Glacier Peak Wilderness: Buck Creek Pass

Explore pristine alpine terrain on dayhikes from a high, scenic basecamp.
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Explore pristine alpine terrain on dayhikes from a high, scenic basecamp.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 23.6

Waypoints

BCP001

Location: 48.0721092224121, -120.851173400879

Follow Buck Creek Trail #1513, ascending 3,100 feet over nearly 10 miles through forest with steadily improving views of the cliffs of Buck Mountain and other peaks across the lush valley.

BCP002

Location: 48.0924491882324, -120.867851257324

Turn L, staying along Buck Creek

BCP003

Location: 48.1048316955566, -120.879669189453

Wooded campsite along Buck Creek Trail

BCP004

Location: 48.121166229248, -120.927917480469

More campsites before trail switchbacks away from creekbed

BCP005

Location: 48.1451263427734, -120.960998535156

Pitch your tent in one of the several wooded campsites at the pass, then choose the next day’s adventure. From this waypoint, head NE to Helmet Butte. It is a steep, strenuous off-trail scramble, but its crown presents a Kodak sweep that includes Fortress and Clark Mountains, a sea of peaks to the N.

BCP006

Location: 48.1494522094727, -120.95548248291

360-degree panorama atop Helmet Butte

BCP007

Location: 48.1433334350586, -120.962303161621

Optional dayhike: Head N for Flower Dome, an easy 2 miles round-trip; its summit meadows offer a great perch for gawking at Glacier Peak across the deep, broad slash of the Suiattle River valley.

BCP008

Location: 48.1421508789062, -120.962966918945

Pick up the trail at the S end of Buck Pass’s designated campsites. It switchbacks up and around Liberty Cap.

BCP009

Location: 48.1273918151856, -120.957191467285

Follows an open ridge, with Buck Creek below to the E and Glacier Peak to the W. Just before High Pass, you can descend a broad, gentle ridge, with some scrambling down granite ledges, to Triad Lake (not named on some maps).

BCP010

Location: 48.114616394043, -120.95938873291

Triad Lake, a blue beauty tucked into an alpine basin below a small glacier; backtrack to trailhead