Horseshoe Basin (Pasayten)

Date: Aug. 5, 2016

Location: Pasayten Wilderness Area (near Tonasket, WA)

Distance: 18 miles RT (about 2-3 miles beyond Louden lake)

Elevation Gain: 1550 ft

Highest Elevation: 7200 ft

Wide expanse of rolling meadows among rugged Cascades Range on high country is this trail’s calling card.  The trail, starting at Iron Gate TH, is a mixed use trail for hikers and horses and can be extended almost 100 miles west to Hart’s Pass as part of Boundary Trail.

Mile 1, a glimpse of upcoming vista within several hundred yards of TH, though the trail was mostly within the trees for the first 3 miles.

Scars of 2015 forest fire and Windy Peak in the backdrop

Mile 3, trail burst out of pine poles with Sunny Pass straight ahead, and the only section of persistent climbing ahead.

Mile 4.5 mile, arriving Sunny Pass, 7200ft, looking back on the trail traversed.

Mile 5+, a slight descend from Sunny Pass to Horseshoe Pass, looking back to Sunny Pass (South, Photo Above), and Horseshoe Basin opened up to the West (photo, below)

Horseshoe Pass, 7000ft, was attained at Mile 6. There were a couple spur trails for side trips, I elected to continue on the main trail.

The 1+ mile between Horseshoe Pass and Louden Lake was the highlight of this trip. Below, approaching Louden Lake with Haig Mountain in the backdrop.

I hiked passed Louden Lake to about Mile 9. The trail did not lose much elevation, but re-entered sub-alpine forest at around mile 8.