Hiking & Recreation

Backpackers, Climbers, and Thru-Hikers

Holden welcomes all backpackers and climbers who would like to make Holden a part of their route.

Please note that many aspects about this year are different in order for us to remain open in safe and responsible ways. Backpackers, hikers, and climbers who are not registered guests are not allowed to enter any buildings in the Village. Masks are required on our transport and when interacting with Villagers.


Backpackers, hikers, and climbers may catch a ride (for an optional donation) on Holden’s transport to and from Lucerne – Holden's landing on Lake Chelan. The Lady of the Lake ferry connects Holden Village with Stehekin, Chelan, and Fields Point Landing.

Our service for hikers will be available June 21- September 30, 2021. Beginning September 5, 2021, hiker transport will be available on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday only.

All hikers must be pre-registered. The total capacity on each transport is 11 individuals. We are unable to provide transport to hikers who show up in Lucerne or the Village without a reservation. Exceptions may be made if there is an already scheduled hiker transport with available space. See below to request hiker transportation.

Departure Times (September 5 - September 30, 2021)

Day Depart Holden Village
toward Lucerne
Depart Lucerne (after boat arrives)
toward Holden Village
Monday 10:45am Approx. 12pm
Wednesday       9:30am  Approx. 10:45am
Friday 11:50am      Approx. 1:30pm 
Sunday 10:45am Approx. 12pm 

Request Hiker Transportation 

Transportation is available June 21 - September 30, 2021. 

Hiker Transportation Request Form


Holden offers hikers to-go sack meals containing a sandwich, chips, and a piece of fruit for $10 per meal (available July 10 - September 30, 2021). Unfortunately, indoor buffet service is not available for hikers who are not registered guests.

To-go meals must be requested and paid for ahead of time. The cutoff order and payment time for next-day pickup is 4pm the day before you would like your meal. Payment must be received by this time or we cannot fill your order. Orders can be placed online or in-person outside the registration office where you can pay by cash, card, or check.  

To-go meal pickup will be via the outdoor window of the registration office between 9am and 4pm.



Backpackers, hikers, and climbers may utilize the nearby U.S. Forest Service campground, which is located approximately one mile by trail from Holden (space is limited). Hikers may book a guest room by pre-registering before they arrive. At this point, they become registered guests and may enter our buildings.


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.


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.


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.