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Tacoma Pass to Government Meadows

Central Cascades


Central Cascades


16.4 miles, one-way


Gain: 3000 ft.
Highest Point: 5700 ft.


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This section of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) has a reputation for not being very scenic because it's flat and clear-cut, but that is simply not the case. The PCT through the Central Cascades offers stunning views, especially of Mount Rainier. The once-clear-cut forests are growing back into lovely regrowth groves. The meadows at Government Meadow feature wildflowers in the spring. The only downside is that there is little water in this stretch of trail, so be sure to come prepared with plenty of water.

Start your trip at Tacoma Pass, where Road 52 intersects with the PCT. In the winter, this road turns into cross country ski trails. Climb up the trail, gaining elevation most of the way until you reach Blowout Mountain. Stop to rest and enjoy the view, then continue down to Green Pass. Past Blowout Mountain, there is very little reliable access to water.

At Green Pass, cross Road 784 and continue towards Windy Gap. There is a spring about 2 miles in, but this is the last access to water until you reach the Meadows. Climb towards Windy Gap and up and over Pyramid Peak, where you finally descend into the meadows. Cross various roads along the way and spend the night at a shelter in Government Meadows.


Tacoma Pass to Government Meadows

Map & Directions


Central Cascades

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Cle Elum Ranger District

Getting There

On I-90 take Exit 62 (Stampede Pass - Kachess Lake), go right (south), drive past Crystal Springs C.G., across Yakima River bridge and arrive at the end of pavement. Drive FR 54 to the start of FR 41 branching off to the left. Drive past spur road 4111, cross Cabin Creek and to the start of FR 4112 where a sign points right to TACOMA PASS 1, PCT Tr. 2000 1. After 1.2 mi. you reach Tacoma Pass at 3500 ft. elev.


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Tacoma Pass to Government Meadows

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