This is a great loop which combines everything great about hiking at Crystal, while staying away from crowds and out of the ski area.
Start at the Silver Creek Trailhead and follow the Silver Creek Trail to Henskin Lake. From the southeast corner of the lake, turn left on the Bear Gap Trail and continue .7 miles slightly uphill to Bear Gap.
At Bear Gap you will run into the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) #2000. You may be able to chat with some thru hikers at this intersection – fun! Follow the PCT north for a little over a mile to Pickhandle Gap on the sunny backside. This can be a hot, dry section, so bring water. Views of Mt Adams are to your right, south, while Mount Rainier dominates to the west.
Once at Pickhandle Gap, continue on the PCT to the ridge above Bullion Basin and then drop down into the basin on the Bullion Basin Trail for another 2 miles to end the loop.
Directions are crucial on this hike, but it is a super one!