Pacific Crest Trail: Best Scenery - Pasayten Wilderness, WA

There's really no such thing as crowds on the PCT, but if you want to ditch every last bit of traffic, hike the northernmost 35 miles.
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There's really no such thing as crowds on the PCT, but if you want to ditch every last bit of traffic, hike the northernmost 35 miles.

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. What's more, the half-million-acre Pasayten is big and wild enough to harbor grizzlies and gray wolves that wander across the border from British Columbia, plus the largest concentration of lynx in the contiguous United States. And unlike sections farther south, where extreme vertical topography pushes the path off the crest, the PCT stays high here, riding the Pasayten's broader ridges and open meadows. Go light on raingear: This area sits in the Cascades rain shadow, which means you'll get views of Mt. Baker, North Cascades National Park, and the needlelike Picket Range—without their sloppy weather.
LOCAL WISDOM Best month: September. Summer's bugs are gone, nights are cool, and the larch and scrub maple turn a vibrant gold and red, respectively, contrasting photogenically with the deep green of the spruce.

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 56.0

Waypoints

PCT1737

Location: 48.721169, -120.670197

To begin, head NE from Hart's Pass campground

PCT1738

Location: 48.724121, -120.664703

Creek crossing

PCT1739

Location: 48.73233, -120.677101

Stay L @ trail jct.

PCT1740

Location: 48.77681, -120.721207

Creek crossing

PCT1741

Location: 48.777248, -120.721765

Pass camp nestled at the foot of Tamarack Peak

PCT1742

Location: 48.810619, -120.732803

Cross Shaw Creek

PCT1743

Location: 48.821049, -120.734398

Pass camp; continue N

PCT1744

Location: 48.83445, -120.735802

Creek crossing

PCT1745

Location: 48.839729, -120.737701

Stay straight @ Holman Pass trail jct.

PCT1746

Location: 48.85257, -120.747803

Creek crossing

PCT1747

Location: 48.858028, -120.743896

Pass great camp with spring

PCT1748

Location: 48.862999, -120.7425

Pass a spring

PCT1749

Location: 48.882801, -120.762199

Bear L @ jct.; ascend to Woody Pass

PCT1750

Location: 48.885151, -120.767403

Woody Pass; head N

PCT1751

Location: 48.926781, -120.765503

Spur to Hopkins Lake on R

PCT1752

Location: 48.92588, -120.767097

Hopkins Lake, a round lake nestled in a cirque, is a great place to camp your last night on the trail. Head NE to Hopkins Pass

PCT1753

Location: 48.929272, -120.762703

Head N from Hopkins Pass; Blizzard Peak rises to the NE

PCT1754

Location: 48.95607, -120.780602

Head N to Castle Pass

PCT1755

Location: 48.977034, -120.791931

Cross creek; look to the SE for Mt. Winthrop's pointed peak

PCT1756

Location: 48.999507, -120.799785

Cross creek

PCT1757

Location: 49.001591, -120.802188

Creek crossing

PCT1758

Location: 49.000271, -120.802101

Monument 78 marks the US-Canada border

PCT1759

Location: 49.002125, -120.803132

Pass an excellent camp

PCT1760

Location: 49.002499, -120.803596

Creek crossing

PCT1761

Location: 49.032848, -120.773804

Cross creek

PCT1762

Location: 49.036449, -120.763802

"PCT Camp"

PCT1763

Location: 49.037701, -120.763702

Stay straight @ jct. with Frosty Mtn. Trail

PCT1764

Location: 49.04715, -120.764503

Keep straight @ jct. with Windy Joe Rd.

PCT1765

Location: 49.05743, -120.775497

Trail curves to the W

PCT1766

Location: 49.06012, -120.7892

Pass beaver dam ponds

PCT1767

Location: 49.063976, -120.797886

Head E towards HWY 3 and Manning Park Lodge

PCT1768

Location: 49.063772, -120.799302

Trailhead. To reach HWY 3, turn R onto Gibson Pass Rd.

PCT1769

Location: 49.063734, -120.785338

HWY 3 in Manning Provincial Park. <p></p>More PCT: <a href="http://backpacker.trimbleoutdoors.com/ViewTrip.aspx?TripID=28784">Previous Section</a>