Friday, July 03, 2009

Horseshoe Basin is a real ringer!

I just got back from a short two day 26 mile backpacking trip to Horseshoe Basin in the Pasayten Wilderness. Talk about a fantastic place for exploring. Set up camp in the wide grassy basin and then choose among a half dozen 7,500 to 8,000 foot peaks to "walk up" and explore. I headed up Armstrong mountain-right on the BC border and Windy Peak the following day. Armstrong is amazing-all alpine tundra with lots of ridges and two border monuments. I bagged the high point over in BC and proved just how easy it is to walk back and forth over the border-yeah like the drug runners and illegal aliens don't know that already!

Windy Peak is south of Horseshoe with a trail up it. It is a hot hike through open tundra, rocky slopes and the Tripod burn zone. But what a view! You can actually see Baker peeking in the distance. I hiked off of Windy via the Clutch Creek Trail which is really difficult in spots with lots of bad tread and a steep hellacious climb out of the Middle Fork Toats Coulee. Oh well-that's why I do the research for you so you now know! This will all be in my upcoming Backpacking Washington book. I'll give you lots of pointers and suggestions in it on the region-but here's one right now- wait until late summer to come over here for the mosquitoes cant get enough hiker blood right now. By late summer however, much of Horseshoe's pretty wetland pools will be dry. Little buggers-only thing keeping this destination from being complete paradise!

No comments: