Hiking & Recreation

Backpackers, Climbers, and Thru-Hikers

Holden welcomes all backpackers and climbers who would like to make Holden a part of their route. We are so excited to open up some services for thru-hikers this summer!

IMportant: Vaccination Requirement

All hikers in age groups eligible to receive vaccination are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (including completion of the two-week waiting period after full vaccination) in order to access Holden's services. Currently, this includes everyone ages 5 years old and up. You will be asked to provide proof of vaccination when you check-in upon arrival in the Village.

Check-In Process

SUMMER (June 10 - September 5, 2022)

Hikers will be directed to check in at the Hike Haus, located at the western-most end of the Village, along the main road. Staff will check your proof of vaccination and negative test status, and then give you a stamp which allows you to enter buildings. Hike Haus staff will tell you about services available, and will check if you have paid for meals and registered for transportation, if needed. 

Hike Haus Hours (Go here first)

Tues: 8am-12pm
Weds: 1pm-5pm
Thurs: 8am-12pm

If the Hike Haus is closed you will be directed to check in at the outside window of Registration.

Registration Hours 

Daily 9am - 4pm

If you arrive outside of those hours when the Hike Haus or Registration is staffed, we cannot provide services to you until the next day unless it is an emergency. 

OFF SEASON (May 27 - June 10, 2022 and September 5 - 30, 2022)

Hikers will be directed to check in at the outside window of Registration. Everything else about the check-in process will be the same as above.

Transport

  • Transportation will be available with prior reservation only, made online in advance or in-person at least one day in advance. 
  • There is limited space available. If you are not pre-registered online, we cannot guarantee space on our transport.
  • Transport is free, with the option to make a donation. This can be via our online donation link, or in-person at the Hiker Cashbox by Registration or via the Registration office. A suggested donation of $10 per person each direction.
  • Masking on our vehicles will follow the Village procedure in place at that time. Learn more about our Community Health Protocols and Practices
  • All hikers who pre-register online will be required to test negative for COVID-19 in the 3 days prior to traveling on the boat up to the Village (including children ages 5 and older). Three days before your arrival, you will receive an email and must complete an acknowledgement form that every member of your party (age 5 and older) is fully vaccinated and has received a negative result on a COVID-19 test. Results from either rapid antigen or molecular/PCR tests are accepted. Please complete this form no later than 8am on the day of your arrival. 

We will offer hiker transport May 27 - September 30, 2022. Hiker transport will be on the days when our regular transport is running:

  • May 27- June 10: Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun
  • June 11- Sept 4: Thur, Fri, Sat
  • Sept 5- Sept 30: Mon, Wed, Fri, Sun

Hiker Transport Registration Form

Lodging

At this time, we are not taking registrations for hikers to stay in Holden lodging between April 25 and September 4, 2022. Hikers can inquire at the Hike Haus on the day of their arrival at the Village if there is any last minute availability, but please do not plan on being able to find lodging in the Village.

Outside of our summer cohort season (May 27 - June 10 and September 5 - 30), hikers may request a reservation for a room on our website.  We cannot guarantee space if someone just shows up to the Village looking for a room. All Village vaccination and testing procedures still apply.


Food

Meals in the Dining Hall will be available to hikers who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and have checked-in at Holden’s Hike Haus or Registration. Meals can be paid for ahead of time via the online payment link, and ordered through the transport registration form or by emailing registrar@holdenvillage.org. Meals can also be purchased upon arrival via cash or check at the Hiker Cashbox outside of Registration, or via card at the Registration window.

Meal prices:

  • Breakfast: $10
  • Lunch: $12
  • Dinner: $15
  • Full day (3 meals): $35

Other Services

(Available to hikers who have provided proof of vaccination and have checked-in at the Hike Haus or Registration.)

The Snack Bar (ice cream!), Beanies Coffee Cart, public bathrooms in our buildings, laundry services, and the Holden Store will be accessible (open hours TBD).

Unfortunately we are unable to offer showers at this time.

