Flat Creek is a short day hike out of the Flat Creek Campground on the old Stehekin Valley Road. However, to get to the Stehekin road is a day or more trip, so you'll need to plan more than one day for this trip.
From its trailhead on the Upper Stehekin Valley Road, the Flat Creek Trail almost crosses a bridge over the mighty Stehekin River. The birdwatching from here is good, so if you brought your binoculars, look for dippers!
Once past the bridge, a sign points the way to Flat Creek Camp, re-built in 2009 and which now features two large, forested sites within earshot of the Stehekin River. Luckily though, you won't be within earshot of each other, so the camping is relaxing and quiet.
In 2001, the Flat Creek Fire raged through here, burning the first two miles of the trail. Now, fireweed gives the blackened trees a pop of beautiful color, and woodpeckers can be heard tapping high in the branches above. The trail ascends through the valley, offering occasional glimpses of Peak 6062, a mighty fin of tree-covered rock punching into the air above the verdant valley.
After the first 2 miles, views of the valley below recede into the brushy trail, and you leave North Cascades National Park. Soon, pass through some enormous old-growth western redcedar trees, and at 3.3 miles, the trail joins the West Fork Flat Creek. The trail continues on the other side of the creek, but no bridge spans this section. If the water is too high, enjoy the views from the this side of the creek -- it can be quite dangerous to cross when the water is strong.
Past the creek crossing, the trail becomes brushier and harder to navigate. It continues another mile into the forest, with limited views, before ending in another stand of western redcedar.
WTA Pro Tip: The best section of this trail is the first 3.3 miles, before the water crossing. While the true length of this trail is 4.2 miles, better to shorten it and enjoy a peaceful day hike with a round trip of 6.6 miles.
- 11.0 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 500 feet
- Highest Point
- 2,000 feet
Hiking Flat Creek
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 48.4325, -120.9244 Open in Google Maps