Jun 13, 2011 at 1:54 pm #1275361
@everreadyLocale: Sh!^^% Ohio
I'm looking for info on the eastern loop. If you've done this loop or have some links I'd really appreciate the information.
1. Is this actually a trail or does it involve "bushwacking"?
2. What is the nearest town? I guess the start is at 30mile campground, right?
3. What kind of elevation changes?
4. Do the creeks/rivers run all year long?
5. Is it better to fly into Spokane or Seattle?
6. Can anyone shuttle us back and forth?? (long shot, I know)
Any more tidbits???
AlJun 14, 2011 at 1:55 pm #1749185
Mary DBPL Member
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
There are any number of possible loops in the Pasayten, but there are some caveats: First of all, a large portion of the wilderness has been devastated by fires–only the northernmost portion, along the Boundary Trail, appears to have escaped. Second, probably as the result of the fires, along with the usual budgetary reasons, the Forest Service has abandoned a number of trails–they just don't have the $$ to clear thousands of deadfall. You'll want to find out which trails those are and avoid them. Even the Boundary Trail has navigation problems at several points. For these reasons, if I go this fall (I want to go in alpine larch season, but it depends on how soon the snow starts sticking), I will do an out-and-back on the Boundary Trail from Iron Gate to Cathedral Lakes. That pretty much avoids the burned areas, except for Iron Gate to Sunny Pass section, and puts my turn-around before the tricky navigation area.
There are no shuttle services or public transport up there. I'm sure you're closer to Seattle than Spokane; certainly Seattle gives you lots more flight options. If you want to go in from Thirtymile, the nearest town is Winthrop.
Check out http://www.nwhikers.net and http://www.wta.org for trail info and trip reports. Doug Lorain's "Backpacking Washington" lists several loops in the Pasayten, but the info there is a bit dated.Jun 14, 2011 at 6:43 pm #1749306
@everreadyLocale: Sh!^^% Ohio
Thanks for the reply. I didn't know the fire damage was that extensive. Maybe I'll have to come up with another plan.
AlJun 14, 2011 at 11:19 pm #1749409
Todd TBPL Member
@texasbbLocale: Pacific Northwest
I'm likewise hoping to do an eastern Pasayten loop this summer/fall. My thought has been to do the Boundary Tr from Iron Gate to Cathedral, then link up Remmel Creek, Coleman Ridge, Fire Creek, Basin Creek, Windy Peak, and so forth back to Iron Gate. I know that takes me through a lot of burn areas and lower forests, so I'll be talking to the rangers before I try it. If the lower trails are expected to be too gnarly, maybe I'll try an out and back similar to Mary D's, but maybe going as far as Four Point Lake or Coleman Ridge. I hate out and backs.Jun 16, 2011 at 8:55 pm #1750229
@bpwoodLocale: NW Center for Volcano-Aided Flight
I was just up in the southern part of the wilderness (Lake Creek valley/Ashnola Pass) this weekend. This is a couple valleys west of Thirtymile/Chewuch (on the same road) and smack dab in the middle of the area burned in the 2003 Farewell Creek fire, so conditions might reflect what you'd see in other burned areas. I haven't really written up a trip report, but here's some (hopefully useful) information about current conditions.
The lower section of the Lake Creek trail is somewhat used (we saw a couple day hikers) since it leads in 4 miles to a lake. This section is a little brushy, but the footing is fine and it's very easy to walk straight through the brush that hangs into the trail. All downed trees from last winter are already cleared in this section. Above the lake, however, the trail is much less used. The brush is thicker, and there are lots of downed trees of all sizes across the trail. Some of the snags presented interesting problems to solve. Nonetheless, the trail surface was in very good shape. Personally, I kind of enjoyed the adventure, the solitude, and the feeling that no one else had been through in a while afforded by the subpar trail conditions (keeps the riff-raff out!), but with a heavier pack or stronger sun (we were shaded or clouded for most of the day), it could get miserable.
Also, see the USFS conditions page (links for each ranger district, you want mostly Methow North, maybe Tonasket) and the more static trail descriptions (some of which describe burn/maintenance status).Jun 18, 2011 at 11:56 pm #1750896
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