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Little Beaver Creek

North Cascades > North Cascades Highway - Hwy 20
48.9161, -121.0740 Map & Directions
Length
35.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
6213 feet
Highest Point
5197 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Hard
Views of Ross Lake. Photo by ejvincent. Full-size image
  • Ridges/passes
  • Wildlife
  • Dogs not allowed
  • Lakes
  • Rivers
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Mountain views
  • Established campsites
  • Old growth

A trek through the Little Beaver valley in the heart of the North Cascades offers remarkable old-growth forest, phenomenal mountain views and plenty of options for backpackers. Continue reading

Rating
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Hiking Little Beaver Creek

Heading into the Little Beaver Creek valley offers a number of overnight options. With several camps located along the trail, backpackers can customize their itinerary for just a single night or multiple nights on trail.  

Take the Ross Lake Ferry to the start of the trail. Leaving the shores of Ross Lake behind, the trail begins by ascending through a forest of cedar and fir, generally paralleling Little Beaver Creek. With some ups and downs, you will traverse through some brushy meadows and encounter a few water crossings along the way.

Perry Creek Campground sits at 4.6 miles, offering a nice spot for a break and a snack. Beyond Perry Creek, you will pass through more brushy meadows with a few teaser views of the surrounding mountains. In another 5.8 miles you will reach a junction. Big Beaver Trail branches off to the south, while Little Beaver Trail continues west through the valley.

At 3.6 miles beyond the junction, you will reach Twin Rocks Campground, another nice resting spot before the trail begins to climb more steeply. The section of trail beyond the camp can be quite brushy and overgrown; wear long pants to protect your legs.

As you climb, the views improve. Waterfalls cascade down the cliffs to the south. Glaciated Mount Challenger and Whatcom Peak dominate the southern horizon. Switchbacking steeply, climb through the forest to reach Whatcom Pass. From here, the views of the jagged North Cascades skyline are stunning. Whatcom and Easy Peaks loom large to the south. A short distance beyond the pass, you’ll arrive at Whatcom Campground, a good turnaround point.

Hike Description Written by
Lindsay Leffelman, WTA Correspondent

Little Beaver Creek

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.9161, -121.0740 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

A $26 backcountry permit is required to camp overnight in North Cascades National Park. Permits must be picked up in person at one of the park's Wilderness Information Centers

See weather forecast

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

From Sedro-Woolley, take State Route 20 east for about 69 miles to Ross Dam trailhead at mile marker 134. Hike the Ross Dam trail 0.7 mile to the Ross Lake Resort. From there, take the Ross Lake Resort Water Taxi to Little Beaver Dock.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

North Cascades > North Cascades Highway - Hwy 20

North Cascades National Park

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Little Beaver Creek

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