Harts Pass on the PCT

Two easy backpack or day trips when the larches are golden makes this trip well worth the five hour drive from the Tri-Cities.  Harts Pass is reached by 15 miles of dirt road, half a mile of it narrow and very exposed, beyond Mazama at the upper end of the Methow Valley. Plan on five and a half hours of driving each way. There is a cozy campground at the pass, elevation 6200 feet, and another campground two miles away. A bonus of this trip will be meeting thru-hikers on one of their last few days on the Pacific Crest Trail. One backpack trip goes north on the Pacific Crest Trail for 4.5 dreamy miles to a camp in a lovely basin below Tamarack Peak.  The trail is near or above tree line all of the way, gaining about 1000 feet to camp. From camp, explore the basin toward Tamarack Peak, or continue further on the PCT to enjoy more flaming larches. The second backpack trip traverses south on the PCT for 3 scenic miles above or at tree line to a camp in a delightful basin a mile and half before Grasshopper Pass. Again, the walking is easy, gaining only 800 feet to the camp. An excursion to Grasshopper Pass offers spectacular views of Mt Ballard and Azurite Peak. We have some options. Option A: Camp at Harts Pass and day hike to each basin. We could camp one night, two, or three, depending on how early we leave town, how late we return, and on how much time we want for hiking and savoring the scenery; we could bring wood for campfires. Option B: Camp one night in each basin and backpack the 7.5 miles between them on the middle day, for a total of three days. So, this trip could be two, three, or four days, depending on participant preferences for the options.

Steven Ghan, sign up at steven.ghan@gmail.com


Sep 29 2022 - Oct 02 2022


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