Boundary Trail (Washington State)

DISTANCE (round-trip)

DIFFICULTY

TIME

ALTERNATIVE TO

SOLITUDE

80 mi (129km)

4-8 days

Pacific Crest Trail

Head Deep Into the Pasayten Wilderness

If you’ve never been alone out in the middle of some of the most remote and beautiful areas of the Western United States, it’s time to go do it.

Over 80 miles of backpacking you’ll be quite alone with alpine lakes, great views, and gorgeous sunsets. Make no mistake, though, because you’re way out there and on your own. Make sure your skills are up to the task.

You’ll want to make sure that you wait until the snow moves off the trail before you head out, too. Otherwise, you’re sure to be way over your head hiking powder snowpack in these rugged mountains.

When to Go

The trail is closed by the Forest Service until July and sees medium traffic (for a wilderness area trail) which is still quite light compared to most trails.

Hiking this trail in August is all but certain to be the best possible time. The snows have long since moved off and temps are warm. Wait too long, though, and the cold unpredictable mountain weather will creep back in by mid-September.

Getting To The Boundary Trail

To get out here you’ll have to make a long and rugged drive. In fact, you’ll have to take a truck because the last stretch of road is, “maintained for high clearance vehicles only and is not recommended for passenger cars.”

The nearest town is Tonasket, WA.

There are few shuttle services in the area but you can try talking to Classic Mountain Cabby in Twisp, WA.

Know Before You Go

  • Note that there is a parking permit fee.
  • This area is, at times, exposed to wildfires so call the ranger station before you go if you think there are any dangers.
  • The logistics of getting to and from the trail can be some of the toughest components of this hike. Once you figure it out, though, you’ll be treated to some real rewards.
  • Long Arrow Right
    Consider taking a fly fishing rod to take advantage of those high alpine mountain streams and lakes.

For More Information

Amphitheater Mountain from Boundary Trail

A view of Amphitheater Mountain.

Gear Recommendations for This Trail

  • Consider a 4-piece fly rod to fish some of your meals as you travel if you’re in late August.
  • The water up here will be clean, but not purified. Try using chemical purification such as AquaMira to kill off any germs.
About the author

Casey Fiedler

Professional ski instructor and backpacking guide, Casey Fiedler went to school with CWC and NOLS for Outdoor Education and Leadership. Want to read more about what it takes to lead great adventure trips? Casey writes about outdoor education at caseyfiedler.wordpress.com


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