What: An easy hike that follows a creek in the Glacier Peak Wilderness.
Where: From Darrington, drive north on Highway 530 to Suiattle River Road (Forest Service No. 26). Follow this road 20 miles east to the trailhead. The trail is just past the bridge on the left. Parking is on the right side of the road.
Distance: 13.2 miles round trip
Beginning elevation: 1,400 feet
High point: 2,400 feet
Map: Green Trails No. 80, Cascade Pass
Notes: The grade is steady, staying mostly above Downey Creek, winding through tall trees, but it does drop down to the creek at several spots for some scenic views. Be prepared for mud from recent rains and a number of tributaries to the creek crossing the trail. A recent Forest Service report says there was some new snow above the 2,000-foot level, so be ready for that if you’re going any time soon. There are some campsites at and beyond the 3-mile mark. The trail ends at Bachelor Creek, 6.6 miles in. High water in the spring may make some tributary crossings difficult before you get that far.
Permits: Forest Service pass for the parking area.
Information: Darrington Ranger Station, 360-436-1155; www.fs.fed.us/r6/mbs/recreation/activities/trails
From Herald staff reports