The summit of the pass, being at tree line, is known for its views in all directions. It is also a key departure point for mountaineering; to the north, the gentle ridge of the Sahale arm leads up to Sahale Peak, as well as to the meadows of Boston Basin and the summits above. To the south, Mixup Arm leads to Mixup Peak and Magic Mountain, as well as to Cache Col, making Cascade Pass the start of the high-level Ptarmigan Traverse.
The pass was originally a major route for Native Americans trading between the coast and the interior. Among the first white men to explore and map the Skagit Pass was New York newspaperman Frank Wilkeson.