Sultan River Canyon Trail — A near yet remote canyon housing big trees and a wild stretch of river


A seasoned and newbie hiker enjoy a quiet moment in the Sultan Canyon.

Quick Facts:

Location: Sultan Basin

Land Agency: Snohomish County Public Utility District 

Roundtrip: 4.4 miles

Elevation Gain: 850 feet

Green Trails Map: Mountain Loop Highway 111SX

Access:  From Everett follow US 2 east to Sultan. At a traffic light just past Milepost 23 turn left onto Sultan Basin Road. Follow for 13.2 miles (pavement ends at 10.4 miles) to an information kiosk. Stop and sign-in acknowledging that you understand the rules and regulations for visiting the Sultan Basin which is Everett’s public water supply. Then bear left at a Y-intersection and continue 1.6 miles to parking area and trailhead.

Contact:  Skykomish Ranger District: Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest 

Notes: Register (no fee) at kiosk at watershed entrance; dogs permitted on leash

Good to Know: Kid-friendly, dog-friendly,



Loggers never made it to this part of the Sultan River Canyon.

Opened in 2015, this new trail takes you deep into the Sultan River Canyon where towering old growth trees and steep slopes shade a remote section of the Sultan River. The hike starts on a gated dirt road near the entrance of the parking area. Walk this road through pleasant forest gradually climbing about 250 feet.

After one mile, come to the beginning of the actual trail which is clearly signed. Now begin your descent into the deep dark canyon. Via a good grade the way switchbacks downward into the rugged canyon. The steep slopes here prevented past loggers from harvesting the canyon’s towering old trees. You’ll pass some impressive ancient giants. You’ll pass some nice small seasonal cascades too.


Deep within the Sultan River Canyon.

At 2.2 miles reach the canyon’s lush bottom and the rippling Sultan River. During the summer months, sunlight reaches the canyon floor allowing you to prop on a riverside rock and enjoy a sunny spot along the river. Watch for dippers flitting in the cool waters. After enjoying this quiet and remote spot prepare for your return journey where a 600 foot climb out of the canyon waits for you.


For information on lodging and other attractions near the Sultan Basin visit: www.snohomish.orgSnohomish-NEW

 For detailed information on this and other area hikes along US 2, consult my Day Hiking Central Cascades, which contains 125 hikes complete with maps and lots of other important information.

125 hikes from Everett to Wenatchee!

125 hikes from Everett to Wenatchee!