North Cascades National Park

Diablo & Colonial Area Day Hikes

Many hours can be spent exploring trails in the Diablo/Colonial area. There is a range of difficulty from valley paths to steep alpine treks. Distances are one-way. Hikers should be well prepared and have current information.

Thunder Creek
The Thunder Creek Trail starts at the south end of Colonial Creek Campground near the amphitheater. It is nearly level for 9 miles (14.48 km). Hikers cross a suspension bridge at 0.8 mile (1.3 km). The trail extends over Park Creek Pass (19 miles; 30.6 km) and joins the Stehekin Valley Road.

Thunder Woods Nature Trail
This loop trail starts 300 yards (270 m) up Thunder Creek Trail. It is 0.9 mile (1.4 km) long and moderately steep. Interpretive brochures can be found at in a box at the Thunder Woods trailhead.

Fourth of July Pass / Panther Creek
The Fourth of July Pass Trail is a moderately steep 9 mile (round trip; 14.5 km) day hike. It starts 1.7 (2.7 km) miles up the Thunder Creek Trail. An additional 3.2 miles (5.1 km) lead to the pass and mountain views. Northwest Forest Pass required for parking at Panther Creek (East Bank) Trailhead along the North Cascades Highway.

Pyramid Lake
A steep 2.1 mile (3.4 km) trail begins at milepost 126.8 on State Route 20. Northwest Forest Pass required for trailhead parking. The trail passes through an old burn area.The area has been recolonized by lodgepole pine. Pyramid Lake is small lake with newts and rare insectivorous sundew plants growing on floating logs.

Stetattle Creek
Stetattle Creek Trail is a moderate 2.5 mile (4 km) hike. The creekside trail begins at the bridge at the entrance to Diablo.

Sourdough Mountain
The Sourdough Mountain Trail is a steep 5 mile (8km) trail. It starts behind the domed swimming pool in the town of Diablo. An historic fire lookout and panoramic views are found at the top of Sourdough Mountain.

Diablo Lake Trail
Diablo Lake Trail is a moderate 3.8 mile (6.1 km) hike. Access is from Sourdough Creek parking area, which may be reached by driving one mile along Diablo Dam Road from milepost 127.5 on State Route 20. A round- trip option is to boat one way on the Seattle City Light Ferry. Daily summer schedules: 8:30 and 3:00 up lake, and 9:00 and 3:30 down lake. A one-way fare of $5 per adult and $4 for children ages 3-11 is charged. Children under 3 years old ride free.

Ross Dam Trail
The Ross Dam Trail leads to Ross Dam on Ross Lake. It is 0.8 miles (1.3 km) long and moderately steep. Access is at milepost 134 on State Route 20 (Northwest Forest Pass required for parking). Remember: the return hike is uphill!

Happy Creek Forest Walk
This 0.3 mile (0.5 km) boardwalk nature trail is suitable for wheelchairs. Access is on the south side of State Route 20 at milepost 134.5. Interpretive plaques tell the story of this ancient creekside forest.

Ruby Creek Trail
Ruby Creek Trail offers a short 0.2 mile (0.3 km) walk to Ruby Creek. The walk can continue either upstream or downstream on paths. Interpretive plaques explain the area's mining history. Ruby Creek is closed to fishing to allow native rainbow trout spawning. Northwest Forest Pass required for trailhead parking.




For Additional Information Contact:

North Cascades National Park
2105 State Route 20
Sedro-Woolley, WA 98284-9394
(360) 856-5700


For more information visit the National Park Service website