Four of us enjoyed a 2-day hike over Cascade Pass and down to the Park Service Stehekin shuttle stop at High Bridge. The views were spectacular, but quite smoky. The trail up to Cascade Pass was in very good condition. The trail down to the old road at Cottonwood Camp was quite rocky in places. In a couple of instances we had to scramble over boulders that completely blocked the trail. On reaching Basin Creek we were disappointed to see that the bridge had been removed for the winter season. The ford was knee-deep, but reasonable. Park Service staff in Stehekin were surprised to hear of the bridge's removal. We spent a night at the very comfortable camp at Flat Creek. In the morning I hiked part way up the Flat Creek trail (see http://www.wta.org/[…]/
). We took a break at the enticing swimming hole at Bridge Creek. From Basin Camp, where we spoke with a hiker who reported a close encounter with a black bear, we saw no one until we reached High Bridge. At the bridge we chatted with three intrepid Pacific Crest Trail through hikers within a few days of their goal--Manning Park in Canada. Their packs looked lighter them some of ours.