Some fire erosion had caused a few narrow spots, which for hikers isn’t a problem, but I’d certainly be a bit nervous with stock. Matthew with some larches near Center Mountain. The Diamond Creek bridge was protected during the fire and is surprisingly still intact. Photo by trip reporter D.Baxter. We headed back to the trail and continued on, finally reaching the historic cabins between First and Middle Hidden Lakes at Stub Creek, which were wrapped and saved from the fire. Being the wildlife geeks we are, Laurel and I started chatting out about what might be down there. Getting to the Billy Goat trailhead is a small adventure in and of itself and takes roughly an hour from Winthrop. This lake bed was such a delightful surprise and in it we found the tracks of moose, deer, and a black bear. Thread starter NorthwestWanderer; Start date Aug 1, 2019; Don't like ads? At the very end of August, I spent 6 days backpacking over 80 miles inside the Pasayten, first completing a stunning solo backpack loop around Devil’s Dome on its west side, then joining up with a friend to explore around the Hidden Lakes of the central Pasayten. Eventually the trail all but disappeared and we picked the path of least resistance through the trees and debris, at last arriving at the shore of Big Hidden Lake, which stretched gorgeously far into the distance. Bathtub at Tungsten Mine Pasayten Wilderness ©Andy Porter From the mine it was a relatively short and easy hike up to Apex Pass (7800 ft). I guess it makes sense if the Lost River is indeed subterranean in places. It wasn’t clear if the mules were coming or going, but we were surprised and delighted for this much solitude on a holiday weekend! Priceless! I couldn’t believe it! At 1.5 mi cross Clutch Creek. After you've taken a swim in Quartz Lake or scrambled up 8,274-foot Sheep Mountain, return to Larch Creek for your final night in the Pasayten and hike out the next day. The trail was in good condition all the way but after the cabins, it was a maze of fallen trees. Untouched and undiscovered Pasayten Wilderness is Washington's well kept secrets. The Boundary Trail section of the PNT in Horseshoe Basin, Pasayten Wilderness. It’s hard to hike through this scorched area and not feel enormous sadness, loss, and frustration at human impacts. Behind us was Many Trails Peak, towering over the landscape. Since she was used to hauling heavy gear for climbing, she had decided to fill up the empty space in her pack with party favors. 67 miles. From the Billy Goat trailhead, the Hidden Lakes trail climbs roughly 700 feet over 2 miles along the eastside of the Eightmile Creek drainage with big views of Big Craggy and Eightmile Peak to the west. Start at the 30-Mile trailhead on the Chewuch River out of Winthrop. Matthew flew in from California for the weekend and our goal was to maximize time in the wilderness but minimize driving time. We stopped at the cabins for a lunch break and explored the area. Silver Lake. There were two big elevation gains, and no switchbacks. Ruffwear / They had nowhere to go and with bear tracks extending into the lake, it was clear the trout were likely providing an easy snack for a lot of critters. We started our adventure at the Iron Gate Trailhead. Make the easy trek to this 7,000-foot basin teeming with wildlife. We were in wildlife geek heaven and could barely contain our excitement. The location is extremely remote (30 miles from Winthrop) so it was amazing to … Seattle, WA 98104. From 3-day weekend trips to week-long loops, our guide will get you inspired to grab a map, and begin charting a trip through Washington's remote and rugged Pasayten Wilderness. Far up the Lost River Valley of the Pasayten, only 10 miles south of the Canadian border, lie a chain of four gorgeous lakes: Cougar Lake, First Hidden Lake, Middle Hidden Lake, and Big Hidden Lake. Though we have lived in the valley for decades, there are many areas yet to explore. Horse trailers and larger or low-clearance vehicles park at the lower trailhead but most cars should be able to make it all the way to the end. Hike four miles among wildflowers to 7,500-foot McCall Gulch, the highpoint of the trail. We decided to keep our cozy camp at Cougar Lake and day hike to Big Hidden Lake with lighter packs. Beginning at the Irongate Trailhead west of Loomis, hikers will head west, covering some of the most spectacular features of the wilderness area until eventually turning into the Castle Pass Trail, and descending out of the Pasayten Wilderness. Laurel works full time with Conservation Northwest specializing in Conservation Restoration Ecology. I love hiking in the Pasayten Wilderness. Explore multiple alpine lakes and mountain passes on a great backpacking loop for solitude seekers. This was a six day backpacking trip in the Pasayten Wilderness, in north-central Washington state, east of North Cascades National Park. The Pasayten Wilderness is one of the largest wildernesses in the state of Washington and one of the largest in the contiguous United States. Distance: 13.8 miles | Elevation Gain: 3,150′. We soon heard flocks of small chirping birds, all in the trees behind us and realized they weren’t just flying over the lake, they were catching thousands of tiny little nymphs that were hatching from the lake and taking flight. See more ideas about wilderness, washington, pacific northwest trail. Of course wouldn’t you know? Middle Hidden turned up even more critters that included coyote, otter, and possibly even mink. I was ready for a relaxing evening at camp! To see any green here was refreshing and we couldn’t help but stop and admire it. On this leg from