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North Fork Loop

South Cascades

Location

South Cascades -- White Pass/Cowlitz River Valley
View map below

Length

2.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 400 ft.
Highest Point: 1800 ft.

Rating

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 
 

Visitors to the North Fork Loop Trail will see several different forests and enjoy views of the lush Cispus Valley. The trail is adjacent to the North Fork of the Cispus River, and departs from the North Fork campground, making it a great option for people staying there.

The trail begins in the North Fork Campground, which is open between May and September. Near the start of your trail is a guard station, built by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1937.  Proceed 0.3 miles with 400 feet of elevation gain to access the loop itself.

This section is the steepest of the trail; once you reach the loop, the trail flattens out and travels counterclockwise. The southern section of the loop follows the bluff overlooking the Cispus River Valley, weaving among Douglas-firs and Hemlock with maple and dogwood in abundance. Most of the big trees are the remnants spared from logging in the 1960s and are beginning to close canopy producing a cool dark interior with sparse understory.

It is possible to extend this hike by adding on a jaunt down the River Trail at the base of the lollipop route.

 

North Fork Loop

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.4628, -121.7767 Open map in new window

Trailhead

South Cascades -- White Pass/Cowlitz River Valley

North Fork (#122)

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Cowlitz Valley Ranger District

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Getting There

From Randle, drive south on State Highway 131 (Forest Roads 23 and 25). Hang a left in 1 mile at the Y of Forest Road 23 and Forest Road 25. Continue to follow Forest Road 23 for 10.6 miles to arrive at the group sites on your left and 10.8 miles to arrive at the main campground on your left. The trail is in the back of North Fork Campground by the Guard Station.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 

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North Fork Loop

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