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Home Go Hiking Trip Reports East Creek, Mebee Lookout, Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Section L - Rainy Pass to Manning Park, Cutthroat Pass via the Pacific Crest Trail
PCT between Granite and Cutthroat Passes - C P

Incredible mountain views, high passes, wildflowers galore, pristine streams, old growth forest, even a rare surviving lookout!  I did a one night, 27 mile (+13 bike) loop from East Creek trailhead to Rainy Pass North trailhead.

Locked my bike to the sign at Rainy Pass North TH (Hwy 20, MP 157), drove back to East Creek TH (MP 144) to car camp so I would get an early start.  There was a huge RV in my usual spot so I pulled in behind.  When I got out I could hear their noisy generator running, felt like I was back in Ballard.  I didn't want to listen to that all night, so I went out almost to the highway, peace and quiet!  At least until the alarm clock logging trucks come roaring by starting at 4:30 AM.  I slept in the bed of the truck, no dew, and no bugs!  Amazing shooting star show kept me up late, I couldn't help thinking the RV people were missing it inside their metal box, they could have been parked anywhere.

Day 1 (8/1) I heard the trucks but dozed until after 8, walking at 9:30.  7 hours to cover the 9 mile to the Lookout.  I didn't bring tools this time so threw off a bunch of branches and sticks, rocks, added a couple flags.  A Report from last week said they missed a turn, I made it obvious again.  Got 4 liters of water at the last, there were 2 tiny patches of snow at the Lookout, believed to be the only remaining L5 style.  Went to bed early since I hadn't slept too good the night before.

Day 2 (8/2) Sun was shining through the open door before 6, felt cold but thermometer said 48 inside.  Didn't want to fire up the Toaks stove so had cold coffee and cold instant oatmeal - Yum!  Thank god I had the sun to finally warm me up, and the bugs!  Out the door at 8:20, to Mebee Pass and east to the PCT.  I found and flagged this last year, overgrown in places, some logs down.  I rehung the few flags that had fallen down, added a couple more.  If you go soon you can be sure they're all there.  Here's a map.  

To the PCT from the Lookout in under 3 hours doing a little work, probably could be walked in 2.  Lots of great water well spaced below the Pass, the first less than 30 minutes.  Most of the down trees are toward the bottom, follow the flags!  When you see the long red ones you know you're close.  The PCT seemed like a super highway after all the stuff I had done.

Turned R and climbed to Methow Pass, then Granite, and finally Cutthroat Pass before descending the 5 miles to my bike.  Lots of water really everywhere, still some snow above Granite Pass, only 1 patch I had to cross.  Passed a dozen NOBO PCTer's, all alone, no day hikers.  18 miles Lookout to Rainy Pass, then 13 mile downhill bike ride to the truck at East Creek.  10 hours walk, 1 hour bike.

This is a really awesome loop everyone should do.  I remember overhearing 2 guys talking at Bridge Creek TH about how disappointed they were after their backpacking trip because they didn't have any views.  Not here.  Think about where on Highway 20 you would go for a one night trip.  There are lots of great day hikes and extended trips, but for a night this can't be beat.  Somewhat more challenging due to trail conditions, but well worth it.

I was extra light this trip, when you know you have a building to stay in you can really pare down.  For sleeping gear, just a thin plastic sheet, bug net hut, pad and sleeping bag, about 2 pounds total.  I only carried 16 ounces of water until I got the 4 liters, drank out of nearly every creek.  Took a liter day 2 since I'm not as familiar, again sipped from almost everything.

No weird bugs or prickly, sting-ey, or poisonous plants where you have to wade through.  Even so, bring gloves, wear long pants and sleeves.  It will get better with use and more work on, for now stick with the flags in the difficult bits.

I think I located another old trail I have to explore, from Mebee Lookout toward Majestic Mountain, perhaps over the green pass you can see from the high route.  There must have been a way into Mill Creek without going down and back up over Azurite Pass.  I haven't seen anything on a map but they weren't all.  This will be an easy one to investigate next time I stay over.






Mebee Lookout, Methow Pinnacles - C P
PCT between Methow and Granite Passes - C P
PCT between Methow and Granite Passes - C P

Comments

Geert van Mourik on East Creek, Mebee Lookout, Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Section L - Rainy Pass to Manning Park, Cutthroat Pass via the Pacific Crest Trail

Hi CP, thanks for the new description of East crk to PCT!
Very helpful! I Will try and go from GHM to PCT in 1 day, problem is that I Fly in from the netherlands and have Only a few days. I have a plan B if the going is too slow.

Cheers Geert

Posted by:


Geert van Mourik on Aug 03, 2022 04:31 AM

C P on East Creek, Mebee Lookout, Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Section L - Rainy Pass to Manning Park, Cutthroat Pass via the Pacific Crest Trail

I could possibly give you a personal tour if you tell me when you will be here, did you say September? I am retired so have most of the time free.

I wondered if you were from around here, with your distinctive name. You're not. Welcome! Enjoy your visit, you'll love it here!

Posted by:


C P on Aug 03, 2022 11:48 AM

.

