Kept moving. But the soft dirt and pine needle covered ground lays out a nicer soft footed trail going down in the switchbacks. One of us thought we had made it to the lake but we were not. White Pass - Pilot Ridge Loop, Lake Sally Ann. Day 2 was my favorite due to plentiful wild flowers still in bloom and tons of marmots scrambling along directly on the trail. And had a rocky descent of maybe 500ft, before we even made it to the PRTrail and the Blue Lake junction. • Trail was fairly easy to follow and only saw 3 other groups the whole trip. A lot of this trail is high up and exposed, so be sure to drink and carry as much as possible from Blue Lake. There is a small stream about a third of the way down the descent. However, the temperature was about 70 degrees despite being 91 degrees down in Darrington. 1,461' Up Logistically, this is a good location if you are doing this loop. About water (Sep 10): There is a good one immediately after leaving the PCT and heading towards Pilot Ridge. Insanely steep and almost a bit of a scramble. 69.8 km There is water year-round on the climb up to White Pass - look for a couple of springs in the hillside on the trail up toward the top. If you choose this route* after you make it across, the roots have come up from that fallen tree so there is a drop and a “root” climb back out, or there is a smaller log you can try to scoot your way across. We never had to filter water at the stagnant ponds; there were trickling springs at multiple spots. We could not see the trail until we were five feet from it. Help keep our trails and parks open during COVID-19 by committing to social distancing. If you’re thinking about it, please do it because you won’t regret it! My partners legs were like jello so he waded the river while I went over a log, around 70ft long. Bring a GPS as you can lose the trail in some of the snow crossings. other than that the fall colors were awesome. Blue Lake: it was nice to sit here and dip your feet in the water after the Blue Lake High Route There are spots to camp along the way around mile 4.5 & 6.2. To continue the loop from White Pass, head south on the PCT over miles and miles of mind-boggling ridges, meadows and flower fields, passing Reflection Pond, Kid Pond, Indian Pass, Kodak Peak, which is worth hiking to the top. 1,367' Up I was able to put my foot on a root across and pull my way over the drop. We saw one, kept moving, around the corner saw lower Blue Lake. Once on the PCT, head south, being sure to not trip over your bottom lip due to the jaw dropping views along the way. Plenty of water from TH to White Pass. The blue lake high route is pretty gnarly. The Great: We easily re-found the trail. 3998.56 m Down. The ascent from either side of the loop … It’s not easy terrain, but the views are worth it. • • Some hadn’t noted this previously. This loop can be done as fast as you want or as a week-long adventure. 9,095' Up More along Pilot Ridge than other part of the loop. This was sure a great backpacking adventure with beautiful views of the mountain range, Silver Lake via Monte Cristo Trail and Poodle Dog Pass Trail, Silvertip Peak Scramble via Monte Cristo Trail and Poodle Dog Pass Trail. 76' Down We spent 2 nights and 3 days on trail and made 18 miles. We had picked a 30-mile loop called White Pass-Pilot Ridge Loop, which promised lots of ridge walking with spectacular views, bookended by several miles of old growth forest full of ancient cedars and lush ferns. We hoped that a Saturday to Monday trip would minimize the crowds. I was recording the route on my phone. Luckily for us we could hear eachother but going left when he got out of the water was impossible. You then re-ascend to the unmarked junction with the poets ridge trail. Once you gain Pilot Ridge Trail #652 later in the run, there's no water until you drop back to the Sauk. 416.69 m Down, 0.8 mi There are two small lakes before the big Blue Lake and in no way comparable! • 3,639' Down This is one of my favorite backpacking trails. An Adventure Projects staff member will review this and take an appropriate action, but we generally don't reply. A few areas of rock needed to get lower to get down but poles are very helpful there. Kodak Pass: some of the best views of the Cascades with Rainier in the distance (on a clear day of course) 416.75 m Up Drive the Mountain Loop Highway #530 north from Darrington or south from Rockport to just north of the Bedal Campground and turn east on the North Fork Sauk River road #49. Animals among us were Pika, Marmots, and a deer. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and backpacking and is best used from April until October. It’s slumping in places, although always easy to follow. Over July 4th 2014, we hiked the 30 mile loop around Pilot Ridge. But in due time, we made it. 445.31 m Up I ended up scooting across a fallen tree. You will recognize it by the flat sign stating "glacier peak wilderness." Great views on clear days, definitely a must do hike... Day one from trailhead to White Pass is a hard push up, up, up through endless switchbacks. White Pass Pilot Ridge Loop spreads out over about 30 miles beginning and ending in the lush old growth forests of the North Fork Sauk River. Once on the PCT, head south, being sure to not trip over your bottom lip due to the jaw dropping views along the way. No bridge seen, only big trees to walk across. Ten years ago we day hiked up Pilot Ridge and had some terrific views. 