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drm
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PostTue Sep 03, 2019 6:15 am 
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I did a five day trip in North Cascades National Park, up Thunder Creek all the way to Thunder Basin Camp, just below the north side of Park Creek Pass. It was 18 miles in with nearly 4000 feet of gain (and a 1000 foot drop) through miles of rainforest with no views, to a spectacular camp surrounded by towering mountain walls. The long hike in with altitude gain is the price to pay for that alpine payoff at the end. I guess that's why I saw a total of two people after passing casual dayhike distance from the trailhead. Some years ago I hiked up to the south side from a camp on the Stehekin Road and have wanted to return and camp nearer to the pass so I could explore a bit more.

The drive to Marblemount for me is over 6 hours, so only made it in to Tricouni the first night. Then two nights in the basin and one night at Junction on the way back.

It starts with the rainforest
It starts with the rainforest
Thunder Creek - looks more like a river, and this in late August in a dry year
Thunder Creek - looks more like a river, and this in late August in a dry year
Eight mostly flat miles in and I get to my first camp
Eight mostly flat miles in and I get to my first camp
Camp was on the bank of Fisher Creek
Camp was on the bank of Fisher Creek
All camps in the park have a toilet, though not much privacy
All camps in the park have a toilet, though not much privacy
My first uphill the next morning, to the Junction area, and the forest floor is all moss for miles
My first uphill the next morning, to the Junction area, and the forest floor is all moss for miles
First tantalizing mountain view
First tantalizing mountain view
Can't get my head around the concept of moldy mushrooms
Can't get my head around the concept of moldy mushrooms
The sunlight was just right for this
The sunlight was just right for this
In the Skagit Queen Ck area there was a lot of old mining stuff. Must have taken quite some effort to get these heavy pipes in.
In the Skagit Queen Ck area there was a lot of old mining stuff. Must have taken quite some effort to get these heavy pipes in.
Finally, in the upper Thunder Creek drainage, that notch is Park Creek Pass
Finally, in the upper Thunder Creek drainage, that notch is Park Creek Pass
The ford of Thunder Creek, nothing like down below. The branches on the upper right didn't look like they would hold my weight.
The ford of Thunder Creek, nothing like down below. The branches on the upper right didn't look like they would hold my weight.
My Thunder Basin camp, a ridge of Buckner Mountain looms above
My Thunder Basin camp, a ridge of Buckner Mountain looms above
Looking more westerly from camp
Looking more westerly from camp
The creek near camp and the ridge to the east
The creek near camp and the ridge to the east
The next morning I did a dayhike up to and over Park Creek Pass, this is looking back, where I came up the day before
The next morning I did a dayhike up to and over Park Creek Pass, this is looking back, where I came up the day before
Approaching Park Creek Pass, about 6100', from the north
Approaching Park Creek Pass, about 6100', from the north
The best view looking back north
The best view looking back north
Now looking south from the pass
Now looking south from the pass
Looking west, Booker Mtn, note that bootpath, I would explore over there next
Looking west, Booker Mtn, note that bootpath, I would explore over there next
I found this nice little tarn to have lunch at
I found this nice little tarn to have lunch at
On the way back, got this picture of Mt. Logan
On the way back, got this picture of Mt. Logan
Mt Goode
Mt Goode
More of Buckner Mtn from camp, with the sun lower in the sky
More of Buckner Mtn from camp, with the sun lower in the sky
Alas, it was time to head back. This is a calmer section of Thunder Creek
Alas, it was time to head back. This is a calmer section of Thunder Creek
That night I camped at Junction Camp and got this glacier picture through the trees
That night I camped at Junction Camp and got this glacier picture through the trees
This is the Fisher Creek trail that I strolled up a little ways
This is the Fisher Creek trail that I strolled up a little ways
Through another hole in the trees I got this great sunrise photo of Tricouni Peak the next morning
Through another hole in the trees I got this great sunrise photo of Tricouni Peak the next morning
And the same view with the sun higher in the sky. I counted 14 waterfalls on the creek on the left. Then it was 10 more miles out to my car.
And the same view with the sun higher in the sky. I counted 14 waterfalls on the creek on the left. Then it was 10 more miles out to my car.
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olderthanIusedtobe
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PostTue Sep 03, 2019 11:28 am 
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up.gif   I day hiked up to Junction Camp this spring.  I hadn't really intended to go that far, but lo and behold I did.  I found that area to be lovely.  Unfortunately it was cloudy so I couldn't see much.  I've contemplated backpacking up there and taking several days to explore the upper part of the drainage and the pass, maybe Fisher Creek as well.
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drm
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PostTue Sep 03, 2019 1:01 pm 
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I originally thought of going in via Easy Pass and Fisher Creek - longer and a lot more EG. But that wouldn't have worked for me - I'm older than I used to be.  embarassedlaugh.gif  This way was plenty hard enough for me.
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Brushwork
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PostTue Sep 03, 2019 3:35 pm 
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Sure looks nice.   Thank-you for the pictures!

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When I grow up I wanna play.
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cascadetraverser
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PostWed Sep 04, 2019 11:49 am 
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Long road to paradise!  Park Creek pass is worth it though...
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Forum Index > Trip Reports > Thunder Creek to Park Creek Pass, NCNP
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