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Washington Pass Overlook

North Cascades > North Cascades Highway - Hwy 20
48.5245, -120.6581 Map & Directions
0.25 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
61 feet
Highest Point
5,581 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
  • Mountain views
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Good for kids
  • Ridges/passes

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Saved to My Backpack

This trail is a narrow, paved trail to a lookout on a ledge overlooking Liberty Bell Mountain. This area is worth the trip from the west side, because of spectacular views, and the myriad hiking trails in the area. Continue reading

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Hiking Washington Pass Overlook

For unrelenting in-your-face beauty you cannot beat this roadside, paved quarter-mile jaunt. Towering granite peaks, white granite outcrops, and a mix of conifers makes this a rest stop like no other.

This hike may be taken either way. If any member of your group has limitations the lower end of the trail (right-hand entrance) provides for easier terrain and the best views.

The first 200 yards of this trail are a paved but narrow trail with a handrail. Initially your way is shrouded in subalpine firs draped in wolf’s lichen, but quickly the views open up to an expansive view of high alpine beauty, where the Liberty Bell group of peaks steals the show.

The namesake’s east face rises a sheer 2000 feet above sinuous Highway 20 below. Ranges of jagged ridgelines fall away in succession; Vasiliki Ridge, Snagtooth Ridge, Kangaroo Ridge; it is a veritable alpinist’s wonderland for the low admission price of pulling off the highway. In season, your views of golden larches spreads across the apron of Liberty Bell, will be the easiest won autumn colors you’ll ever see. 

After the trail’s first overlook the route gets a lot steeper. A set of stairs, some natural granite outcrops, and a steepish section of pavement makes this trail a more of a challenge for those with mobility concerns. Luckily there are a few benches to sit, relax, and luxuriate in this Odinesque terrain. Stay and enjoy the view; your car is just around the corner and there is no rush.

Toilet Information

  • Toilet at trailhead

More information about toilets

Wheelchair Accessibility

This trail is paved, and overall there is very little elevation gain from the parking area to the overlook, but the way is very narrow due to branches growing into the trail. It is also uneven from tree roots pushing up through the pavement. Wheelchair users will likely need assistance to navigate to the overlook. The trail past the overlook is very steep and has stairs.

Hike Description Written by
Austin Smith, WTA Correspondent

Washington Pass Overlook

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 48.5245, -120.6581 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee


WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

 From Newhalem, on Highway 20, travel eastbound about 44 miles to Washington Pass. The ‘Overlook’ parking lot is on the north side of the road (or left when traveling eastward).

Drive into the overlook area about a quarter-mile until a fancy, prominent building is on your left. Park here by the picnic tables. The trailhead is by the kiosk towards the direction which you came.

More Hike Details


North Cascades > North Cascades Highway - Hwy 20

Washington Pass Overlook (#585)

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Methow Valley Ranger District

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Washington Pass Overlook

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