19.0 km 28.5mi, Create Recommended Route or Please read to the end** The entire hike was extremely beautiful, flowers were everywhere. This is where Alltrails SAVED me. The Good: Some trails or park services may be closed this weekend so check with local authorities before heading out. Water refill points everywhere, last couple miles of downhill is brutal on the knees but totally worth it. Trail is in great condition. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, nature trips, and backpacking and is best used from April until October. White Pass itself is beautiful. There was a little more than a dozen cars parked. Saturday morning we were at the 2200' trailhead by 9:00 and had to squeeze into a parking space. There is also no bridge to cross the stream at the bottom. I was rewarded with the most awesome spring trickling down the mountain as I reached the Pacific Crest Trail. White Pass Pilot Ridge Loop Trail is a 30.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Darrington, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Oct 15, 2017 - A loop hike, beginning and ending in the old-growth forests of the North Fork Sauk River that traverses high ridges and passes of the Pacific crest, visits beautiful alpine lakes, and finally follows the high and lonesome Pilot Ridge Trail before descending back … 11.8 mi There are some highly hike-able miles along the ridge as the trail rolls toward Dishpan Gap. Here was the tricky bit. A little ways after passing the junction with the white river trail, you descend into a little valley where you will pass the junction with the indian river trail. A little scarce from Kodak Pass to Blue Lake. Great trail but easily could be a difficult designation. I did not see many hikers on the other trails. You have to bushwack your your way to the trail. Also, not much to look at until you are closer to the top. The good first portion is with no tree cover, savor water for the first half, and there is indeed a small creek and water source before you hit the junction of Blue Lake high route and Low route. 10.2 km White Pass camp area is sheltered, but the view isn't the best. Be sure to stock up early before Kodak Pass. Aug 3, 2014 - A loop hike, beginning and ending in the old-growth forests of the North Fork Sauk River that traverses high ridges and passes of the Pacific crest, visits beautiful alpine lakes, and finally follows the high and lonesome Pilot Ridge Trail before descending … A longer, more moderate hike on the Bald Eagle to Pilot Ridge trail probably would have been more enjoyable. What a day. 2770.78 m Down, 6.5 mi For more info on trails and hikes check out my Instagram, @alex.morose. 2-night, 3-day backpack of the gorgeous White Pass / Pilot Ridge Loop in Glacier Peak Wilderness with bonus climbs of Johnson Mountain and Pilot Peak. There is no water that I can remember between Blue Lake and the Pilot Ridge descent. I recommend using poles. When you cross the logs, there is no trail up to the trail that takes you home. 81' Up • Then we took the right turn and we had another similar jaunt to go back up to get to Blue Lake. It's just something that you have to endure. Starting at the North Fork Sauk River trailhead, this route meanders along the river for a gentle 5-mile warm up before shooting up the ridge, gaining ~3000 feet in 3 miles to join the PCT near White Pass. 24.82 m Up Trail info: http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/white-pass-pilot-ridge-loop White Pass - Pilot Ridge Loop There's no place I'd rather be for my birthday than in the mountains and my companions for this adventure were old friends Blissman, Yoyo and Phlemy. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. The campsite was buggy, so my $1.50 mosquito head net was totally worth it, Wearing long sleeves and long pants were also necessary due to biting flies. The long route, which we had taken was a little fake out. I carried ~2.5 liters of water the whole time. Ran the loop + added a couple of detours to equal 35 miles for the day. 10.5 km The route was the North Fork Sauk River trail to Red Pass, White Pass, the PCT to Dishpan Gap then Blue Lakes with an exit via Pilot Ridge. The rest of the day was not very spectacular. Made a backpack trip out of this and it rained hard. Blue Lake High Route: I personally recommend avoiding this unless you are in good shape and plan on making Blue Lake a camping spot. We just headed in the direction we needed to go across a random wild flower laden mountainside. The cascades never cease to amaze me. Lots of northwest wildflowers: lupine, glacier lilies, columbines, etc. Blue Lake was gorgeous. And they had said it was extremely sketchy with loose slippery rocks and steep steep travel. Taking other people's content (text, photos, etc) without permission is a copyright violation and 3,634' Up Beautiful Started hiking at 6:30am. The last bit! It's an excellent way to spend a long weekend. • This is an incredibly diverse trail that is perfect for a backpacking trip. Once you get to the last spot, there is a river crossing! Lots of little flying insects on top of Kodak Peak. A constant, steep grade for ~4 miles. Watch Queue Queue. We had added Foam Creek Basin to this day and having this last little climb was brutal. Most popular is a two night trip, staying at White Pass the first night and Blue Lake the second night. The lake was pristine, blue as day. The trail is actually really nice going down. As for my friend, he waded the river but there was no trail for him once he got to the other side. Huckleberries lining the trail, increasing incredible views. He was having to go on hands and knees trying to slide his backpack under logs, under bushes and bushwhacking to try to find the trail again. It is mostly just a lot of downward hiking. • The water underneath is very strong so it is easy to get disoriented while walking across. The trail leading up to Mackinaw Shelter climbs gently and provides ample shade. And never regretted a thing. 