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Foam Creek Basin

North Cascades > Mountain Loop Highway
48.0583, -121.2879 Map & Directions
Length
21.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
5794 feet
Highest Point
6323 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Hard
Hiker on the Foam Creek Basin trail. Photo by austineats.
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Mountain views
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Established campsites
  • Ridges/passes
  • Rivers

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

This climber's access trail to Glacier Peak also offers backpackers a delightful morning meander out of White Pass after a very long approach hike. Continue reading

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Hiking Foam Creek Basin

Short and sweet, this climber’s access trail is easily followed through flower draped sub-alpine meadows and across steep drainages. Dramatic mountain views, and exposure to seriously rugged terrain will be your reward.

Foam Creek is a tiny tributary at the very head of the White River, eventually feeding into Lake Wenatchee. Found deep within the Glacier Peak Wilderness, you will not easily gain access to this short (one-and-one-half-mile) trail. Perhaps the shortest route to its beginning at White Pass is via the North Fork Sauk Trail and then south on the Pacific Crest Trail. This roughly nine-mile approach will surely whet your appetite, but is also physically taxing. Camping and water is available at the pass.

Turn eastward onto the signed Foam Creek trail just as the Pacific Crest Trail turns left to skirt the south face of White Peak. This short trail generally runs north and then east for a mile-and-one-half, contouring along a mostly treeless slope. Though south facing, gullies along this trail hold snow late into August in most years. Amazing flower shows of monkey flower, alpine willowherb, penstemon, and so many others will thrill even the most curmudgeonly.

With little more than 400 feet of gain, this trail can make for a great evening or early morning stroll from the White Pass camping area. The trail eventually gets more serious, dropping down then ascending steeply on its way to the White Chuck Glacier and eventually Glacier Peak.

This more difficult section is not required for great views of Glacier, nor the tremendous flower show. Most folks will be content with a ridgeline at 6500 feet before any difficulties begin.

Toilet Information

  • No toilet at trailhead

More information about toilets

Hike Description Written by
Austin Smith, WTA Correspondent

Foam Creek Basin

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.0583, -121.2879 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

On the Mountain Loop Highway, drive 16 miles south of Darrington or 26.2 miles east of Verlot to Forest Road 49. Turn east and proceed 6.4 miles to a sign for North Fork Sauk parking lot.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

North Cascades > Mountain Loop Highway

North Fork Sauk (#649), Pacific Crest Trail (#2000), Foam Creek Basin (#00)

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Darrington Ranger District

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Foam Creek Basin

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