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Gamma Hot Springs

This is the hottest spring in the north cascades, with temperatures reaching 65 degrees Celsius 
Allow 4-5 days for this journey.
Take I-5 north to Exit 208, then east on Highway 530 to Arlington. In Darrington, take Highway 51.5km to the intersection with Mountain Loop Highway. Follow the highway, then turn right onto Suaittle River Road #26. (right after you cross Sauk River bridge). The Suiattle River Trail #784 trailhead is 22.6 miles away.


You’ll have to walk for around 17.5km on the Suattle River Trail #784 to reach the PCT #2000 junction. At the fork in the road, turn right (south) and then left on Upper Suiattle River Trail #798 after about 1.5km . The trail is not maintained after this point. Look to the right for a sign that says “Gamma Ridge Way” after about 0.2 km.

There are no campsites or toilets near the trailhead, but there is water about 1.1km up the route (small stream). Make sure you’ve brought enough water! On the route, there will be no more water.

The trail is covered with plants and includes several blow-downs in the first mile. Following there, the trail becomes switchbacks and climbs sharply through the woods, where it is less overgrown but still contains blow-downs. It enters the first meadow after around 4.8km. There is a camping area nearby.

The trail continues along the ridge, passing through woods and meadows. In the grass, it’s very simple to lose the trail. Continue straight to the top of the ridge. A really good campsite will be found in about 3.2km, on the top of the hill, in an open, level meadow with an outstanding view.



Climbing equipment and abilities are recommended at this point.

The trail to Gamma Peak follows the ridge for a while. After passing through the campsite, cross the first gully and continue on. The hill is extremely steep and snow-covered. If you don’t have an ice axe, the best method to cross the gully is to stick to the ridge’s top. The distance between the campsite and the Gamma Hot Springs turnoff is around 0.5 mile. To reach the peak, cross the final gully and begin going up the trail.


If you’re going to Gamma Hot Springs, don’t hike up to the summit or cross the last gully; instead, turn right and follow the ridge down. It is not advisable to attempt to follow the drainage of creeks, as this can be extremely dangerous. Make a note of a route that runs roughly in the middle of Gamma Creek and its right tributary. You won’t be able to see the track immediately away due to the snow, but keep an eye out for it on your way down. It drops fast, following the ridge.

You’ll reach the spot where Gamma Creek meets its tributary after approximately 2.4km. If you continue straight, you will encounter a very steep fall; alternatively, take the right slope to the tributary. Continue down Gamma Creek for another 0.5km after crossing the tributary. On a rocky slope, it’s difficult to see the trail, so be cautious. It’s also critical that you don’t immediately descend to the creek after crossing the tributary; instead, stay about 10 to 20 feet up on the bank. You’ll start to smell the springs.

The pool is not very large and is located on an open slope near the creek. This allows you to regulate the water’s temperature, which is rather high – around 150 degrees Fahrenheit. A piece of black pipe near the pool has the notes of those who have visited the springs. There is a campsite to the left of the creek across the pool that can fit one tent, but about 300 feet downhill there is another location that can be used for camping. The hot springs will take around another hour and a half to reach.



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