Hiking the Longs Pass Trail offers remarkable views of the Cascades

The Longs Pass Trail, on the east side of the Cascades Mountains Range, is seven miles round trip, with a net gain/loss of 2,100 feet. The pass itself is at an elevation of 6,250 feet.

The well-marked and well-maintained trailhead is due east from the parking lot. It is a steady climb from its start in the cool forest of the valley. It slowly transitions to exposed rocky slopes filled with summer wildflowers.

As you gain elevation, the views to the north open up and reveal colorful rocks, avalanche paths carved into steep slopes, and some lingering patches of snow. Closer to the top, there are a few short switchbacks, and the view continues to expand. If you look backward over your shoulder, more and more of Mt. Rainier towers above the mountains to the west.

Before you know it, three miles has gone by and you cross some wildly colored talus slopes. Then you hit the bare, rocky crest of the windswept ridge and … voila – a knock-your-socks-off take-your-breath-away full-face head-on view of Mt. Stuart.

You can linger and soak up the majestic views, take a nap in the sun, or scramble up the ridgelines to the north and to the south to get a little higher.

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