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White Chuck Bench

North Cascades

Location

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway
View map below

Length

5.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Rating

2.93 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2018
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 
 

The White Chuck Bench trail is a beautiful, 2.5 mile walk in the woods along the White Chuck River.

The entire hikeable length of the trail has been cleared by hardworking WTA crews after the 2003 floods rendered it nearly inaccessible. Since then, thanks to road-clearing and numerous work parties, the trail takes hikers on good, winding tread through a pleasant forest of tall trees. Skirt the ledge above the White Chuck River, cross a sturdy wood bridge, and continue upstream, looking for peek-a-boo views of Mount Pugh and the surrounding summits.

Don't miss the trees for the forest -- take time to look at individual cedars, hemlock and Douglas fir, which are fighting to see who among them wins the battle of succession. There are a few silver firs here, too. The trees in the area are second-growth, sprung up from former logging operations shut down about 80 years ago. It's amazing how large they can get in less than a century.

The forest floor offers a wealth of life as well. Blanketed by moss, Oregon grape, false lily of the valley, watch where you step to ensure you don't disturb the life underfoot.

After about a mile or so, the trail descends gently down to river level and then eventually peters out in underbrush. Take some photos of the views and the life all around you, and head back the way you came. Views on the way back offer a new angle on this beautiful river valley.

 

White Chuck Bench

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.1705, -121.4670 Open map in new window

Trailhead

North Cascades -- Mountain Loop Highway

White Chuck Bench (#731)

Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Darrington Ranger District

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Guidebooks & Maps

Green Trails No. 111 Sloan Peak

Getting There

From Darrington, follow the Mountain Loop Highway nine miles south (west from the T intersection in town) and turn left at the White Chuck Boat Launch. Cross the bridge and follow the road up for about 0.8 mile. You will come to a small parking area with outhouses and a sign for the White Chuck Bench Trail on the right.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 

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White Chuck Bench

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