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North Cascades National Park, WA

Jul 18 - Jul 25, 2019 -- $1325 ★★★★

North Cascades National Park is one of the wildest, most beautiful, least visited and most remote wilderness areas in the lower 48 states. Our trip will traverse old growth rainforest as well as alpine meadows with stunning views of high, craggy peaks. We will hike on established park trails that cross the core of this 2 million acre Federally designated wilderness.

The North Cascades is home to a panoply of common charismatic megafauna such as marmots, pikas, black-tailed deer, Douglas squirrels and the ubiquitous banana slug. Elusive, but also present are gray wolves, fisher, wolverines, grizzly bears, bald eagles, osprey, and Harlequin ducks, all under the watchful eye of 10,778' Mt. Baker.

Our journey will be traverse the Hannegan Loop / Copper Ridge Loop. Once over Hannegan Pass, the loop follows the Chilliwack River (which we'll cross in a self-propelled cable car) before our ascent to Copper Ridge and up to a lookout tower before descending off the ridge and completing the loop.


Weather is always an important concern when hiking. Expect daytime hiking temperatures in the 70s and nighttime temperatures in the 50s. However, be prepared for the possibility of overnight temperatures as high as 100 and as low as freezing.

View weather averages

Trip Leaders

Dan Shafto
Holly Chambers


$1325 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a room with another participant during the 2 hotel nights. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Seattle / Sea-Tac (SEA), personal equipment and any restaurant meals eaten off the trail.

Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, 6 days of trail meals, ground transportation, Park entrance fees, National Park permits, insurance, satellite phone, and 2 awesome guides.

Important Note

This trip is one of Fitpacking's more ambitious offerings, so it's not as appropriate for borderline sedentary individuals or those uncertain of their ability. Although the trails through North Cascades National Park are usually well groomed with good footing, there is quite a bit of elevation gain and loss. At times we will be several days away from rescue should an emergency arise. The upside to all this is pure solitude and an amazing enchanted wilderness known only to the select few that traverse this area.

Route subject to modifications if trail or weather conditions warrant it.

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Guides for this trip
Important Note
Difficulty (Please Read)
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Thursday, July 18, 2019

Fly into Seattle (SEA). The best arrival time is between 12PM - 3PM, but if you can save a significant amount of money by arriving a little before or after, you should do so.

Take free airport shuttle to local hotel TBD

Equipment shakedown. We go through your pack and examine everything you brought.

Go to REI, Tukwila to pick up any equipment participants forgot

Trail mix distribution

"Before" body composition measurements taken

Go out for opening dinner, review trip orientation (cost of dinner not included in trip cost)

Friday, July 19, 2019

Second set of "before" measurements taken

All the items that you won't bring on the trail will be set aside and put in storage.

Free hotel breakfast

Shuttle to North Cascades National Park, Hannegan Trailhead, WA 542 to Forest Rd 32, elevation 3142'

Begin Hiking at Hannegan Trailhead, elevation 3142'

Hike 4.0 uphill miles to Hannegan Pass, elevation 5115'

Hike 1.0 downhill miles to Boundary Camp

Camp at Boundary Camp, fires prohibited, Elevation 3900'

Miles today: 5.0. Total miles: 5.0

Possible bailout: Hannegan Trailhead

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Hike 6.4 miles on Copper Ridge Trail to Copper Lake, hiking past the Copper Lake Lookout tower (closed) at 6260'

Camp at Copper Lake, fires prohibited, Elevation 5400'

Total mileage today: 6.4, Total to Date: 11.4

Possible bailout: Hannegan Trailhead, 1 day away

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Hike 7.5 downhill miles to the Chilliwack Trail

Ford the Chilliwack River. There may be salmon spawning in the river.

Hike 0.7 miles to Indian Creek

Camp at Indian Creek, fires permitted, Elevation 2100'

Miles today: 8.2. Total miles: 19.6

Possible bailout: No ideal options

Monday, July 22, 2019

Hike 7.2 miles to the Chilliwack Trail to Copper Creek

Camp at Copper Creek Campsite, elevation 2800'

Miles today: 7.2. Total miles: 26.8

Possible bailout: No ideal options

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Hike 3.5 miles to Hannegan Pass, elevation 5066'

Drop packs and day-hike 2.0 miles to the summit of Hannegan Peak, elevation 6186'

Hike 0.5 miles to Hannegan Camp

Camp at Hannegan Camp, elevation 4500'

Miles today: 6.0. Total miles: 32.8

Possible bailout: Hannegan Trailhad

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Hike 4.0 downhill miles to the Hannegan Trailhead, end of hike

Miles today: 4.0. Total miles: 36.8

Possible bailout: Hannegan Trailhead

Shuttle back to hotel TBD

We will get your stuff from storage and bring it to the hotel

"After" measurements taken

Dinner and awards Ceremony (Dinner cost not included in trip cost)

This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Free Hotel Breakfast

Free airport shuttle

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