An old pack trail reincarnated, Happy-Panther is both one of the oldest and newest trails in the North Cascades National Park Complex.
Click here to see geolocated pictures with description:
Third day of North Cascades Institute getaway.
Participants include Nicole Hansen, Louise Kornreich and Fran Holme.
Louise posted this account of our hike along this trail:
This is one of the most wonderful, pretty and under-used trails in the N Cascades Park. We hiked it as a one-way trip with car shuttle, from the Ross Lake TH to the East Creek TH. All along the way, we never saw another hiker and we wanted to immediately tell everyone about it and take groups there to hike it.
Constructed within the past few years and following an old mining/prospectors/wagon trail (though not gnarly and steep, as they often are), there is a Salal Forest, a moss forest, some waterfalls and all with nice tread and sturdy bridges (ok, there are a couple of sketchy spots, but very, very short).
There is so little use on this trail that the moss is beginning to encroach on the trail. It is begging to be hiked so that it may live to see another happy hiker (panther).
Reference: Green Trails Diablo, No 48, Mount Logan, No 49. Day Hiking: North Cascades , by Craig Romano, No. 88 Happy Panther Trail.
From Marblemount follow the North Cascades Highway (State Route 20) east for 29 miles. Just beyond milepost 134, locate a large parking area on your left for the Ross Dam trail (elev. 2100 ft). Privy available.
Trailhead GPS coordinates (48.7268,-121.0611)
Forest Service Pass required.
6.22 miles, 522 ft. gain, 2 hrs 40 min.