Larch Pass Loop (Pasayten)


Backpack - Larch Pass Loop (Pasayten)

The Pasayten Wilderness is beautiful open country skirting more than 50 miles of Canada's border and encompassing the crest of the Cascades. The entire area, that somewhat resembles a steppe or tundra, is high, mainly over 7000 feet and marked by gothic mountains and wide open views of rolling meadows and surrounding peaks. Our visit will correspond with the peak of wildflower season.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 52.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 7,000 ft

Exact meeting time and place to be determined; we may camp close to the trailhead the night before

We will spend five days exploring this quiet and gorgeous back-country region with views that extend over a vast array of peaks, ridges and valleys that contain little to no trace of human activity.  The Pasayten is the backpacker's cure to busy trails.  Most of the wildflowers should be in full bloom.  Views will be fabulous and extend all the way to Mount Baker.  Mileage for the 5 day trip will average around 10 mile s a with an average 1,500 feet elevation gain.  A few days will have more elevation.  The following itinerary may be changed due to trail conditions, time and group consensus.

  1. day one -- begin from Billy Goat Trail head and ascend Billy Goat Pass and enter the Pasayten Wilderness.  A possible side trip to Burch Mountain for extended views.  The trail continues through rocky meadows and up and over Three Fool's Pass. Camp along Larch Creek.
  2. day two -- Begin gradual ascent to Larch Pass.  We will hike through meadows filled with wildflowers and enjoy views along the way.  We will take a  1 mile side trip to relax at Corral Lake.  Back on the trail, the group will head over Peeve Pass and camp in the vicinity of Sheep Lake.
  3. day three -- A layover day.  We will hike with just day packs and complete an 8 mile loop around sheep mountain and climb over Park Pass.  The views from the 7,000 trail here are superb and extend up into the Canad peaks and west past Mount Baker.  Part of the trail here borders the Boundary Trail.
  4. day four -- We will pack up and head over Peeve Pass again.  We will be hiking into Sand Ridge Basin and take a 1 mile side-trip to quartz lake.  The rest of the day will be spent traversing trail into Whistler Basin and hiking over Whistler Pass.  Camp bu Larch Creek or Larch Pass.
  5. day five -- Retrace route from day 1 and hike over Three Fools Pass and Billy Goat Pass back to our starting point trailhead

The overall pace of the hike will be moderate so backpackers can enjoy themselves and the scenery.  There will be time for taking pictures or looking at birds/plants, etc.  Participants must bring both map and compass and be experienced in using them.  Portions of several trails on this loop may be difficult to follow at times.  Each group member must have a whistle.  Hikers should be prepared for rain with both rain gear and extra dry clothes.  Weather can be very unpredictable in the mountains.  Since the trail crosses at least one stream, water shoes are required,  Hiking poles will be helpful for crossing streams.  Other challenges along the way may include numerous blown down trees or snow on the trail.  Hikers need to be physically capable of climbing over/under downed trees with their packs, and be comfortable crossing streams and possibly hiking on snow. 

Hikers must have been on several multiple night backpack trips and must contact the leader for permission to sigh up.  Please do not make plans for the last evening as we will be returning late.  Hikers will share in carpool and permit costs.  Please contact the leader at (425) 408-2651 or to sign up or if you have nay questions.


Larch Pass Loop (Pasayten)

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports