Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Near Chelan, Washington
Glacier Peak Wilderness: Okanogan-Wenatchee does not offer reservations through Recreation.gov. Please take a look at the area details below for more information about visiting this location. Enjoy your visit!
The 566,057 acre Glacier Peak Wilderness is located in the northern Cascade Mountains of Washington State bordering Stephen Mather Wilderness to the north and Henry M. Jackson Wilderness to the south. At 10,541 feet, Glacier Peak is the dominant geologic feature of the area. It’s the most remote major volcanic peak in the Cascade Range and has more active glaciers than any other place in the lower forty-eight states. Glacier Peak is a volcanic cone of basalt, pumice, and ash which erupted during periods of heavy glaciation.
The area is characterized by heavily forested stream courses, steep-sided valleys, and rugged glacier covered peaks. Forest vegetation is comprised of true firs, spruce, and hemlock, as well as stands of pine on its eastern slopes. Various species of wildlife inhabit the area and include deer, elk, bear, mountain goat, cougar, marten, and lynx. This area also provides habitat for wolverines and gray wolves. The primary fishery is cutthroat trout. Numerous creeks cut through the valleys from their sharp drainages. Other bodies of water include more than 200 lakes, many unnamed and tremendously difficult to access. Snows can accumulate to depths of 45 feet on the west side of the crest.
The ~450 miles on as many as 100 trails vary from relatively easy hiking on maintained footpaths to strenuous and seldom used old animal trails. The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT) follows the crest through the area for about 60 miles. The Suiattle River Trail acts as the main route from the west side, a pathway that travels 10.8 miles and joins the PCT. Above timberline, the land opens up for cross-country travel. The Ptarmigan Traverse, probably the most famous un-trailed route, combines rock climbing and glacier travel across 15 miles of the northern section of the Wilderness.