Phelps Creek Trail offers relatively easy access to the remote Glacier Peak Wilderness, particularly Spider Meadows and the larch-ridden Carne Mountain.
Beginning at the Phelps Creek Trailhead, follow Phelps Creek, climbing very slowly through dense forest. Just a quarter-mile from the trailhead, Carne Mountain Trail branches off north and switchbacks steeply uphill to a stunning land rich with golden larches in autumn.
Continuing on, the Phelps Creek Trail enters the Glacier Peak Wilderness 2.6 miles from the trailhead, and continues to climb slowly, crossing several rivers that may be high and difficult to ford, depending on the time of year.
Soon arrive at a crossing of Leroy Creek. Just after the crossing, the Leroy High Route branches steeply up to the northeast. This is another destination with plenty of larches, but it's a more rugged hike with more than a little route-finding required.
Straight ahead, the Phelps Creek Trail rolls out for another three miles. These may be difficult to navigate if there is snow on the ground, but if not, the forest soon reveals Spider Meadow — a wildflower-filled, breathtaking meadow surrounded by craggy peaks, old landslides and blowdowns.
Here it's possible to camp in several designated campsites. The Phelps Basin Trail continues through this wild meadow for another half mile, terminating at the north end (though stock are not allowed for the final half mile). It's possible to continue on up to Spider Gap and the North Cascades beyond, but this route is unmarked and unmaintained.
- 7.2 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 3,500 feet
- Highest Point
- 5,500 feet
Hiking Phelps Creek
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 48.0830, -120.8349 Open in Google Maps