I drove up to Iron gate in the Pasayten in north east Washington on Fri night after work. I got up to the trail head late as it is a 6+ hour drive from Seattle with Friday evening rush hour. The last bit of road is a bit rough, but with slow careful driving I was able to make it in my Subaru Impreza. Setting the alarm for to early I am up and on the trail by 4am. It was unusually warm I thought for this hour , elevation and time of year. Off I moving on trail 533 taking my first left on trail 343. This trail takes me to a right turn on trail 342. It is still dark at this point. Last year I had run all these trails on another UPWC route in the light. Today I was out for the completion of this route.
It is starting to get light as I approach Windy peak. I summit this last year, so today I will move on to see what else there is in store for me. As I pass the left on trail 360 Basin creek I realized something it wrong. I have to add a extra quarter mile here back tracking to where trail 360 leaves this trail. There is no sign to tell you are on Basin creek trail. It is cross country travel for a bit till a faint trail appears. I would for the next 6 miles be on the trail, loose the trail, consult GPS and find the trail, then repeat this process till I got low enough in elevation to be able to stay on the trail. I would step over, under and go around what felt like 1,000 trees on this section.
This is a photo of one of the better parts of this section.
Once I got to the Chewuch river trail # 550 taking a right here life got a lot better. I saw horse hoof prints and knew this would be a easy cruse. I was gaining elevation, but had a good trail. If it is designed for horses, it would be easy travel for me. One of the highlights of this section was following the Chewuch river. I would get views on and off of the river for the miles I traveled along it. Below are some photos of my time along the river.
My next turn was right on the Boundary trail. I would be on this trails for a while leading me past Cathedral lake.