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Rainbow Lake

North Cascades

Location

North Cascades -- North Cascades Highway - Hwy 20
View map below

Length

11.5 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Rating

2.75 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
A backcountry permit is required to camp overnight in North Cascades National Park. Call the Wilderness Information Center at (360) 854-7245 the day of or the day before your trip to obtain a permit
 
 

Providing access to Bowan Pass, the Rainbow Lake Trail also allows hikers access to deep blue Rainbow Lake. Used mostly by backpackers, the trail lies deep within a network of other access trails.

Its main use is in conjunction with the Rainbow Creek trail and Bridge Creek trail, to help hikers make a more than 30 mile loop through McAlester Pass, ending either in Stehekin, or just off the North Cascades Highway.

 

Rainbow Lake

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.5076, -120.7310 Open map in new window

Trailhead

North Cascades -- North Cascades Highway - Hwy 20

North Cascades National Park

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Getting There

If you're coming from the North Cascades Highway (the more common way to access this trail), drive Hwy 20 to mile 159, a little more than one mile east of Rainy Pass. Look for the Bridge Creek Trailhead parking, located on the north side of the highway. Cross the highway and pick up the Bridge Creek Trail, then follow it six miles to the junction with the Rainbow Lake Trail. This end of the trail is also sometimes called the South Fork Trail.

From Stehekin, take the bus or walk to the Rainbow Loop Trailhead, about four miles from the landing. Begin hiking on the Rainbow Loop Trail, then branch off and follow the Rainbow Lake Trail five miles in.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
A backcountry permit is required to camp overnight in North Cascades National Park. Call the Wilderness Information Center at (360) 854-7245 the day of or the day before your trip to obtain a permit
 

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Rainbow Lake

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