Harts Pass to Canada's Manning Provincial Park (where thru-hikers exit the trail), you'll enjoy a vista-to-backpacker ratio that borders on the ludicrous. Pair Buckskin Ridge with the West Fork Pasayten River for a superb 32-mile loop through the Pasayaten Wilderness that starts and ends at Slate Pass. It was beautiful. Distance: 13.9 miles | Elevation Gain: 3,745′. Our home stomping grounds include the extensive backcountry surrounding the Methow Valley of Washington. Instead, Laurel and I met for breakfast, then poured over maps while I dried my gear in the sun at Pearrgyin Lake State Park. You have the option of hiking or riding a horse up to camps of your choice. It just went up. I left my telephoto lens at the trailhead. From here, you will travel 15.5 miles through lodgepole pine and lupine meadows as the West Fork of the Pasayten River Trail carries you back to Slate Pass. While fire is a very natural process in many wilderness areas, especially the Pasayten, the Diamond Creek Fire in 2017 was not natural. MSR / The Wilderness encompasses almost 150 peaks over 7,500 feet in elevation, 160 or more bodies of water, and at least as many waterways, some turbulent enough to have carved sharp canyons with sheer walls. Starting at a little under 7,000 feet in elevation and never dropping below 6,200 feet, your hike on Buckskin Ridge will provide miles of dramatic views. I've spent over 20 years exploring the Washington State backcountry and in 2019 completed a project to visit and photograph all of Washington's last remaining fire lookouts. The route was first conceived by Ron Strickland in 1970. From the sound of it, there was a pretty healthy pika population living in the surrounding talus fields that had survived the fire just fine! The Pasayten Wilderness is one of the largest wildernesses in the state of Washington and one of the largest in the contiguous United States. A backpacking trip there left me in awe of its landscape, solitude, and wildness. We watched giddily as he made laps all over the lake, slapping his tail as he went. Once we came out on the west side of the pass we were astounded, shocked, surprised and generally overwhelmed with the view. Wildflowers are commonly encountered along the trail. Even if I don’t see live animals, I see wildlife everywhere through their tracks. There wasn’t another soul around. Starting at Iron Gate TH to Armstrong Mountain 7/29 - 7/30 500px : Lacey 500px: A previously burned area along the Billy Goat Trail. Despite rheumatoid arthritis, I'm a peakbagger, backpacker, biker, paddler, and skier. Larch Pass Loop (Pasayten) A strenuous 52 mile backpack with approximately 7,000 feet of total elevation gain. And while I was filled with sadness, I was simultaneously awed to see nature’s astounding resiliency. Fire has opened up sweeping vistas previously hidden by forest and painted the landscape in a spectacular palette of deep earthy colors–reds, oranges, and browns. Remmel Lake in the Pasayten Wilderness. Note on water: Parts of the Pasayten can lack abundant water sources, so check conditions before you go, plan your sources carefully and file a trip report when you return. Since Laurel is a restoration guru, she was curious to see how the land was recovering and I was curious to see what the area looked like since the fire. Its 530,031 acres of wild land buttress the Canadian border. Hike five miles east in mostly open terrain to Tungsten Mine, then close the loop by hiking six miles down the Tungsten Trail, then finish back down the Chewuch River. I watched in amazement as Laurel pulled margarita mix, limes, tequila, guacamole, and fresh carrots from her pack. Nearer Cougar Lake, the appropriately named Lost River disappears underground and is replaced by a spectacularly green marsh. Solight Design / La Sportiva, Hudson and I wish everyone a Merry Christmas from, Finally took that rest day with a walk before the, Today’s rest day... ha! Climb the local peaks, check out the Canadian border monuments, or kick back and watch the marmots. Nature will bear the closest inspection. We found tiny underwater snails on the logs, saw trout jumping from the lake, and could have stayed here for days, soaking it all in. The 44-mile loop through Cathedral Pass offers some of the best scenery that the Boundary Trail has to offer. The section we chose is nestled in Washington's Pasayten Wilderness, just on the other side of the Cascade Range’s rainshadow and east of North Cascades National Park. Page was adopted on December 19, 2006. I wasn’t quite reorganized to hit the trail again early Saturday morning. I see all the different species that use the land, how they move and how they behave, and even more amazingly, how they all overlap. After driving 9 miles north on the West Chewuch Road, you continue another 17 miles on Forest Road 5130, which branches off the Chewuch at the 8 Mile Sno-Park. Grand total over 6 days in the Pasayten: 76.2 miles | 19,035′Whew, no wonder my legs were tired! The shortest route to get Cathedral Lakes (not coming from Canada) is roughly 19 miles. But as I hiked, I wasn’t really thinking about my legs or how tired they were from these 80 miles in the Pasayten. Pasayten Wilderness : : Climbing, hiking, mountaineering. The rest of the Lost River disappears underground and is surprisingly still intact from... Solitude, the trail descends 1,000 feet in the day we had heard distance. Once at Eightmile Pass, the trail turned slightly brushy, and wildness ( c (. It ’ ll kick back and watch the marmots inspired by the Wilderness, Washington, pacific Northwest offers. 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