North Cascades National Park Goode Ridge Trail

Distance - one way

From Upper Stehekin Valley Trail to trail's end: 5 miles (8.0 km)

Elevation gain

4,400 ft (1341 m) gain to trail's end

Use

Hiker and stock

Difficulty

Strenuous

Goode Ridge Trail

The Goode Ridge Trail is a strenuous trail originally constructed to service a fire lookout on the spine of Goode Ridge. Although the lookout was decommisioned and removed years ago, the spectacular views were not! The vista includes nearly the entire upper Stehekin River drainage and waves of glaciated North Cascades peaks reaching to the horizon.

Special Concerns

  • Pets are not allowed
  • Bring plenty of water-this is a dry trail by late summer.
  • Due to the high elevation at trail's end, extensive snowpack can obscure upper sections of the trail until well into the end of July in most years, and even later after winters with above average snowpack. Early season hikers should be experienced in snow travel and equipped with an ice axe if you intend to reach the ridgetop.

Backcountry Camping

Goode Ridge is a day use area and there is no camping allowed along the Goode Ridge Trail. It is a popular day trip from Bridge Creek Camp located 0.3 mile (0.5 km) from the bottom of the trail on the Upper Stehekin Valley Trail. A backcountry permit is required for all overnight stays. Permits are limited.

Access

The Goode Ridge Trail is accessible via trail from many directions: from Stehekin via the Old Wagon Trail; from SR 20 via Bridge Creek or Park Creek Pass Trails; or via the Cascade Pass Trail and the Upper Stehekin Valley Trail (old Stehekin Valley road). The Goode Ridge Trail leaves the Upper Stehekin Valley Trail 0.3 miles (0.5 km) upstream of Bridge Creek Camp. Look for a trailhead sign on the north side of the old road, just west of the large bridge over Bridge Creek.

Detailed Trail Description

The Goode Ridge Trail is a challenging hike offering superb views along its upper reaches, and makes a great day hike for those staying at Bridge Creek Camp. Bring plenty of water as there are no reliable water sources along the trail except for one small seep about a mile (1.6 km) from the trailhead, which can have so little flow as to be unusable by late summer.

The trail begins by climbing steeply through a dense forest of Douglas Fir on the southeast side of the ridge with the sound of Bridge Creek echoing from below. Just beyond the two mile mark, the switchbacks ascend through open hillside meadows that provide the first clear and broad views up the Bridge Creek valley. Early season hikers will find a broad selection of wildflowers, while middle and late season hikers will also find several varieties of huckleberries as an extra reward (and temptation) for stopping to take in the views. The trail continues to switchback through dispersed stands of Subalpine Fir and Mountain Hemlock trees as views become more and more expansive.

About one mile (1.6 km) from the ridgetop, the trail enters a grove of mountain hemlock for about 0.3 miles (0.5 km) before re-entering open heather meadows and reaching the spine of the ridge, leaving the southeast face of the ridge for expansive views of the upper Stehekin River valley and the peaks of the Glacier Peak Wilderness to the south. The trail ends at 6,600' (2,012 m) at the site of an old fire lookout with spectacular 360˚ views of McGregor Mountain, Park Creek and Bridge Creek drainages, and the Cascade Crest stretching northward from Glacier Peak. To the north, the eastern end of Green View Lake sparkles far below. The trail was originally constructed to service the lookout, although most of what remains of the building now are scattered shards of glass amongst the rocks. A long and well-deserved break to absorb the views amongst the sound of the wind provides a taste of the life of a fire lookout. The ridge itself continues to climb impressively northward, composed of sheer, jagged spires that block the view of the summit of Mt. Goode. Due to the rugged nature of the ridge, the Goode Ridge Trail is not used as a climbing approach to the summit of Mt. Goode.

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The North Cascades have long been known as the North American Alps. Characterized by rugged beauty, this steep mountain range is filled with jagged peaks, deep valleys, cascading waterfalls and glaciers. North Cascades National Park Service Complex contains the heart of this mountainous region in three park units which are all managed as one and include North Cascades National Park, Ross Lake and Lake Chelan National Recreation Areas.
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