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Twisp Pass

North Cascades > Methow/Sawtooth
48.4586, -120.5675 Map & Directions
Length
9.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
2460 feet
Highest Point
6064 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Hard
Twisp Pass. Photo by rvrrockgirl.
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Ridges/passes
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Established campsites
  • Mountain views
  • Fall foliage
  • Rivers

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

Twisp Pass is a stunner in summer and autumn. Though it is a bit of a drive to get there from almost anywhere in the state, it's well worth it! Continue reading

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Hiking Twisp Pass

Venturing to the Twisp Pass trailhead can be a bit of a drive, but don’t despair, there are several day hikes to be done from this one trailhead with accompanying campground! The campground is a quarter of a mile further upstream from the parking lot. Access the trail either from your campsite or your car, as the parking lot offers direct access to the Twisp Pass trail, and a bootpath leads from behind the campground privy to intersect the trail a quarter-mile in. 

On this old mining road turned trail, the first two miles have few obstacles. Open meadowy areas feature aspens turning brilliant yellow in the fall and offering needed shade during the summer. A few small creeks pose no crossing difficulty. Dramatic views of Lincoln Butte, a lesser peak at the head of the valley, may titillate your climbing ambitions.

After these delightful two miles, the trail turns abruptly left, crossing the North Fork of the Twisp River. Perhaps a little hard to follow is the right-hand fork here. This is Trail 426, which continues on to Copper Pass. Once somewhat hair-raising, the log bridge crossing is safer now with a handrail installed, but always be careful crossing the water.

The trail now winds south and then west around the base of Lincoln Butte. After a brief mile and a half, encounter several fabulous domed rock campsites over looking the South Fork of the Twisp River. While they are great sites, they are dry, so be sure to fill up at the river crossing. 

As this trail climbs towards the pass, note the extensive rock cribwork performed. Imagine that 100 years ago this was a proposed route for the North Cascades Highway through to Cascade Pass! Twisting and turning, this glorious trail winds through stunted hemlocks, granite outcrops, and flowery meadows fed by gurgling brooks.

WTA Pro Tip: Twisp Pass is expansive with many little spots to camp or spread out for an afternoon nap. It is also a beautiful gateway to the North Cascades National Park. Please be observant that guns and dogs are not allowed past the pass. For those with more energy to burn there are several cross-country rambles which depart from this location.

WTA worked here in 2021, 2016, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010!

Hike Description Written by
Austin Smith, WTA Correspondent

Twisp Pass

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.4586, -120.5675 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

Drive east on Highway 20 (closed from the west side in winter) through the North Cascades to the small town of Twisp.

Alternatively, take I-90 over Snoqualmie or Highway 2 through Stevens Pass. On either route, transfer to Highway 97 North to Highway 153 towards Winthrop.

In Twisp, turn west (left if traveling northbound, right if travelling southbound) onto the Twisp River Road. Follow this road to its end, about 24 miles. Along the way the road becomes FR 44 and then FR 4440.

A rest room is available at the trail head.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

North Cascades > Methow/Sawtooth

Twisp Pass (#432)

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Methow Valley Ranger District

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: North Cascades (Romano - Mountaineers Books)

Buy the Green Trails Stehekin No. 82 map

You can improve or add to this guidebook entry

Twisp Pass

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