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ree
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ree
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PostTue Jul 28, 2020 12:48 pm 
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We really enjoyed the solitude on this hike. We saw only one other person on the trail.

The trail starts at the end of Eight Mile Road. The whole area looks fairly recently burned. The trail winds up a narrowing canyon to Billy Goat Pass, giving the hiker a funnel effect - where the pass is in view most of the way, but is further away than it appears (2.5 miles.)

At the pass and off to the lower right is the trail to Burch. The summit is further than it looks too - another 2.5 miles. The trail is pretty scenic, with Big Craggy on your right the whole way. It traverses the side of Burch, above some cliffs most of the way, giving it some spice.

The trail reaches a saddle where grasses are starting to cover the trail. Some cairns mark the way across the saddle to the trail through a larch grove below the summit. After a couple hundred feet, we reached the wide summit. There's quite a bit of debris from the old lookout that used to occupy the top of the mountain.

We had great views of the Pasayten and Okanogan and Big Craggy. This hike was pretty fun, very scenic, and had some interesting history. We even spotted an adit on the way down. Ten miles rt and about 3,500' gain.

Billy Goat Pass
Billy Goat Pass
grass at Pass
grass at Pass
trail traverse on Burch
trail traverse on Burch
scenic traverse
scenic traverse
larch grove
larch grove
Drake Creek drainage
Drake Creek drainage
Okanogan
Okanogan
Big Craggy
Big Craggy
Rocks  on summit
Rocks  on summit
North Twenty Mile Lookout
North Twenty Mile Lookout
Drake Creek Valley
Drake Creek Valley
Steve inspects the summit
Steve inspects the summit
rocks and debris on summit
rocks and debris on summit
North Cascades
North Cascades
looking back at the summit
looking back at the summit
burned and rocky
burned and rocky
adit
adit
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John_B
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PostTue Jul 28, 2020 2:07 pm 
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What kind of shape is the trail bed in?  I know there had been a few work parties out there right before it burned but I haven't been up there since.
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Brushbuffalo
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Location: there earlier, here now, somewhere later... Bellingham in between
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PostTue Jul 28, 2020 2:45 pm 
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John_B wrote:
What kind of shape is the trail bed in?

Not wishing to speak for Ree, I will give my 2♧ anyway.
We hiked the trail on June 24 of this summer and here are some observations:
the trail was cleared of fallen trees to the pass.
the trail to Billy Goat Pass is generally smooth and has a gradual gradient. But it is 95% open, thus tending to be hot in mid-day sun. There was trail side water before the pass but it might be dry now ( Ree?)
once you are on the branch trail to Burch summit, the grade is still quite moderate but the tread is narrower and quite a bit rockier. There is no sense of exposure even though cliffs are below on climber's right ( don' t be tempted to shortcut down to the Billy Goat Pass  trail. The terrain is loose and steep with scattered cliffs).
tip: from the summit the trail clearly apparent toward the southwest is tempting, but I can't enthusiastically recommend taking it down. After a couple of hundred yards it swings to skier's right and begins crossing  the steep west slope of upper Burch. So far, so good, but for 250 yards the tread is either missing or very poorly defined due to half a century of downslope movement of surficial material and no maintenance. I believe it is the original trail to the lookout. It is passable but annoying, especially if you ascended on the'new' trail that switchbacks easily up through rocks above tree line.

--------------
Passing rocks and trees like they were standing still
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John_B
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PostTue Jul 28, 2020 4:29 pm 
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Thanks BB!  Once temps moderate a bit I will head up that way.
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ree
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ree
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PostTue Jul 28, 2020 4:40 pm 
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Brushbuffalo: That about sums it up.  up.gif

The creek below the pass still has water.

Another possible trail from that trailhead is one that circumnavigates Billy Goat Peak.
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