Tucked away between glaciated peaks in Washington's southern Cascade's, the Goat Rocks Wilderness flaunts flower-filled valleys, rocky ridges, snow capped volcanoes, and 100-mile views. See the best of the high country on a 13.8-mile weekend loop from the Snowgrass trailhead. Why go? The snow has melted and it is the perfect time to experience the magic of the Goat Rocks Wilderness. This loop trip samples the best of the area, cool forests, bright wildflowers, and amazing views of all of the volcanos in the south Cascades.
We will walk .7 mile to the self-issue permit station at the Berry Patch trailhead and ascend 1,120 feet in 1.2 miles to Goat Ridge. The trail trends northeast through forest to a ridgeline, offering views of the Goat Creek Basin and nearby Old Snowy. After traversing the west side of Goat Ridge for 2.7 miles, we will see the flower laden Jordan Basin. At 5.2 miles we will drop our packs and hike .6 miles and 800 feet to Hawkeye Point. From this 7,351 foot vantage, we will take in a classic, all-the-way-around Cascades panorama, including an in-you-face view of Mt. Rainier. We will linger there for a time, then back track to our gear and travel .6 miles further on our main trail to where we will set up camp for the night near the outlet of Goat Lake.
The next morning we will wake to the sun rising over Mt. Hood, 80 miles south. After breaking camp, we will follow the Goat Creek Valley clockwise on the main trail, hiking south through wildflowers laden meadows and crossing several creeks cascading from Old Snowy's flanks.
Dates: August 17 & 18
RSVP's are only open through the WAITLIST. Feel free to add your name, answer the questions, and attendees will be selected from there.
Driving Directions: From Randle drive east on Hwy 12. Two miles before Packwood, turn south on FR-21, the Johnson Creed road. Go 15.5 miles on FR-21 to FR-2150 (signed Chambers Lake Campground). Take FR-2150 about 3 miles to spur road FR[masked], go right, then right again on spur road FR-2150-405. The trailhead is at road's end, signed "Berry Patch."
Bring: This is not a beginners backpack outing, so everyone should have enough experience to know what to bring. Do bring your 10 essentials which includes maps. Maps: USFS Goat Rocks Wilderness; Green Trails #335 Walupt Lake, #303 White Pass, #302 Packwood, #334 Blue Lake
Dogs are not allowed on this trip.
Start point: Snowgrass Trailhead
End point: Snowgrass Trailhead
Hike Type: Backpacking Loop
Distance: 13.8 miles (Loop)
Hiking time: 2 Full Days
Elevation gain: 1940 feet
Difficulty: Moderate to Difficult
Permits Required: Northwest Forest Pass
Drive time is approximately 3 hours one way.
Distance is 320 miles round trip.
Carpool cost is 10 cents per mile, per person, to be collected and divvied up at PJ's house before we leave. Please bring exact amount ($32.00)
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me.
PARTICIPATE AT YOUR OWN RISK; Northwest Wilderness Group organizers are volunteers. We come prepared to lead you on a trail or off trail hike but assume no liability for your safety getting to or from the trail-head or on the hike. In case of accident, illness, or other incapacity, hikers must pay for their own medical and/or evacuation expenses, whether or not the hiker has specifically authorized them.