A relentless but scenic climb, the trail up to Paddy-Go-Easy Pass is often used to access scrambling routes on nearby peaks, or further adventures beyond the pass. On its own, the Paddy-Go-Easy Pass trail offers views of Tucquala Lake and Mount Daniel as well as the Cradle and mountain ranges to the east.
The trail begins on the east end of the parking area, and doesn’t stop climbing until you reach the pass. For the first mile, the trail crosses drainages that range from trickling streams to muddy expanses. Tall trees tower over dense brush that sometimes encroaches on the trail. Pass into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness at 0.75 miles, and continue to climb through the quiet forest. This trail doesn’t see a lot of traffic because it is mostly used to access other trails in the backcountry.
1.5 miles in, the trail turns rocky and steep before beginning a series of short, exposed switchbacks. There are no water sources after the first quarter mile, and the grassy hillsides can be hot during the day, so plan accordingly. The views here can not be overstated.
Now, you can see where you climbed from: a deep, green valley with a river widening into meadows and lakes. To the west, seemingly endless evergreen forests rise above the basin. Breathtaking views of Mount Daniel with an almost-camouflaged Cathedral Rock appear to the northwest as you continue to climb the hillside.
The last half mile is sometimes very rocky, tucked between rusty red mountain peaks and twisted trees. At 3 miles, The Cradle comes into view, and you know you’ve arrived at Paddy-Go-Easy Pass after the “No Campfires” sign on a tree. Here, you can take in layers of mountain ranges as far east as The Enchantments while you catch your breath. To return to the trailhead, go back down the way you came up.
To extend your trip, continue to follow the trail down to Sprite Lake (less than a half mile down depending on the boot path you choose), or connect with Meadow Creek or French Creek trails.