Armstrong Mountain, Pasayten Wilderness, Washington

7:29 p.m. on July 31, 2018 (EDT)
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51 forum posts

I finally got around to do some backpacking in one of my favorite areas in the country. The Pasayten Wilderness in north central Washington. The pasayten is over half a million acres of designated wilderness located in the North Cascades part of the Okanogan subrange. It's rugged lonely beauty, devoid of light pollution and hiker presence makes it perfect. 

The wildfire season has started and smoke started to pour across the state of Washington but I wasn't going to cancel this trip. 

Lacey and I started at the Iron Gate trailhead and headed 4 miles north to Sunny Pass then another 4 miles north to the summit of Armstrong Mountain and the Canadian Border of the Snowy Protected Area.

From Iron Gate to sunny pass the old burn leaves a dramatic landscape open for great views and wildflowers galore. The flies were somewhat annoying here but I only got bit 2-3 times. At sunny pass it opens up to Horshoe Basin where the wind picked up and kept the bugs down all the way to Armstrong's summit. At the summit we were able to see several fires in Canada. The wind died down in the evening and little bugs came out of everywhere and started to swarm us. Luckily around sunset the wind picked up again and kept them at bay. We only saw some horse riders on the way in. On the way out, to our surprise, quite a few people were coming in (we counted 6 people). Which from our past experience in the Pasayten this is the most people we've ever seen there.

There is no trail to the summit of Armstrong, it's basically the path of least resistance uphill trek. Trying our best to use drainage beds and rocks to avoid stepping on any fauna. 

Amazing trip the smoke made for some crazy binary-esque sunsets.

Can't wait to go there again.


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Heading to Sunny Pass. Windy Peak on left.


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Wildflowers Galore.




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Windy Peak again.


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Summit and Border marker (Armstrong Mountain)


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Border marker outlined by setting sun from our Camp.


CR8ZBQM.jpgWildfire smoke made for one hell of a sunset


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Fires burning over in Canada

10:04 a.m. on August 1, 2018 (EDT)
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3,551 forum posts

Gem of the Northwest.  She needs no publicity. Perfect country for horse and mule packing. 

6:12 p.m. on August 1, 2018 (EDT)
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Thanks for sharing the trip report, NorthWestWanderer!

It looks like a beautiful trip, despite the wildfires. 

12:31 p.m. on August 2, 2018 (EDT)
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Beautiful! thanks 

4:09 p.m. on August 10, 2018 (EDT)
25 reviewer rep
3,551 forum posts

Patman absolutely belongs out there. You can see how open the country is.  Much better weather than the Rockies and nobody goes there.  Please keep it a secret as much as possible. 

December 19, 2018
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