepest sections. We pulled into the North Cascades ranger station in Marblemount at 5:00am, a full two hours before the office opened, but as our headlights swept through the dark lot we saw that we weren’t the first to arrive. Distance: 34.3 miles. There are only two sites, one is available for advance reservation and the other is saved for a walk-up permit. Owned and operated by The Mountaineers, the lodge is a hub of mountain activity in every season. We have over 40 years of experience helping groups host their events. (10/19/2020) Ross Lake Boat-In Sites - Ross Lake level is at full pool, visit the Boating on Ross Lake page for more information. Please use ford. 3. Copper Lake via Copper Ridge Trail. As afternoon transitioned into early evening the clouds became more animated. Photos from the ascent to the Copper Mountain Lookout. By the time we reached the lookout the sky had grown more tumultuous and we could see it was raining to the north. There was only one other group camped in the area and they were out on a day hike to explore another lake in the area, so we enjoyed having the basin entirely to ourselves. We stopped every half an hour for water and to catch our breath, but then the hike continued, up, up, and up through the forest. Copper Ridge Loop (4-5 days) A full loop of Copper Ridge is a grand way to spend 5 days in the North Cascades, and the variety and diversity of the terrain and views will keep you smiling despite the sometimes painful ups and downs. The competition for the weekend would be fierce and we all decided that showing up at the ranger station extra early would help us be first in line. In the heart of the park, Whatcom Pass is quintessential North Cascades … This added another mile and 500’ of gain and loss to my already strenuous day. The Copper Ridge area draws serious backpackers--and sometimes hardy day hikers or trail runners--to its lofty ridgeline, one of the few such high trails within the national park. Turn left onto the Hannegan Road (USFS Road #32) and follow this road 5.5 miles (8.9 km) to the end. The clouds that roiled in the valleys and over the peaks the previous day all but completely dissipated, revealing Mount Challenger and Whatcom Peak in their full glory in the soft morning light. Our energy was drained and every step forward seemed to take a monumental amount of effort. We set up camp with what little energy we had left, ate a couple slices of pizza each, and promptly passed out. If you turn right on to the river trail you'll reach Indian Creek Camp in less than one mile. Fires are not allowed at any of the camps along Copper Ridge, or at Boundary and Whatcom camps. When the first one went off I looked out the tent and saw nothing but darkness. Last summer, Cody and I got a small taste of Copper Ridge Loop, which made us want to complete the whole loop this summer. Finally, at midnight I could see stars. We knew we would be seeing this valley again in four days, but conditions in the mountains are never guaranteed to be the same, so we took advantage of the soft, filtered light. Tip: plan to be at the Glacier Public Service center early! On the eastern bank of the Chilliwack River the Copper Ridge Trail ends at the Chilliwack River Trail. Permit Info: An overnight permit is required and camp sites are reserved on a first-come first-served basis. This was a part of the trail I was highly anticipating, but a sign affixed to a tree at the junction for the car made my spirits fall. This trail passes through seven miles (11 km) of subalpine meadows with unobstructed views of the North Cascades mountains. As we broke out of the trees we were treated to stunning views of Whatcom Peak and the Challenger Glacier (the peak of Mount Challenger was, unfortunately, obscured by clouds). A North Cascades Beauty: Backpacking the Copper Ridge Loop 8/31/19 - 9/4/19 We pulled into the North Cascades ranger station in Marblemount at 5:00am, a full two hours before the office opened, but as our headlights swept through the dark lot we saw that we weren’t the first to arrive. It wasn’t even 8pm yet but we were too exhausted to even think of exploring the area around camp. The trail up Brush Creek to Whatcom Pass is located 7 miles (11 km) from Boundary Camp, and is just east of the Chilliwack River crossing. Share. NOTE: Sites cannot be held via email or phone and advance reservations are … Formerly the site of one of the largest copper mines in the United States, the Holden mine, Holden is accessible only by the Lake Chelan passenger ferry, the Lady of the Lake, or by hiking in through the Cascade Mountains. Instead, we smiled at each other before lumbering the last few steps to our site and collapsing onto the tent pad. Indian Creek camp is close by in the valley. However, there was one downside to the Silesia Camp—it was dry. McAlester Lake, in the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, … We whiled the minutes away in line by chatting with other permit-hopefuls who showed up as 7am approached. U.S. Cabin hiker and stock camps are located another 2 miles (3 km) past Copper Creek. See the detailed trail description for more information. From the pass, the trail descends quickly to the headwaters of the Chilliwack River and Boundary Camp, located just inside the national park boundary. At Boundary Camp, you will also see the junction with the steep climb up to Copper Ridge. An old USFS fire lookout on Copper Ridge. Hike 17 miles the first ascent was made by Henry Custer in July 1859, as part of hike. Deep, and the other continuing down the Chilliwack River only at low water -- use cable. Tumultuous and we felt overjoyed by the time we reached the Lookout sky. Baker Lodge sits high in the bushes, filling up on berries Pass many ago! 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