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Smarty Creek, outside the Pasayten Wilderness, WA
July 2006


Synopsis

    What this trail lacked in bird activity, wildlife, and picturesque views, it definitely compensated for with wildflowers.  Even in late July, the wildflowers were still blooming strong. The trail cuts across the Twenty-mile Meadows – open expanses of boggy meadow sprinkled with colors of red (Indian Paintbrush), blue (lupine), and the occasional white (Ladies’ Tresses).  Small streams and seeps ran across the meadows and fed into Smarty Creek.  The ground around the seeps were very muddy, which made good waterproof hiking boots essential, but it also allowed us to see which animals were around.  We saw the tracks of coyote, black bear, deer, and possibly bobcat (or some type of cat). We spent two nights on this trail and did not see any sign of a single soul.  The reason for this might be that trail was  hidden (the trailhead sign was knocked over) and had it not been for having the GPS coordinates we would have had a harder time finding the trailhead.
    We did not hike the entire Smarty Creek trail, but we continued up the North Twenty-mile Meadow trail.  There were some areas of the trail that were difficult to follow due to the boggy meadows, but marks on the trees lead us in the general direction of the trail.  The North Twenty-mile Meadow trail intersects Smarty Creek trail and leads up to a lookout, this is a more popular destination, but most hikers approach the lookout from a different trail.
We came across a Richard’s Ground Squirrel colony that was well established among the large boulders of the North Twenty-mile Meadow.

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Pictures

Sunset over Smarty Creek
Columbia Ground Squirrel
Acmon Blue
A mix of flowers grew thick on the banks of Smarty Creek in July.
Ladies' Tresses.
Bear tracks on a sand bar of Smarty Creek.
Smarty Creek

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Bird List

American Kestrel - 1
Red-tailed Hawk
Spotted Sandpiper - 2
Vaux Swift - 4
Common Nighthawk - 1
Rufous Hummingbird- 3
Northern Flicker
Olive-sided Flycatcher
Western Wood Pewee
Common Raven
Clark's Nutcracker
Violet-green Swallow
Mountain Chickadee
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
American Robin
Swainson's Thrush
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Lincoln's Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
House Finch

Other Critter List

Red Squirrel
Yellow-pine Chipmunk
Mule Deer
White-tailed Deer
Columbia Ground Squirrel
Coyote
Snowshow Hare
Western Toad
Bat sp.
Brook Trout
Acmon Blue
Western tailed Blue

Notable Flowers/Plants

Wild Strawberry
Ladies' Tresses
Small-flowered Paintbrush
Paintbrush
Lupin
Aster
Cinquefoil
Butterweek
Douglas's Catchfly
Lanceleaf Stonecrop

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Information

Located: near the Pasayten Wilderness, managed by the Okanogan National Forest, Tonasket Ranger District.
Directions: off of Hwy-20 get on Eastside Chewack Road from Winthrop. Turn onto Forest Road 37.  Continue past the Tiffany Springs Campground.  Approximately 10 miles after the campground, the trailhead is on the north side of the road.
Required permit: none
Information on Smarty Creek trail and surrounding/joint trails:
Washington DRG Maps: Okanogan – Tiffany Mountain, Corral Butte; Concrete – Coleman Peak

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page updated: 3/18/08