Forum Index > Trip Reports > 7/24 - 7/29 McAlester Pass via Bridge Creek TH to Stehekin then Park Creek Pass to Diablo Lake
Previous :: Next Topic  
Author Message
Hiking Fam
Member
Member


Joined: 23 May 2012
Posts: 7 | TRs

Hiking Fam
  Top

Member
PostThu Jul 30, 2020 11:30 am 
Reply to topic Reply with quote

Hiking Fam completed a 6 day, 60 mile trek through North Cascades National Park.  We started at the Bridge Creek TH and decided to stay on the PCT because of reports of an overgrown Stiletto Spur Trail.  We dropped several hundred feet to Fireweed Camp for lunch.  Passed numerous northbound hikers (none were thru hikers).

Next we started the 2200' climb to High Camp on top of McAlester Pass.  McAlester Lake Trail was in good condition, but had several blow downs.  All water crossings had bridges, logs or rocks to make for easy crossings.  One log bridge was broke and partially under water, but we were able to manage.  The meadow was beautiful and snow free!  Campsite was tucked back into the trees with no view.  Hidden Meadows might have been a better camp, but we were worried about the extra climb and mileage when obtaining permits.


The next morning we descended nearly 4000' on the Rainbow Creek Trail and stayed at Rainbow Bridge Camp.  Trail was in good condition, with a steep descent.  The camp was good and had shade.  You have to walk back to the bridge for water or log hop and bush-wack from the camp.


The third morning we hit the Stehekin Bakery for breakfast and met some friends who came up in their boat.  The biscuits and gravy were amazing!  Big shout out to the family that gave us a ride to High Bridge!  He was a local resident who went out of his way by sending his son-in-law back with a truck so we would all fit! This saved us an 11 mile road march.  THANK YOU!


We stayed at Park Creek Camp our third night.  Nice camp with easy water access.  It was hot and we were able to clean up and cool off in the creek.  Bugs were minimal and it was a very enjoyable evening.

Our fourth day was the hardest and hottest of the trip.  A 4000' climb over Park Creek Pass.  The trail is overgrown, with downed trees and LOTS of biting flies.  The Pass was amazing! The trail over the pass was mostly snow free, with one snow bridge.  Ice ax and micro spikes are NOT needed.  We did not see anyone for two days.


Camping is not allowed on top of Park Creek Pass so we descended 1000' and stayed at Thunder Basin Camp our fourth night.  This was by far the most beautiful scenery, but also the most unpleasant camp.  We were eaten alive! The camp is just two tent pads, tucked into the deep brush, but starred up at the towering cliffs and pass above.  We like to hammock camp, but had to pitch tents to avoid the bugs.


We were told there was a lot of bear activity in the basin and were shaken to the core when we woke to a deer grazing next to our tent at 1am.  We headed out early the next morning to get away from the bugs.

Thunder Creek Trail is overgrown with many blow-downs in the upper basin area.  Shortly after leaving camp, we were laughing and joking about the deer experience and trying to keep a positive attitude from the early morning dew and thick brush, which had soaked us and our gear, when a bear cub ran across the trail and stopped maybe 25ft from away.  With bear spray in hand, we continued from the area, never seeing mamma.  We made a lot more noise while hiking that day.

Only one water ford towards Thunder Basin Stock Camp where we needed to take boots off.  It was maybe knee high, but easy to navigate.

We got into Junction Camp early on the fifth afternoon and this was by far our favorite camp.  No bugs, great views and plenty of room for hammocks.  We enjoyed the evening and slept in on our 6th day.


We made quick work of the 10 mile hike out to Diablo Lake.  This section of Thunder Creek Trail is in great condition.  Overall, we had an amazing time.  This was the longest trip to date as a family and everyone did great!  Bug bites, blisters, cuts and bruises make for even better stories.......

Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
drm
Member
Member


Joined: 24 Feb 2007
Posts: 1337 | TRs
Location: The Dalles, OR
drm
  Top

Member
PostThu Jul 30, 2020 3:25 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
That is quite the jaunt! I love Park Creek Pass and have visited from both sides: a dayhike from a low camp on the upper Stehekin Road, and last year I backpacked up Thunder Creek from it's trailhead. It was later in the summer: no bugs or down trees and not much brush either. I spent a free day exploring the pass area. Junction Camp is quite nice too with those views of Tricouni Pake - as long as that knoll isn't crowded with other campers. I had it to myself last year.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
drm
Member
Member


Joined: 24 Feb 2007
Posts: 1337 | TRs
Location: The Dalles, OR
drm
  Top

Member
PostThu Jul 30, 2020 3:25 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
That is quite the jaunt! I love Park Creek Pass and have visited from both sides: a dayhike from a low camp on the upper Stehekin Road, and last year I backpacked up Thunder Creek from it's trailhead. It was later in the summer: no bugs or down trees and not much brush either. I spent a free day exploring the pass area. Junction Camp is quite nice too with those views of Tricouni Pake - as long as that knoll isn't crowded with other campers. I had it to myself last year.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Send e-mail Reply to topic Reply with quote
Cool Trails
Member
Member





Cool Trails
  Top

Member
PostSun Aug 02, 2020 10:16 pm 
Reply to topic Reply with quote
Did we meet you Wednesday a few miles south of Thunder Arm? My buddy and I were starting out southbound to Stehekin, scheduled to stay at Tricouni that night. He has a British accent. You told us about the huge bleeding welts you had from the flies at Thunder Basin.
Back to top
View user's profile Search for posts by this user Send private message Reply to topic Reply with quote
  Display:     All times are GMT - 8 Hours
Forum Index > Trip Reports > 7/24 - 7/29 McAlester Pass via Bridge Creek TH to Stehekin then Park Creek Pass to Diablo Lake
  Happy Birthday hopalong, Mount Logan, Solo Steve!
Jump to:   
Search this topic:

You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum
   Use Disclaimer Powered by phpBB Privacy Policy