Sir Hikes A Lot and I had talked about doing Rainbow Ridge two years ago, but it never came to fruition. I brought it up again this week and it seemed like a good idea. Sir Hikes suggested a couple of XC add-ons, but due to the heat and slower going, we only did the Twisp Lake addition...but on a day as hot as this, that was plenty. One really nice part about this route is that it was well watered.
Aside from 12 people in the first 6-7 miles we had good solitude. The day was lacking in the wildlife department, which surprised us, but at least there was a good amount of old bear scat. One thing we really enjoyed about the XC sections, besides the beauty, is that we saw no cairns. It's always a pleasure to get out together and this loop was laced with gorgeous views and terrain....
- The ~ 6 miles of the PCT we hiked from the Bridge Creek TH to the Rainbow Lake tail junction has been cleared and brushed.
- The ford of Bridge Creek was 2-3 ft deep depending on where you crossed.
- The Rainbow Lake Trail is in good shape overall, with 18 downed trees.
- The Hidden Meadows Camp spur has been cleared and is in good shape.
- From where we picked up the Twisp Pass Trail, there were ~ 5 downed trees down to the McAlester Trail trail junction, with the trail being in good shape overall.
- The Stiletto Spur Trail was in good enough shape with a few downed trees.
- Bugs were out of control!
|29 miles, 8900' gain|
|Love pink paintbrush!|
|Few snow patches left on the north side of Bowan Pass|
|Rainbow Lake and the east side of McGregor|
|Nice buck near Rainbow Lake|
|Some slabs and ledges climbing up to Rainbow Ridge|
|Climbing up to Rainbow Ridge; Sir Hikes photo|
|Getting close to Rainbow Ridge|
|West end of Rainbow Ridge; Sir Hikes photo|
|Bonanza and Glacier|
|Chikamin Glacier on Dome, Spire Point to the right|
|Human-caused Diamond Creek fire; sadly burning one of the last remaining unburned (in recent years) parts of the Pasayten|
|Came down slabs to the left of the moat, then down this scree|
|Where we came down as there was a 20' cornice on the normal route; Sir Hikes photo|
|Looking back at the pass; normal route would be on the right, we came down under the smaller cornice on the left|
|Tarn 6495' on Rainbow Ridge|
|Tarn on Rainbow Ridge|
|Tarns on Rainbow Ridge|
|Western end of Rainbow Ridge is a lot of this...Sir Hikes Photo|
|...and this; Sir Hikes Photo|
|Sir Hikes surveying the eastern end of Rainbow Ridge|
|Lake 6111' on Rainbow Ridge|
|Tarn and tons of flowers on the southern portion of McAlester Pass|
|Flowers above Hidden Meadows, our pass is in the center|
|Looking back down on Hidden Meadows and McAlester Pass|
|Rainbow Ridge across the midground|
|Looking down over the pass at Twisp Lake and the South Fork Twisp River drainage|
|Traversing above Twisp Lake; Sir Hikes photo|
|Traversing toward the pass south of Twisp Mountain|
|Last pass of the day...|
|Massive Hock Mountain scree slope|