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Top 10 summer hikes in Mazama

Published: 06/06/08 Topics: Comments: 0

We've had a few people ask us recently what the best hikes in Mazama are during the summer. We've put together our favorite list and included some tips that you've shared with us too. Let us know your favorite hike and we'll add it to the list! By far, our favorite hike is Cutthroat lake. The reward at the end is amazing, the peacefulness is incredible and the abundance of trout that are more than willing to jump on your fly rod can't be beat!

* Monument Creek/Lost River: Easy hike through woods along Lost River for 4 miles to Eureka Creek. Except for the sound of the river in the Spring, serenity is the best description for this part of the hike. The trail then climbs 4600' in 5 miles to Pistol Pass (7300") then drops 2800' to Monument Creek. The mouth of the legendary Lost River Gorge can be glimpsed. The trail past Eureka Creek is rarely hiked, and not maintained, but half dozen switch backs past the creek mountain goats have been seen.

* West Fork Methow River: The trail follows the Methow river for 6 miles then ascends to hook up with the Pacific Crest trail at 7 miles: Flowers and the sound of rushing water make this trail special.

* Goat Peak: Two plus mile hike up to Goat Peak (and fire watch tower which is manned during summer - Lightening Bill and his dog love company. Moderate climb the first mile to mountain meadow then steep last mile to top (7000'). 360 degree view of area from one of the highest points in the valley. Eleven mile drive up logging road (good condition) to trail head. Overlook at 7 miles.

* Robinson Pass: Trail follows Robinson Creek giving great views of high massive wooded ridges and rocky cliffs eventually ending 9 miles later at 6200 ft. Robinson pass (you start at 2600 ft.). You cross several creeks, over bridges, and though the Pasayten Wilderness on the way. From the Pass you can connect with several other trails including the Pacific Crest Trail.

* Cutthroat Lake/Pass: Easy 2 mile hike to Cutthroat Lake (1,000' gain). The lake sits at the base of a large cirque. Another 3 ½ miles climbs 2,000' to Cutthroat Pass where there are great alpine views. One of the best trails to see Mountain Goats.

* Maple Pass/Lake Ann Loop: Spectacular 7 ½ mile loop trail starting off Hwy 20 at Rainy Pass. Starting at 4,800' its a steady climb to 5,800 Heather Pass or 6,400 Maple Pass. A side trip to Lake Ann is about 2 miles and 500' elevation gain from the trail head. Highly recommended hike.

* Hart's Pass: 20 miles from the Mazama Country Inn to Hart's pass. First 6 miles paved the rest is forest service road. It's in good shape. Dead Horse point is a little scary but doesn't last long and is safe. At Harts Pass vistas of the Cascades and Mt. Baker are great. This is the highest, maintained road in the State of Washington. Three more miles takes you just short of Slate Peak. A ¼ mile walk brings you to the 7,000' Slate Peak which gives you a 360 view of the Cascades and Pasayten Wilderness. The Pacific Crest Trail crosses Hart's Pass. Other trails radiate out from there also.

* Buckskin Ridge: Starts between Hart's Pass and Slate Peak. 11.5 miles rated "more difficult" by Forest Service.

* Windy Pass: Part of the Pacific Crest Trail: It starts between Hart's Pass and Slate Peak and heads north to Canada. Trail head starts at about 6,500' and has less than 100' net gain to Windy Pass at about 4 miles. The trail continues on to the Canadian border approximately 30 miles. Starting above tree line one strolls through mountain meadows with unobstructed views of the Cascades, including views of Silver Star Glacier and Mt Baker.

* Grasshopper Pass: Part of the Pacific Crest Trail it starts at Hart's Pass and goes south to Rainy Pass on Hwy 20. Turn left at Hart's Pass and drive toward Meadow's campground. The trail begins where the road ends. Trail head starts at 6,300'. Net elevation gain is approximately 500' but more up and down than Windy Pass. Where Windy Pass gives you wide panoramic views of the mountains, Grasshopper Pass puts you right into them. The Pass is about 5 ½ miles one way.

Blog #: 0450 – 06/06/08

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