Forum Index > Trip Reports > Fall in Horseshoe Basin 9/24-25/16
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Get Out and Go
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Joined: 13 Nov 2004
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Location: Leavenworth
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PostMon Sep 26, 2016 12:37 pm 
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Well, Gee!  All the NW Hiker rock stars have been there, so I had a plan that even I  eyes.gif  might sneak in on a quick weekend trip to Horseshoe for my first trip to the area.  uhh.gif   A fickle weather forecast had me doubting, but I left Leavenworth at 6:00 AM and was at the Irongate TH by 10:00 AM.  The Toats Coulee Rd. offered up the first splash of color followed by the Irongate Rd.  That last 7 mile stretch has a reputation, but I didn't find it worse than any standard rocky bumpy back road at slow speed.  Anyway, the trees were in prime here.
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There were only 8 cars at the TH and I encountered 3 groups of hunters/backpackers headed out by the time I reached Sunny Pass.  The weather did begin to move in but the rain would hold off until the middle of the night.  I decided to camp at Smith Lake, where I would share territory with a raucous family of coyotes.
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In the morning, after the rain let up, the wind kicked in, and I began a shutter-delayed return to the TH.  I didn't appreciate the potential effect of wind gusts through the snags in the burn section, but arrived at the car safe and sound....AND NOW I get it!  agree.gif  I'll be back for a summer trip when I can spend a few days roaming the ridges.  A few more pics, including some of messing around with camera settings.
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"These are the places you will find me hiding'...These are the places I will always go."
(Down in the Valley by The Head and The Heart)
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HitTheTrail
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Joined: 30 Oct 2007
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PostMon Sep 26, 2016 6:33 pm 
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Nice open country with a few T100's nearby if you feel so inclined. Too bad it is such a long drive. Your shots did capture a general overview for those who have yet to make the trek.
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wildernessed
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Location: Wenatchee
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PostMon Sep 26, 2016 7:36 pm 
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up.gif Looks good up there !

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Living in the Anthropocene
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tmatlack
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PostTue Sep 27, 2016 1:55 am 
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Love the fall patinas!  Yes, the wind is born somewhere near Sunny Pass.  Got blown out of there 12 yrs. ago.  Pondos were humming, two crashed down in the night....my tent collapsed.  Very intense.

How were the water resources for your trip?  That always seems to be a limiting factor for late season Horseshoe.

Hunters ok w/ you?

Tom
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RichP
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PostTue Sep 27, 2016 10:18 am 
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Those aspens are gorgeous.

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Without obsession, life is nothing. John Waters
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Get Out and Go
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PostTue Sep 27, 2016 4:31 pm 
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tmatlack, talking to friendly hunters and Boundary Trail backpackers that had been out 6-8 days, there had been a few nights of snow, sleet, cold temperatures and rain showers.  It all adds up to water flowing in the creek leading up to Sunny Pass.  There was another small creek beyond Sunny.  On the side trail to Smith Lake, there were a couple clear flowing creeks coming off the north side of Horseshoe Peak. Myself, I just filtered water from Smith Lake.  Apparently, Loudon Lake is a murky muddy pond I was told. 

In spite of the driving distance, it seems like this area has gotten hammered pretty well over the years, with quite a few social trails.  I was told that the parking lot was overflowing on the previous weekend, split between hunters and hikers.  I guess I lucked out on my visit with the small number of people in there during my 2 days.   suuure.gif

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"These are the places you will find me hiding'...These are the places I will always go."
(Down in the Valley by The Head and The Heart)
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