SECTION I WASHINGTON

Norse Peak Fire near Mt. Rainier, Washington

Sections:
November 27th, 2017

The Pacific Crest Trail is closed for 16.2 miles from the Fog City Trail #967 at Bear Gap (~ mile 2327.5) to the north boundary of Norse Peak Wilderness (~ mile 2343.7).

The Norse Peak Fire started during a lightning storm on August 11, 2017. That storm ignited 13 fires within the Naches Ranger District of Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Washington.

The trail closure is composed of two separate orders because the cascade crest is also the boundary between the Mt Baker-Snoqualmie NF and the Okanogan Wenatchee NF.

In Spring 2018, after the snow has melted, we’ll work with the U.S. Forest Service in the area to scout the trail, assess whether it needs to remain closed and what we can recommend for a detour. We’ll update this page as soon as we have a recommendation.

Seattle Public Utility staff sent us the following important note:
PLEASE get the message out to the thru-hiker community that the PCT closure in WA state, due to the Norse Peak Fire, does not allow hiking on/in the Cedar River Watershed. The Cedar River Watershed is owned by the City of Seattle (90,000+ acres) and is the unfiltered water source for almost a million people. Trespass onto City property is a misdemeaner and heavily enforced. Hikers are ending up near Ravensdale WA with almost no options to get back to the trail. Going NW through the Green Watershed is bascially a dead-end without walking along major highways (Highway 18 to 90).

Snoqualmie Pass to White Pass

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By: The Professor
July 18th, 2014

Just hiked completed Section I (going SOBO) from 7/13/14 – 7/17/14. The trail is in good shape (only the occasional blowdown) from Snoqualmie Pass (I-90) to Chinook Pass (Highway 410). Just a few patches of snow, perhaps 100 yards total out of the 60 miles in this subsection.

South of Chinook Pass (Highway 410) down to White Pass (Highway 12) there is more snow. Still the trail is actually about 98% clear, but those 2% are a bit irksome and might take as much as 10 seconds for you to relocate the trail from time to time. Also occasional blow downs, but nothing serious.

I heard rumors from NOBO hikers that the Goat Rocks are still really deep in snow as of mid-July, so hikers beware.

September 15, 2012

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By: Randy

We hiked Section I during labor day week, and found the trail be in great condition with very few blow downs, and those that existed were easy to navigate. Although some blogs have reported a 23 mile dry stretch from WACS2360 to Lizard Lake, the water source at WACS2372 is marked with flagging tape and a trail, is easy to locate, and the creek appears to run strong year round. Campsites were plentiful at Snow Lake, Sheep Lake and Mirror Lake. The shelter at Urich Camp in Gov’t Meadow was infested with mice, so your tent may be a better option.

August 10, 2012

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8/12/12 Did a trail run from top of Chinook to Cougar Lake and back. PCT clear all the way w/ some minor patches of snow & mud. Trail to Cougar Lake was a bit overgrown and muddy w/ 1 blow down. Not many bugs out.

Photo by: Nathaniel Middleton