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Trip Report

Glacier Basin

North Cascades

Trip Report By



Hiked Aug 23, 2018

Type of Hike


Trail Conditions

Minor obstacles posing few problems


Road suitable for all vehicles


Bugs were not too bad


Snow free

This made for a really nice place to overnight, although the fall weather is definitely coming. The hike to Monte Cristo is pretty easy, the trail is well-maintained, flat, and has a pretty low grade. There is also plenty of parking at the Barlow Pass trailhead, and the road is paved all the way there, so getting to the trail should not be an issue. If you want to expedite the trip to Monte Cristo, you can bike it, although I chose to walk. There is one odd section where you have to cross several small island sections of a braided river. If you've never gone on the trail before it can look a bit odd, but there is a kiosk with an overhead view and directions on where to go, and if you walk far enough along the river and its smaller islands, you will see a large bridge. Just follow the bridges back into the woods on the other side of the river and you'll be good. Visiting Monte Cristo is pretty cool, and you are able to learn a lot about the history of the location. There are also backcountry toilets in that area, so if you need to go, you can. The hike up to Glacier Basin is pretty well marked, and it starts gaining elevation pretty quick. The falls are a nice attraction on your way up, to distract you from your burning muscles. This seems to be a fairly niche hike, and I didn't encounter anyone on the Glacier Basin trail while I was on it. There are sections where you are scrambling, and there is a rope to assist you on one section. Also there are several rock slide areas that the trail crosses, where you will be scrambling as well, so be prepared to use your hands. The basin is a really beautiful place, and there are some cool wildlife around such as mountain goats. There are a couple developed campsites in the basin, but you shouldn't have much competition for them. Overall great hike, and if you bike in to Monte Cristo, it can be done really fast too.