Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Hiking Hiking Guide Bernhardt Mine

Bernhardt Mine

North Cascades

Location

North Cascades -- Pasayten
View map below

Length

5.2 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 1600 ft.
Highest Point: 7350 ft.

Rating

2.75 out of 5

(4 votes) Log in to rate
 
 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 
 
See first-hand the effects of wildland fire and the forest recovery while hiking up to the sparsely forested ridge and views.This trail provides options for loops hikes and off-trail exploration up peaks or up to a mine site.

From the trailhead (elevation 5750 feet), the trail begins on the edge of a silver forest, with lots of flowers and bees in the early summer. As the trail does a gradual climbing traverse, young pines start dotting the landscape. By the time the first creek crossing is reached a half-mile in (elevation 5940 feet), the pines are dense and encroach on the trail. The silver forest is gradually falling, requiring lots of maintenance work, evidenced by the large number of cut logs.

As the trail continues up, it crosses creeks a couple more times and skirts a large marshy meadow. The low vegetation covers holes and small downed logs, making uneven footing. This difficulty is offset by the pockets of mature forest and small meadows with a riot of color in summer and fall.

At 1.5 miles (elevation 6380 feet), the trail steepens as it climbs away from the creek and toward the old cabin site. A somewhat dilapidated signboard marks the site of the cabin, at 1.8 miles (elevation 6640 feet). The old miner's cabin and other wood structures are long gone, but in a few places find the rusted metal remnants of the mining activity.

The mines are about 200 feet higher on the hillside. Access is essentially cross-country over downed logs, through brush, and over or around rocky outcrops. As of 2018, the trail above the cabin site is marked with orange diamonds, small cairns, double blazes (chainsawed), and cut logs. The general direction is 0.2 mile north, then 0.6 mile north-northwest. These general directions do not describe all the minor wandering of the trail through this area.

The trail climbs out of the burn zone into an area with minimal fire impact and pockets of trees. In the forest area, the trail is easily followed, whereas in the meadow and grassy areas, routefinding is difficult; the cairns can be hidden by the tall grass. While climbing up this, the views improve across the valley and up to Tiffany Mountain.

At 2.6 miles, (elevation 7350 feet) take two short switchbacks and then the junction with the North Summit Trail. From this point, there are at least four options. The easiest is to hike back down to the trailhead. 

WTA Pro-Tip: A loop with a two-mile road walk can be completed by turning north to Whistler Pass and out the Freezeout Ridge Trail, with or without going up and over Tiffany Mountain. The trail south can be explored toward the Clark Ridge Trail, although south of the junction the North Summit Trail can be difficult to follow. Lastly, Clark Peak can be reached via a cross-country climb through the steep meadows.

 

Bernhardt Mine

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.6033, -120.0939 Open map in new window

Trailhead

North Cascades -- Pasayten

Bernhardt Mine (#367)

Colville National Forest, Tonasket Ranger District

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

100 Hikes in the North Cascades National Park Region (Spring & Manning)

Green Trails No. 53 Tiffany Mt

USGS Topographic - Tiffany Mt. (7.5 min quadrangle)

RightMAP! - East Methow

Buy the Green Trails Tiffany Mountain No. 53 map

Getting There

From the four-way stop in Winthrop, go northwest on Riverside Avenue. It loops around the west end of Winthrop where it becomes Bluff Street.

At the city limits, it becomes East Chewuch Road. Follow this for 5.8 miles and bear right onto USFS Road 37 (don't cross the Chewuch River).

In 1.2 miles, Road 37 crosses Boulder Creek and bears right to climb up the Boulder Creek valley. In 11.5 miles, turn left onto Road 39 (don't continue toward Conconully).

Follow USFS Road 39 for 1.2 miles to the first switchback and the trailhead (elvation 5750 ft).

There is parking on the right for about four cars. Be aware this is a summer grazing area, so you may see cattle on and near the road.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None
 

You can improve or add to this guidebook entry

Bernhardt Mine

6 Trip Reports

Hiked here recently?

Submit a trip report!
 
Trip Reports