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War Creek

North Cascades

The War Creek Trail starts out along the Twisp River, just outside the town of Twisp. It is one of the many great options for accessing the northern shores of Lake Chelan from the Twisp River Road. Although this trail officially ends at the ridge overlooking the lake it connects with the Purple Pass Trail, which descends to the shore. Continue reading

Location

North Cascades -- Methow/Sawtooth
Jump to Map & Directions

Length

9.0 miles, one-way

Elevation

Gain: 3840 ft.
Highest Point: 6840 ft.

Rating

2.33 out of 5

(6 votes) Log in to rate
  • Mountain views
  • Ridges/passes

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

A backcountry permit is required to camp overnight in North Cascades National Park. Stop at a ranger station before heading to the trailhead to acquire one

WTA worked here in 2020, 2018, 2011 and 2010!

The War Creek Trail starts out close to the Twisp River Road, just outside the town of Twisp. It is one of the many great options for accessing the northern shores of Lake Chelan from the east. Although this trail officially ends at the ridge overlooking the lake it connects with the Purple Pass Trail, which descends to the shore.

Start by following War Creek on its gentle course uphill through the Lake Chelan-Sawtooth Wilderness. The route stays on the north side of the creek for its entirety, crossing several feeder creeks along the way. You will quickly begin to notice fire damage from the 2018 Crescent Mountain Fire, which burned through the majority of terrain along the trail.

At the end of this drainage, leave the headwaters behind and ascend on the steepest section yet to a pass where multiple trails intersect. This marks the end of the War Creek Trail, but many connections begin here.

Head north on the Boulder Creek Trail or south on the Chelan Summit Trail. A quick jog left, then right will put you on the Purple Pass Trail, which quickly passes small Lake Juanita, then a half-mile spur trail to Boulder Butte before dropping down steadily for nearly 6 miles on the Purple Pass Trail, ending in the town of Stehekin. With so many trails, this area is a wealth of backpacking options.

The pass also marks the end of the National Forest and the beginning of the National Park. If you want to push on to find a campsite, you’ll need a permit from the North Cascades National Park to do so.

Hike by WTA Community
Multiple authors contributed to this report

War Creek

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.3582, -120.4164 Open in Google Maps

Trailhead

North Cascades -- Methow/Sawtooth

War Creek (#408)

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Methow Valley Ranger District

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Getting There

From highway 20 in the town of Twisp, head west on Twisp River Road (W 2nd Ave). After 14.3 miles, turn left onto Forest road 4430. Stay straight on this for 0.6 miles before taking a slight left at a fork onto Forest Road 100 for another 1.3 miles before turning right into the entrance road for the trailhead.   

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

A backcountry permit is required to camp overnight in North Cascades National Park. Stop at a ranger station before heading to the trailhead to acquire one

 

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War Creek

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