Backpacking in the Paysayten

The Plan

For my birthday, I said I wanted to go backpacking with my family - my sister, her husband Jeff, their two children, and my parents. Since that crowd involved people both a little too young and too old to carry backpacks very far, I contacted an outfitter who would carry our stuff into a campsite in the Paysayten on mules. The outfitter, Steve, suggested Silver Lake. We checked out Silver Lake on the Internet, and thought it was perfect -- in the Paysayten, and high up. It was out of Mazama in Eastern Washington.

However, the day before we were to leave, I was talking with Steve and he said something, and I said, "wait, what Silver Lake are you talking about?" It turns out there are two Silver Lakes (at least) -- one out of Twisp, and one out of Mazama. We decided to go with "our" Silver Lake, and forego the mules.

The trail was harder than we expected -- some of it was beautiful walk through meadows with views of mountains, but then there was steep up or down on treacherous loose gravel. Jeff (with some help from me and Rachel) ended up carrying packs for Olivia and Mom for parts of the trail.


Parking lot prep - Jeff takes pictures of Lillian and Olivia

How they treated their trail mix was typical: Lillian walked down the trail eating handfuls. Olivia decided to eat one piece per stop. She would say "Let's see...should I have a blue or red M&M?" She had most of the trail mix when she hiked out. (Lillian had some also -- they brought a lot.)


Mom and Dad on the trail

We finally reached our destination - Silver Lake.

Silver Pass >