Hi CP,
I will arrive September 6th around 4 pm. Leave my car at Colonial South, hitchhike to East Creek Trail and hike to Gold Hill Mine if time allows (depends on the hitchhike I guess).

And yeah, I am from The Netherlands :-)

Maybe I'll see you around!


Cheers,
Geert

Posted by:


Geert van Mourik on Aug 11, 2022 02:34 AM

Posted by:


Geert van Mourik on Aug 13, 2022 04:04 AM

C P on East Creek, Mebee Lookout, Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Section L - Rainy Pass to Manning Park, Cutthroat Pass via the Pacific Crest Trail

Hey Geert! I wondered what your hike entailed? You say leave your car at Colonial Creek, somehow hiking out there? If you were going to hitchhike back you can park farther up.

I may be free then. Chris

Posted by:


C P on Aug 14, 2022 11:04 AM

Geert van Mourik on East Creek, Mebee Lookout, Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Section L - Rainy Pass to Manning Park, Cutthroat Pass via the Pacific Crest Trail

Hey CP,
Leave my car at Colonial creek campground, hitchhike to East Creek then Connect to the pct, down to rainy pass, bridge creek, park creek trail and then via Park Creek pass down Thunder creek to colonial creek campground.

GP

Posted by:


Geert van Mourik on Aug 14, 2022 11:13 AM

C P on East Creek, Mebee Lookout, Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Section L - Rainy Pass to Manning Park, Cutthroat Pass via the Pacific Crest Trail

Looks ambitious! I just got home from back-to-back 20 mile days, wrote a Report. I know you said you wanted to hike GHM to PCT on Day 2, where are you planning to camp? I still think staying in the Lookout is in the cards.

Posted by:


C P on Aug 18, 2022 09:51 AM

Geert van Mourik on East Creek, Mebee Lookout, Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Section L - Rainy Pass to Manning Park, Cutthroat Pass via the Pacific Crest Trail

Well 20-milers for a retiree sounds Pretty awesome as well! Im from the Netherlands but have quite some oversees experience (Alaska, BC, New Zealand, Montana etc).

Anyhow, maybe we can meet up and do part of the East Creek together. My personal e-mail is gpvanmourik@hotmail.com so we might discuss this further 🙂

Posted by:


Geert van Mourik on Aug 18, 2022 01:14 PM

C P on East Creek, Mebee Lookout, Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Section L - Rainy Pass to Manning Park, Cutthroat Pass via the Pacific Crest Trail

It isn't really one you can only do part of together, that's why I asked where you planned to camp night 2. If I'm going to do it, I only want to spend 1 night. The Lookout is about half way so the best spot to spend the night. I could stay up there your first night but would not be able to wait for you to come up from Gold Hill before I had to get started.

Another thing, I don't know where you're coming from but with all the road work, the drive is taking longer than usual. You may not have as much hiking time the first day as you think. Also, I have to take my bike out to Rainy Pass, maybe 45 mins RT. I could drive you from Colonial Creek to East Creek, drive the bike out. camp at East Creek TH and start in the morning. That's pretty much the only way it will work for me.

There are thunderstorms in the forecast, so there may be new fires and you have to change your plans. Let me know. Stay well, Chris

Posted by:


C P on Aug 21, 2022 05:16 PM

Geert van Mourik on East Creek, Mebee Lookout, Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Section L - Rainy Pass to Manning Park, Cutthroat Pass via the Pacific Crest Trail

Hi Chris,
I understand your position. Problem from my side is that I am not very flexible due to time constraints. Have to be back in Seattle saturday and the second leg of my trip (Bridge crk/Thunder crk) I have a couple of camps booked. If I'd sleep at Mebee then my second day would ben 50+ km's and that is a bit much.
Anyways, thanks for all the info so far and maybe another time!

Take care!

Posted by:


Geert van Mourik on Aug 23, 2022 11:30 PM

C P on East Creek, Mebee Lookout, Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Section L - Rainy Pass to Manning Park, Cutthroat Pass via the Pacific Crest Trail

Too bad. Write a Report! And keep an eye on the forest fires, there may be new ones that change your plans. Okanogan - Wenatchee National Forest Methow Ranger District is the best place to look. You're gonna have a great trip!

Posted by:


C P on Aug 30, 2022 12:58 PM

C P on East Creek, Mebee Lookout, Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Section L - Rainy Pass to Manning Park, Cutthroat Pass via the Pacific Crest Trail

Hey Geert! I just did the East Creek Trail from the PCT to Mebee Pass, see my Report. Someone has taken down the red flags that marked the bottom couple hundred vert. When you get to the last pink one, trail stays the course all the way to the bottom. Trail is visible under the logs and bushes. Just thought you'd like to know. Enjoy your trip!

Posted by:


C P on Sep 04, 2022 12:35 AM

C P on East Creek, Mebee Lookout, Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) Section L - Rainy Pass to Manning Park, Cutthroat Pass via the Pacific Crest Trail

You could drop off your extra food and tent and anything else you don't need at Rainy Pass when I leave my bike. I think you would have to hide it in the woods near the TH.

Posted by:


C P on Aug 21, 2022 08:48 PM