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North Fork Tieton to Tieton Pass

South Cascades

Location

South Cascades
View map below

Length

10.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 2500 ft.
Highest Point: 1600 ft.

Rating

2.67 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 
 

Use this trail to access McCall Basin as a day destination, or to create a punishingly difficult loop with the Hidden Springs trail. Tieton Pass has no views, and views along the way to the pass using this trail are limited.

From the Scatter Creek trailhead/campground at the end of the North Fork Tieton River Road, fill out your Goat Rocks wilderness permit, and set off. Immediately, you’ll cross a bridge over Scatter Creek, and walk along a flat, wide tread before coming to a fork in the trail in less than 0.1 miles. Take the right one—the left leads to the defunct Tieton Meadows trail, which used to access Bear Creek Mountain across the river.

On the North Fork Tieton Trail, things are relatively straightforward. You’ll hike along through quiet forest, interrupted occasionally by the babbling of several streams whose sources are high above you. After a mile of gentle to moderate climbing (and several opportunities to refill your water bottles, if you need to), arrive at a well-signed junction.

To your right, the Hidden Springs Trail (signed Trail 1117) is very faintly visible. An unbelievably steep, blowdown-ridden, repeatedly disappointing mess, the Hidden Springs Trail does allow you to make a loop using it and the PCT to access Tieton Pass from the northwest, opposite to what you’re about to do.

All but the most masochistic should continue heading uphill on the clearly marked North Fork Tieton Trail. The views after this junction improve slightly, with Bear Creek Mountain peeking through the trees just about a half mile past the junction.

Continue climbing through forest, taking in what’s close at hand, since views here are limited. Scour the ground for saprophytes. These plants live on the dead and decaying organic matter on the forest floor. (Don’t worry, it’s usually just leaf litter.) They're usually pink or purple, making for cool photos. 

After 3.6 miles of climbing and gentle switchbacking, you’ll arrive in Tieton Pass. While it’s not much of a destination, it does allow you to access the PCT (right at this junction, in fact) and leads into the scenic Goat Rocks high country, with McCall basin just another 2.5 miles away.

 

 

North Fork Tieton to Tieton Pass

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.5768, -121.3582 Open map in new window

Trailhead

South Cascades

North Fork Tieton River (#1118)

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Naches Ranger District

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Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking South Cascades (Nelson - Mountaineers 2007)

Hiking Washington's Goat Rocks Country (Barstad

2005)

Green Trails 303: White Pass

Green Trails 303S: Goat Rocks/William O Douglas Wilderness

Buy the Green Trails Goat Rocks-William O Wilderness No. 303S map

Buy the Green Trails White Pass No. 303 map

Getting There

Drive Highway 12 to NF 1200, signed for the Clear Fork Recreation Area. This is found 27.5 miles east of Packwood, and 44 miles west of Yakima. Turn onto NF 1200, and proceed to the end of this road, 7.7 miles from the turnoff of Highway 12. The first 3.5 miles are paved, and then it is good gravel to the parking area. There is a toilet available at the trailhead.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 

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North Fork Tieton to Tieton Pass

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