COMMON ROUTES INTO HOLDEN VILLAGE

Popular routes into Holden include passing over Spider Gap from the Phelps Creek Trailhead, over Cloudy Pass from the Pacific Crest Trail/Darrington/Stehekin areas, or over Hilgard Pass from Stehekin. There are dozens of other hiking destinations in the valley that are readily accessible from Holden.

Marijuana is not permitted at Holden Village.

Hiking & Recreation

Located in Railroad Creek Valley within the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Holden Village sits just one mile by trail outside of the Glacier Peak Wilderness in North Central Washington. Our unique setting gives visitors access to hundreds of miles of trails and wilderness right on our doorstep. All the trails surrounding Holden are open, and most are in great condition. A few trails contain hazards and damage leftover by the 2015 Wolverine Creek Fire, making them difficult and hazardous to navigate.  Please refer to the Forest Service’s information on trail conditions when planning trips.

Holden Village offers hiking information, local trail maps, sandwiches and snacks, and a limited selection of hiking gear (by no means a gear outfitter) to help guests and staff make the most of the trails. The Village Naturalist is also a resource for visitors, offering daily sessions exploring the natural history of the area.

For information on hiking and recreation around Holden Village: USFS Trail Conditions
For information regarding transportation, lodging, or meals: registrar@holdenvillage.org.

Gear Check Out

Holden Village offers information on the trails in the valley, hiking basics, and limited hiking gear for guests and staff. We are not a gear outfitter (and cannot guarantee a sufficient stock of gear for all guests), but we do provide the basics, including:

Day Hike Supplies
Water bottles & filters • day packs • trekking poles • fly and spin cast fishing rods and tackle

Ingredients for making sandwiches and trail mix will be available in the Dining Hall every morning from 6am to 7am. 

Overnight Hiking Supplies
Tents • sleeping bags • sleeping pads • stoves • rope & bear bags • cookware • fire starters

Essential items (pre-packaged food, water bottles, simple tools, fire starters, headlamps, space blankets, clothing, basic first aid supplies, sunscreen, area maps, bug spray, regional field guides etc.) can also be purchased in the Holden Store.

Fishing

In order to fish in the beautiful streams, rivers, and lakes near Holden Village, you must have a Washington state fishing license. While you may purchase fishing licenses in the Holden Post Office, we suggest that you purchase one before your arrival in the Village as our internet is limited and often slow. Holden does not provide bait. The Village Naturalist can give you advice on where to go and Holden Village has some spin casting poles, fly fishing poles and reels for loan. You are welcome to bring your own fishing gear.

Hunting

Hunters, please note that Holden does not allow firearms, including hunting rifles, on Holden transportation to or from Lucerne, nor are they permitted in the Village. Holden does not transport or store game. For more information, contact our Registrar.

Skiing & Winter Recreation

Holden is an excellent location for winter recreation. Holden often offers cross country skiing lessons and short guided hikes via snowshoe throughout the winter. We have a collection of cross country skis, boots, & poles, several sets of used backcountry skis, and many pairs of snowshoes that are available for use.

Winter recreation at Holden comes with many potential hazards. Avalanches run out frequently around the village and along popular recreational routes throughout the winter and spring. The Northwest Avalanche Center provides daily avalanche forecasts through most of the winter. Holden’s weather is also updated daily. Mountain weather may change quickly and unexpectedly. Come expecting the best, but be prepared for the worst.

Environmental Learning at Holden

Holden also offers numerous opportunities to learn about of the North Cascades ecosystem and the nature of Railroad Creek Valley. The Holden Library contains numerous books concerning environmental topics and a collection of field guides and information on the natural history of the North Cascades and the valley.

In the summer season, Teaching Staff from numerous professional backgrounds offer sessions on a variety of environmental topics. The Village Naturalist leads sessions on environmental topics throughout the summer and is available as a resource for guests, groups, and staff throughout the year. Feel free to contact the Village Naturalist with questions or ideas at naturalist@holdenvillage.org.