Often dubbed “the American Alps” due to the jagged mountain peaks, open alpine meadows, stunning rivers, and wooded valleys, the North Cascades are an absolute gem for anyone who appreciates wild backpacking trips! With miles upon miles of trails and breathtaking vistas at every turn, the northern part of the colossal Cascade Range will definitely not fail to deliver. While traversing this rugged wilderness west to east, the area offers numerous ecoregions and superb terrain. Discover temperate rainforests in the shadows of Mt. Baker and old-growth forests to the scenic mountain passes, jaw-dropping mountains, splendid rivers, and glacial turquoise lakes. The North Cascades are also known for their biodiversity and abundant wildlife, making this a perfect opportunity to trek through unspoiled wilderness. Join a guide, pack lightly, and come see what all the fuss is about!

  • Discover the ever-changing terrain and rich flora and fauna

  • Feel a sense of tranquility and admire the otherworldly vistas

  • Captivating wilderness allows for amazing photo ops every step of the way

Choose itinerary

7-day Light Backpacking Group Trip
Available upon request
7-day Light Backpacking Private Tour
Available upon request

Meet your guide

Indigo Alpine Guides
Indigo Alpine Guides
Indigo Alpine Guides was founded by Jack Bynum who has 10 years of experience guiding backcountry trips around the world. He has also travelled over 20,000 miles by bike, sea kayak, raft, on foot and skis and has become the youngest person to solo Denali. He's also put up first ascents on 6,000 meter peaks in the Himalayas. Most expeditions and trips are guided by Jack and the company focuses on custom trips with superb logistics in the seldom-travelled parts of the world. They believe in doing risky things with humility and that wild space is sacred.
5.00 (2 reviews)
Annie S. about Indigo Alpine Guides on Indigo Alpine Guides’ webpage

Backpacking with Jack taught me so much! You can tell he’s made the mountains his home — thanks for an awesome trip!

Jesse F. about Indigo Alpine Guides on Indigo Alpine Guides’ webpage

Wow! This trip showed me what a waste a heavy backpack is. Thanks for changing the way I experience the mountains. Less is more.

Things to know

  • 57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

    We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in the North Cascades, WA, please refer to Washington State Department of Health and Washington State Coronavirus Response.

    Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced hiking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • 7 days of backpacking
      • Lunch at Stehekin Lodge
      • Transportation to the trailhead including a float plane flight from Lake Chelan to Seattle
      • All group gear (maps, compass, first aid kit, stoves, fuel, water filtration, emergency communication device, toilet paper and trowel)

    What’s not included:

      • Transportation before the beginning of the adventure and from Northwest Seaplanes to your final destination (taxi is readily available)
      • Personal clothing and equipment (backpack, tent, sleeping gear, headlamps, etc.)
      • Food
      • Medical/evacuation insurance
      • Trip cancellation insurance
  • In order to participate in this fast-paced adventure, you need to be in prime hiking shape and an intermediate to advanced backpacker. You’ll be moving quickly and covering lots of ground. You need to be ready to push yourself and be in shape for this trip so that you can walk long hours. You’ll be hiking 10-20 miles per day on trails over rugged terrain with elevation gain ranging from 900-2600 m. You need to be ready to leave the weight behind and bring the bare essentials—all with the help of your guide.

  • Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

      • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 25-40L bag)
      • Hiking poles — optional
      • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
      • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
      • Spare clothes for layering
      • Waterproof rain jacket
      • Sunhat
      • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, etc.)
      • Tent and sleeping gear
      • Headlamp or flashlight
      • Sunglasses
      • Food (the guide will provide a suggested menu for ultralight eating)
      • Camera — optional (but recommended)

    Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. We suggest bringing clothing appropriate for the season. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans.

  • Group sizes and prices:

      • For the group trip, the max client to guide ratio is 6:1
      • For the private tour, the min client to guide ratio is 4:1. Private tours can be arranged for bigger groups, but it takes a minimum of 4 people for the tour to run.
      • The cost does not decrease as the group grows.

    Backpacking in the North Cascades can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

    If your group has backpackers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • To get to the North Cascades, most people fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, about 2.5 hours from North Cascades National Park. From there, you can rent a car or ride the light rail to get to downtown Seattle, where you’ll meet up with your guide and drive through Skagit Valley towards the Hannegan Pass trailhead.

    You can also arrange your own transportation to Whatcom Falls State Park.The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the ability of the group.

Have more questions? Read our FAQ, or Book a call
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