Amphitheater Mountain, Pasayten Wilderness
Amphitheater Mountain is in the Pasayten Wilderness, a half a million acres of wilderness along the border of Washington and Canada.
The hike in is almost 30 miles, one way, and so the place does not see many visitors.
A couple of years ago I plotted a trip through the Pasayten Wilderness, along the Pacific Northwest Trail to the Cathedral Peak area. To get there I drove to over the North Cascades Highway (part of the Cascade Loop), over Loop Loop Pass to Omak, then north to Tonasket, over to Loomis, and then along the Toats Coulee Road to the Iron Gate Trailhead.
From there its about 5 miles to Sunny Pass, most of which is covered with wildflowers in July, to Horseshoe Basin, where you meet the PNT.
From there you head west along a glorious route of ridges and scenic views.
There are so many cool spots along the way: Louden Lake, Bauerman Ridge, the old Tungsten Mine, Apex Pass and then Cathedral Peak.
Actually Amphitheater Mountain and Cathedral Peak join each other at the gap of Cathedral Pass.
We arrived at the Cathedral Lakes Basin in mid-July and I got this image of Amphitheater Mountain reflected in a snow melt pond. We lingered as long as we could stand the mosquitoes and headed home. But I noted that it appeared the entire basin was filled with larch. In this image the larch are bright green in color and look like any evergreen, but in the fall their needles turn bright orange, then fall off.
So, we plotted a second trip the same year and here is an image of roughly the same spot.
And here are a few more images for good measure!
Last July I made the trip back, but horrible weather turned us back half way…this year I am determined to get back to that sublime basin…and maybe explore the old mine along the way…