North Cascades National Park

North Cascades National Park

Bridge Creek Trail

This trail follows a 14.3 mile stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), which leads north/south between the Stehekin River Road and the North Cascades Highway. It is a heavily used stretch of trail with few points high enough to gain commanding views of the surrounding peaks. The hike north from the Stehekin Valley is rated as moderately strenuous by the park service. The total elevation gain is 2,600 feet. The trail ends in the Wenatchee National Forest so look for more information on that portion of this on-line guide.

Begin your hike at the trailhead on the eastern side of Bridge Creek Bridge, 15.9 miles west of the Golden West Visitor Center along Stehekin River Road. You'll see signs for the PCT marking the trail. The trail parallels the eastern bank of Bridge Creek for the first few miles. During that time it turns eastward and crosses smaller Berry Creek which joins Bridge Creek from the south.

Nearly three miles from the trailhead the route crosses Bridge Creek and splits. The left side of the split follows the North Fork Bridge Creek to Walker Park and North Fork Meadows. Continue following Bridge Creek as it turns eastward. Within two miles the route crosses Maple Creek. At this point Mt. Benzarino, 6,378 feet, is the high point to the north situated between the North Fork Bridge Creek and Maple Creek.

A mile and a half from Maple Creek the trail comes to Six Mile Campsite. It lies at the mouth of Sturm Creek. Continue paralleling the northern bank of Bridge Creek approximately one and a half miles to the confluence of South Fork Bridge Creek and Bridge Creek. There are two dispersed camping areas at this junction: one for stock packers and one for backpackers. The trail forks here with the right side following the South Fork Bridge Creek. This trail is the Rainbow Lake Trail, which eventually joins the Rainbow Creek Trail ending at Rainbow Falls.

Walking eastward from this junction along the PCT Frisco Mountain lies to the north with the Lyall Glacier near its summit of 7,768 feet. Two creeks join Bridge Creek from the southern flanks of Frisco Mountain. Frisco Creek will be the first you cross the second is unnamed. Less than a mile after passing this second stream you'll see a creek entering Bridge Creek from the south. This is the outlet stream from Kettling Lake. A dispersed campsite, Hideaway, lies near the mouth of this outlet stream.

Bridge Creek Trail continues eastward from Hideaway camping site. Less than a mile beyond it the creek forks. A short distance past the creek fork the trail splits. The right side of the split is McAlester Trail. This leads southward past McAlester Lake and eventually joins Rainbow Creek Trail. Two campsites lie close to this junction. They are named fireweed and one can accommodate stock animals.

To continue along the Bridge Creek Trail follow the left side of the split. This route parallels the stream as it contours the southeastern flanks of Frisco Mountain. The trail turns northward with the creek leading along the eastern base of Frisco Mountain. Close to two miles from McAlester Trail you'll have entered the Wenatchee National Forest and reached a trail junction. The trail leading eastward follows Copper Creek to Copper Pass and into the Okanogan National Forest. Follow the Bridge Creek Trail to the left. Another fork in one mile brings you to the North Cascades Highway. The trail to the right follows State Creek to Washington Pass, trail 1275. The left fork parallels the western side of the highway for two miles to trail 1274, which leads westward to Lake Ann.

North Cascades National Park, 700 Rayovac Drive, Suite 100 , Sedro-Woolley, WA, 98284-9314, Phone: 608-264-5610


Directions from Golden West Visitor Center: Travel northward on Stehekin River Road 15.9 miles to the eastern side of Bridge Creek Bridge. The trailhead lies on the northern side of the road.