23.29 m Down, 34.7 mi 55.8 km If you have the legs I’m sure 30 miles would be a great idea! 1,367' Down Some boulders are hidden in parts of the trail under tree branches so watch footing. The lake is beautiful. When you reach the river at the bottom, there is not bridge -- jsut fallen logs. Being a jerk / offensive? 9,090' Down The camp sites are good. • It was good enough for most of the trail, but there were a few sections where I had to ration it. So he trailed right, and finally caught up to my voice and the original trail. The biggest danger is tripping/falling off the trail from your head constantly swiveling around to take it all in. Trail is narrow and is mostly loose rocks. Lots of little streams to fill up. On Day 3, we totally missed the trail leaving Blue Lake, because there are many crisscrossing trails through camp.. We had heard of this based on reviews on other websites and we STILL missed the trail. • The descent down from the ridge is extremely steep and long. Descent from Pilot Ridge: I know steep inclines/declines are almost always the worst part about hiking, but this will kill your knees. North Cascades. But just to reassure people. Probably could walk across it if you trust your balance. In a few places, old log bridges are rotting away and area a bit slick. Amazing fall colors and blueberries galore! NOT OKAY! We took the high route to Blue Lake. Note: the High route in indeed very treacherous, some friends of ours had brought a dog and unfortunately had his paw pads were injured. You will run into some people on this trail (if you are into that sort of thing). Stunning views from White Pass, Blue Lake, and Pilot Ridge. It was refreshing to soak my feet. 1.3 km The trail on Pilot Ridge is clearly the least traveled of this loop. And we were happy, hungry and tired campers. 2772.1 m Up Due to lack of campsites on Pilot Ridge, the best choice is to make this loop in a clockwise direction, taking the North Fork Sauk Trail all the way up to the Pacific Crest Trail. White Pass: excellent spot to camp and catch the sunset/sunrise Very surprised I didn't fall on the way up or down. Coming down from Blue lake is a bit more rugged. Note: The junction sign does not say Blue Lake on it, someone had tried to carve it in but you barely see it. I could see where I was and where I was supposed to be. If you like ridge hiking, sloping green hills, and constant vistas, check out this loop. White Pass - Pilot Ridge Loop; Initially I had planned on completing a clockwise loop over the course of three days and two nights, which I would definitely recommend (at the very least) to enjoy this vast and majestic pocket of the North Cascades. The Bad: Incredible trail, hiked this over 3 days and 2 nights 7/17-7/19, highly reccomend. Spam? It is a strenuous, fully exposed hike, but doable. Ascent to White Pass: Obviously an ascent like this is difficult, but be prepared for this to take much longer than you think. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at the trailhead: We did about 10 miles each day, camping in a different place each night. So I got soaked as did everything else. 1,461' Down One mile after passing the … • Starting at the North Fork Sauk River trailhead, this route meanders along the river for a gentle 5-mile warm up before shooting up the ridge, gaining ~3000 feet in 3 miles to join the PCT near White Pass. Lots of mosquitoes on the lower portions of the trail so bring bug spray! • Once on the PCT, head south, being sure to not trip over your bottom lip due to the jaw dropping views along the way. The hike up to white pass is no joke. 1109.31 m Down, 43.3 mi PCT: This section was well maintained and had most of the good views. This trail is rough going getting in and out of the range, but it’s all beautiful. 13,119' Down (I would NOT do this route in snow.) Something else? This is about an injury or accident Otherwise, bugs were not too bad. Trip Report By. You get a taste of everything great about PNW hiking: miles through lush forests, a quiet alpine lake, challenging climbs, fields of wildflowers, and a long stretch of trail along a ridge with incredible views off either side of the trail including a couple of Washington's glaciated peaks. 1107.5 m Up The way out was great. 445.34 m Down, 6.3 mi Your FREE account works with all Adventure Projects sites. White Pass Pilot Ridge Loop Trail is a 30.9 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Darrington, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. This video is unavailable. Northwest Forest Pass required at the trailhead. Make sure to bring microspikes and trekking poles to cross the snow. Glacier Peak, Sloan Peak, Bryant Peak, Kodak Peak, Kyes Peak, Foggy Peak and so many more.. Watch Queue Queue July 19-21. So again, the Alltrails app saved me. 11,003' Up Also the small stream here is not the most convenient. First section was great, there is water before the descent and a little after the ascent. We headed back to the junction we were supposed to be at just around the corner. The descent also has another water source but after the meadows to heading down, I do not remember how far unfortunately but you are not out of luck the whole way until North Fork. We only lost the trail at the very top for a bit. 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