Getting to and from the Northern Terminus

The official Northern Terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail is on the U.S./Canada border, in Pasayten Wilderness next to E. C. Manning Provincial Park. It is marked by the wood pillar monument that stands just south of Monument 78, the international boundary marker.

Unfortunately, it is illegal to enter the United States from Manning Park via the PCT. To reach the terminus for a southbound hike, you have to start on the U.S. side of the border. If you’re ending your hike and you must obtain proper permission to enter Canada.

Blue, Twerk and Rumi standing at the Northern Terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail after walking a really long way. Photo courtesy of Tommy Corey.

Blue, Twerk, and Rumi standing at the Northern Terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail after walking a really long way. Photo courtesy of Tommy Corey.

On the U.S. side, here are the routes for walking to the Northern Terminus

  • Hart’s Pass (accessed via a usually passenger-vehicle accessible, but not suitable for trailers, dirt road) then hike north for ~30 miles.
  • Rainy Pass (hwy 20) then hike north for ~60 miles.
  • Hike the Pacific Northwest Trail/Devil’s Dome Trail to the PCT at Holman Pass. It is 30 miles from the East Bank Trailhead to the PCT. Holman Pass is 17 miles south of the terminus on the PCT. You’ll need a permit from North Cascades National Park to do this hike.
  • From the Canyon Creek Trailhead, walk the Jackita Trail #738 to Devils Pass and then take the Pacific Northwest Trail to the PCT at Holman Pass. This is 22 miles. The Jackita Trail is steep, narrow in places and it is not recommended for stock.
  • The Lightning Creek Trail to Boundary Trail/Castle Pass Trail has not been maintained for many years. Reports indicate thick brush and serious blowdown issues. We strongly recommend against taking this route.

You can download some 1:50,000 scale maps that show the PNT and Jackita Trail here. You can also download very good maps from our friends at the Pacific Northwest Trail Association here (navigate to Section 6).

Ross Lake Resort runs boat shuttles on the lake that you might find a use for.

Interactive map showing hiking routes to the Northern Terminus

Driving to near the Terminus for pick-ups and drop-offs

As the Terminus is in a remote roadless location, you can’t drive to it. On the Canadian side, the nearest pavement is Gibson Pass Road at the Windy Joe/Pacific Crest Trail connector trailhead. Note that some hikers will walk the short distance to Manning Park Lodge and that might be where you should pick them up. On the United States side, the nearest road is Hart’s Pass Road (usually passenger-vehicle accessible, but not suitable for trailers, dirt road). If you are picking up a hiker, be sure to ask them whether they want to be picked up in Manning Park or at Hart’s Pass.

Easiest solutions for getting to the trailheads

  • Have a friend or family member drive you to the trail.
  • Ask on online for a ride. You might get lucky.
  • Hire the Mountain Motion, the only shuttle service legally permitted to operate in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, including Harts Pass.
  • Take public transit – outlined below.

The greatest use of public transit to get to the northern trailheads on the U.S. side

Most people will fly into Seattle’s Sea-Tac airport and then take transit from there.

Going via Wenatchee, Pateros, Twisp, and Winthrop has many legs of public transit but gets you closest to Hart’s Pass.

If you leave early in the morning, you can make it all the way to Mazama in one day. Plan your schedule carefully to achieve this.

Getting to Wenatchee

From Wenatchee to Winthrop

Click here for Google Transit directions. Basically, you:

  • Take the Apple Line bus to Pateros.
  • From Pateros, take the TranGO bus system to Mazama.

Going via Concrete, Washington involves a long hitchhike

From Seattle or Vancouver, take Amtrak or Greyhound to the Skagit Station in Mt. Vernon, WA. From Mt. Vernon, take Skagit Transit bus route 8 or 717 to Concrete (no Sunday service). From Concrete, WA either:

    1. Hitchhike (read the laws) to Ross Lake and hike the Pacific Northwest Trail to the PCT or take the boat shuttle to Devil’s Junction and hike the Pacific Northwest Trail to the PCT. (1 hour drive from Concrete to Ross Lake)
    2. Hitchhike to Rainy Pass and walk north. (1.5 hour drive)
    3. Hitchhike to Mazama, WA and then hitchhike to Hart’s Pass. (2 hour drive from Concrete to Mazama)

Leaving E.C. Manning Provincial Park via bus

You might consider getting picked up by a friend or family member. Greyhound stopped servicing Manning Park and Hope in 2018.

  • Mountain Man Mike’s Bus Service runs between Kaslo and Vancouver and will stop in Manning Park if someone has a booking. Reservations required.
  • E Bus provides daily service between Hope and Vancouver. Reservations are required. You can hire a taxi between the park and Hope. At this time, there is no ridesharing in British Columbia.
  • Canadian Craft Charters provides service (reserve full bus for up to 14 guests) between the park and Vancouver. Reservations required.

Useful links

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