Use this trail to access McCall Basin as a day destination, or to create a punishingly difficult loop with the Hidden Springs trail. Tieton Pass has no views, and views along the way to the pass using this trail are limited.
From the Scatter Creek trailhead/campground at the end of the North Fork Tieton River Road, fill out your Goat Rocks wilderness permit, and set off. Immediately, you’ll cross a bridge over Scatter Creek, and walk along a flat, wide tread before coming to a fork in the trail in less than 0.1 miles. Take the right one—the left leads to the defunct Tieton Meadows trail, which used to access Bear Creek Mountain across the river.
On the North Fork Tieton Trail, things are relatively straightforward. You’ll hike along through quiet forest, interrupted occasionally by the babbling of several streams whose sources are high above you. After a mile of gentle to moderate climbing (and several opportunities to refill your water bottles, if you need to), arrive at a well-signed junction.
To your right, the Hidden Springs Trail (signed Trail 1117) is very faintly visible. An unbelievably steep, blowdown-ridden, repeatedly disappointing mess, the Hidden Springs Trail does allow you to make a loop using it and the PCT to access Tieton Pass from the northwest, opposite to what you’re about to do.
All but the most masochistic should continue heading uphill on the clearly marked North Fork Tieton Trail. The views after this junction improve slightly, with Bear Creek Mountain peeking through the trees just about a half mile past the junction.
Continue climbing through forest, taking in what’s close at hand, since views here are limited. Scour the ground for saprophytes. These plants live on the dead and decaying organic matter on the forest floor. (Don’t worry, it’s usually just leaf litter.) They're usually pink or purple, making for cool photos.
After 3.6 miles of climbing and gentle switchbacking, you’ll arrive in Tieton Pass. While it’s not much of a destination, it does allow you to access the PCT (right at this junction, in fact) and leads into the scenic Goat Rocks high country, with McCall basin just another 2.5 miles away.