Above:  Remmel Mountain in the Pasayten Wilderness. Photo by Tyler Yates.

Pasayten Wilderness, Section 6

With 150 miles between resupply points, the Pacific Northwest Trail offers an immersive wilderness experience within the 531,000-acre Pasayten Wilderness. Over 600 miles of trails access the Wilderness, and the PNT explores 95 miles of them. The PNT merges with the Boundary Trail, passing through the open, dry plateaus in the Eastern Pasayten to the rugged ridges of the Western half of the Wilderness.

There, two National Scenic Trails meet, as the Pacific Northwest Trail shares thirteen spectacular miles with the Pacific Crest Trail––between Castle Pass and Holman Pass––before resuming its westward journey toward Jack Mountain and the teal glacial waters of Ross Lake.

Equestrians, who enjoy many of the trails here, also play an important role in their maintenance and repair. In wilderness, where regulations do not allow for mechanized equipment, trail work is done exclusively with hand tools and stock animals are used to pack in supplies.

In the Pasayten, naturally-occurring fires have played an important role in forest health, leaving areas of standing snag forests behind. Visitors should be aware that even though annual maintenance is performed on popular trails, others may be unmaintained. They should also expect trails in fire-damaged areas to be obstructed by down trees, which fall regularly in snag forests.

Pasayten Wilderness
The PNT explores 95 miles of the Pasayten Wilderness, crossing from the open grasslands in the eastern portion of the wilderness to the dramatic peaks in the West. Photo by Ashley Hill.
The PNT explores 95 miles of the Pasayten Wilderness, crossing from the open grasslands in the eastern portion of the wilderness to the dramatic peaks in the West. Photo by Ashley Hill.

Cold Springs (Loomis, WA) to Ross Lake NRA 121 mi (195 km)
Highest Point: 7,580’
Elevation Gain/ Loss:  +10,590’ / -16,400’

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO:

  • Proper food storage for black bear habitat is required
  • Alcohol and twig burning stoves are banned in the Okanogan NF
  • The Loomis NRCA is day-use only and pets are not allowed
  • Grizzly bear encounters are possible (but unlikely) in the N Cascades Ecosystem

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Rare wildlife: lynx, bighorn sheep, mountain goats
  • Horseshoe Basin
  • Hike two NSTs at the same time – PCT and PNT
  • Devils staircase
  • Devils dome
  • Ross Lake

PUBLIC LANDS:

Loomis Natural Resource Conservation Area
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Pasayten Wilderness
Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
Ross Lake National Recreation Area
North Cascades National Park Complex

 

SPECIAL HAZARDS

  • Black bears, wolves
  • Mountain Weather
  • Rugged trail conditions
  • Wildfire damage
  • Snag forests
  • Some Bushwhacking
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