Welcome Pass and the High Divide
Jun 10, 2012
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: Welcome Pass and the High Divide
- Region: North Cascades -- Mount Baker Highway
- Agency: Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest - Glacier Public Service Center
- Trails: Welcome Pass (#698)
- Avg Rating: 3.17
- Be Aware Of
- Snow on trail
The first bit on the old logging road was in great condition, with the wildflowers starting to bloom. Unfortunately, the rest of the lower trail had frequent blowdowns, a couple of which were a bit tricky to get over with a full pack.
Patchy snow began at about 4250', and within 100', the snow deepened to the point where it was impossible to tell where the trail was. While there were no foot prints to follow (the snow had melted a lot since the last person came up here in May), I had done this before in the snow, so route-finding was pretty easy. I just stayed on the top of the ridge and kicked steps straight up to the pass.
I had brought snowshoes, but the snow was firm enough that I didn't need them. While they weren't necessary, there were a few icy sections where an ice axe/traction device would've been helpful. I also found a GPS to be helpful in letting me know if I was on track.
Unfortunately, the pass was fogged in, so there weren't any views to be had. On the way down, the clouds broke and the sun came out. While there were many mosquitoes and biting flies at the parking area, the trail was bug free.
My total hiking time to the pass and back (including breaks) was 4 hours. My round-trip distance was about 4.5 miles, and the elevation gain 2800'.