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Smokey Goat Rocks

If I had not experienced Goat Rocks in perfect conditions 4 years ago I would have been more then satisfied with my recent visit, however, the smoke, heat and bugs did detract a bit from the overall experience. We were originally going to enter Goat Rocks from the north doing a loop by Lost Lake with a return on Trail 61 at Tieton Pass.

GoatRidgeViewofOldSnowy

Old Smokey from Goat Ridge

However, the Miriam Fire was too much of a risk so we entered from the Berry Patch Trailhead via Goat Ridge and out by way of Snowgrass Flats. I would recommend the reverse direction entering on the Snowgrass Flats side since the climb is more gradual.

We got a late start so we were looking for a place to camp as we approached Jordan Basin but we needed to find water which first comes available as you leave the trees. The climb on a very hot Tuesday afternoon with many bugs was a bit of a challenge.

ApproachingJordanBasin

Approaching Jordan Basin on the Goat Ridge Trail

Camping on Goat Ridge turned out to be really nice with the view down the valley with a smoke laced sunset.

We knew what campsite we wanted near Goat Lake so the relatively short hike over on Wednesday would give us a good shot at getting the spot below Goat Lake next to the water fall. JordanBasinActually the Jordan Basin offers a number of great campsites as well as good options above toward Hawkeye Point.

Old Smokey From near Hawkeye Point

Old Smokey From near Hawkeye Point

GoatRiverBasin

Brook @AussieBrook was in heaven taking care of her herd of humans.

Coming over the pass to Trail 86 we realized that smoke was going to keep us from the fabulous views of Mt. Adams.

A Pan of Goat Lake

A Pan of Goat Lake

Goat Lake still had some ice which ensures that the water is as cold as it can get.

From our campsite the view down the Goat River Valley should be topped with a view of Mt. Adams.

Last Snow Bridge

Last Snow Bridge

It was still a fabulous view and the stream to water fall offered a cool little canyon to help fight the heat. Wednesday evening we were treated to a good view of about 20 mountain goats above us.

Good to see the Mountain Goats

Good to see the Mountain Goats

We ended up staying at this campsite for 2 nights as we use the days for day hikes to Hawkeye Point and over to the PCT. Actually we were planning on going to Old Smokey, however, the smoke was really bad on Thursday so we turned around at the PCT junction at the bypass trail. We were planning on camping Friday over toward Cispus Pass but again the smoke, heat and bugs convinced us to just cut the trip short and hike out on Friday. MorningSunBeamsThe morning sunrise was sprinkled with sunbeams through the smoke. The hike out was essentially all down hill with a ridiculous number of flies bouncing off our bodies. LookingBackOnGoatFallsWe did feel sorry for the many backpackers coming into the Goat Rocks area on Friday since the area was already full of people.

LastLook

Last view of Goat Lake Basin

Hopefully they got a little rain from the front that was coming in, maybe it would even clean out the air for that exception view.OldBackpackers

Goat Rocks Wilderness BP Trip

Just returned from my best backpacking trip ever in the Goat Rocks Wilderness area in between Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams in Washington. I was there July 27 РAugust 1 and the weather was as perfect. The mosquitoes were a bit aggressive but manageable. Overall the trip probably included about 33 miles and 5000 ft of vertical. I have returned to Goat Rocks with less favorable results as with my Smokey Trek in 2018. The loop option I chose was from the Berry Patch Trailhead heading up the Snowgrass Trail to the bypass over to the PCT. That section of the PCT gives you good campsite options with access to Cispus Pass and Old Snowy.

Cispus Pass

Goat Rocks Wilderness

 

Typically there will be a good snow fields to keep you cool as you hike to Old Snowy.

Snow on hike to Old Snowy Mtn

Snow on hike to Old Snowy

Mt. Rainier

View of Mt Rainier from Goat Rocks

When you have tired of the PCT portion of the loop take the short trail link over to Lilly Basin and continue on to Goat Lake.

Valley below Goat Lake

Valley below Goat Lake 2014

This video of the falls below Goat Lake tries to convey the enormity of the area.

The campsite below Goat Lake is primo, however, there are many spots up and around Goat Lake.

Mt. Adams

Mt Adams Sunset

The loop continues on the Lilly Basin Trail joining the Goat Ridge Trail but you may want to continue a bit further on the Lilly Basin Trail up to Hawkeye Point. The return is all down hill and you do tend to run into serious bug stretches as you reenter the trees.

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