Senator Henry Jackson of Washington was instrumental in the designation of many of the state's Wildernesses, and this "forest" of fabled peaks recalls his efforts. Straddling more than 30 miles of the craggy north-south trending crest of the Cascade Mountains, with deep glacial valleys spreading out east and west from the crest, this Wilderness is perhaps most distinctive in its northwest section. Here you will find terrain reminiscent of the Swiss Alps: glacial basins surrounded by raggedy ridgelines supporting sharp spires and imposing rock towers, attractions to many mountain climbers. Snow often accumulates to a depth of 20 feet in the higher country, and remains well into summer, eventually melting into the 60-plus lakes, which range from small pools of water to Blanca Lake's approximately 180 acres in the northwest section. A tall forest covers the lower elevations, then thins out and changes in species to eventually open into broad meadows on many ridge tops. This Wilderness shares its northeast border with the huge Glacier Peak Wilderness. The Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail (PCT) winds down the high heart of the area for about 32 miles. Other trails snake up from the east and west to join the PCT. The Blanca Lake Trail leads 3.5 miles to Blanca Lake, and five short pathways approach the center of the northwest section and fade to bushwhacking terrain.
Leave No Trace
How to follow the seven standard Leave No Trace principles differs in different parts of the country (desert vs. Rocky Mountains). Click on any of the principles listed below to learn more about how they apply in the Henry M. Jackson Wilderness.
Digital and paper maps are critical tools for wilderness visitors. Online maps can help you plan and prepare for your visit ahead of time. You can also carry digital maps with you on your GPS unit or other handheld GPS device. Having a paper map with you in the backcountry, as well as solid orienteering skills, however, ensures that you can still route-find in the event that your electronic device fails.
Motorized equipment and equipment used for mechanical transport is generally prohibited in all wilderness areas.
This includes the use of motor vehicles, motorboats, motorized equipment, bicycles, hang gliders, wagons, carts, portage wheels, and the landing of aircraft including helicopters.
Washington State Wilderness Act of 1984 - Public law 98-339 (7/3/1984) To designate certain National Forest System lands in the State of Washington for inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System, and for other purposes.