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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

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