Holden Village is located in Railroad Creek Valley, which sits within the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and a 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.
As of February 2017, all previously closed U.S. Forest Service trails leading into Holden are now open! However, several trails suffered extreme fire damage, making them difficult to find, and, in some places, dangerous to travel due to post-fire hazards. Please refer to the Forest Service’s information when planning trips - click here for a complete list of trails and current conditions.
Once in the Village, Holden’s Hike Haus offers hiking information, local trail maps, meals for hikers, 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.
Thru Hikers and Hunters
Holden welcomes all Thru Hikers who would like to make Holden a part of their route. Below are answers to a few of our Frequently Asked Questions about thru hiking at Holden. Hunters, please note that Holden does not allow firearms, including hunting rifles, in the Village or on our transportation and is not able to transport or store game.
Thru Hikers can register to stay in a room at Holden or utilize the nearby U.S. Forest Service campground, which is located approximately one mile by trail from Holden (space is limited).
Food and Supplies
Holden offers individual meals for a small cost to Thru Hikers. The Holden Store has a limited supply of maps, camping gear, and candy available for sale. If you are not staying at Holden but would like to eat a meal/meals in the Village, costs are as follows:
Full Day: $25
Please visit Registration to pay for meals (cash only) and find information about mealtimes.
What routes can I take?
Popular routes into Holden include passing over Spider Gap from the Leavenworth/Lake Wenatchee area and over Cloudy Pass from the Pacific Crest Trail/Darrington/Stehekin areas. Due to post-fire damage and hazards in the Ten Mile Basin Drainage, Holden suggests that hikers looking to come over Hilgard & Ten Mile passes from Stehekin consider another route into the Village.
Where can I find more information about trails?
The Village’s Hike Haus, located at the west end of the Village, offers information on the trails in the area and can help Thru Hikers orient themselves to the Village. Groups of Thru Hikers and those wishing to reserve a spot on the Holden bus ahead of time are encouraged to fill out the form above with dates and group numbers.
I would like to ride to Holden from Lake Chelan or from Holden to Lake Chelan - can I do this if I didn't reserve a stay?
Yes! Thru Hikers may catch a ride on Holden’s daily transport (via school bus or van) to and from Lucerne - Holden's landing on Lake Chelan - which connects Holden with Stehekin, Chelan, and Field's Point Landing via the Lady of the Lake ferry. It is essential that thru hikers reserve a seat on the bus ahead of time in order to guarantee we have room. You can do this by filling out the form below. Transportation prices are as follows:
One-way transportation: $10
Round trip transportation: $15
After completing this form you will receive a link to pay online by credit card. If your plans change or you do not email ahead of time, please pay with cash while in the Village - however, we cannot guarantee space on transport if you do not email ahead of time.
Transportation Request Form: For Thru-Hikers
This form is only for thru-hikers or any other visitors who are not planning to stay at Holden Village.
Holden’s Hike Haus offers information on trails of the valley, hiking basics, day and overnight pre-made meals, 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 • Sandwiches • Trail Mix • Day Packs • Fishing Rods and Tackle
Overnight Hiking Supplies
Tents • Sleeping Bags • Sleeping Pads • Stoves • Rope & Bear Bags • Pre-made simple meals • Cookware • Fire starters
Essential items (pre-packaged food, water bottles, simple tools, fire starters, headlamps, space blankets, clothing, first aid supplies, sunscreen, area maps, bug spray, regional field guides etc.) can also be purchesed in the Holden Store.
Fishing poles are available for check out in the Hike Haus, and fishing is allowed in all areas around Holden except for in Railroad Creek. Holden does not sell fishing licenses, so be sure to purchase one before your arrival in the Village. Holden also does not provide bait.
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 the Hike Haus hosts 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 daily 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Header image: Glacier Peak by David Merrick