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Amazing hike with some awesome camping sites surrounding the lake. Just got back and we had absolutely no problems with mosquitoes or flies. Went up on a Friday and there were only a handful of people at the lake. We will be going back to this gem. Can’t beat the views at the top either.

Whoever said this hike isn’t strenuous and is good for any skill level is trolling you. There is 1200 feet of elevation gain in the first 1.5 miles if you go clockwise from Berry Patch (or a terribly steep descent at the end of your hike if you’re coming from Snowgrass Flat). The ascent is pretty relentless until you reach the ridge, so I wouldn’t recommend it for brand new backpackers or anyone who isn’t in decent shape. Going out and back from Snowgrass Flat to Goat Lake would be an easier hike for those who can’t handle Goat Ridge.

Went Sept 2-3. Parking lot was overflowing but we didn’t encounter throngs of people until we hit Goat Lake (also saw goats!). I counted 20-25 tents around the lake. Other than the view, I don’t understand the appeal of camping there- it’s overcrowded, cold, and totally exposed to the elements. Found a better spot below the tree line. Didn’t encounter many people on the hike back and the parking lot was nearly empty— weekdays are definitely the way to go!

Spectacular hike, perfect weather (it gets cold at night- bring layers), no bugs, and still a few wildflowers in bloom.

Beautiful Scenery and a great loop hike.

The views on this trail are just awesome.

backpacking
14 days ago

A couple friends and I did this loop and added Old Snowy and Hawkeye Point onto it. Incredible views of Adams, as well as Rainier, Helens, and even Hood in the distance. We did the loop clockwise from berry patch trailhead over two days, camping at goat lake overnight from August 31-September 1. Didn’t see a single mosquito, probably because it was a little cooler, but comfortable hiking weather. The hiking itself is not strenuous and any incline feels very doable for any skill level, nothing technical. We were each carrying packs that were about 35-40 lbs. The views of Adams are just incredible. The whole hike above the tree line is basically worthy of a postcard from any direction you look. Stop to eat huckleberries in the meadows, and enjoy idyllic views of mountain goats grazing on the cliffs and marmots scrambling around in the meadows. I recommend planning a trip during off-peak traffic times so you can get a good camping spot at goat lake to watch the clouds settle in the valley in the evening and wake up to an incredible view of Adams in the morning. I strongly recommend adding Old Snowy onto your loop. It’s an extra 5 miles that felt like 2-3, and despite the elevation gain of about 2000 feet was surprisingly easy (I dropped my pack at the turn off and enjoyed a packless ascent up Old Snowy). It’s worth the effort to enjoy getting above the ridges and seeing numerous others peaks and into other basins and valleys. At a minimum tack on Hawkeye for a similar, view as Old Snowy. I recommend this hike to anyone starting at even the most basic skill and generally healthy fitness level. Oh, and fun to interact with some thru hikers on a little bit of the PCT.

Quite a drive up to the start of the trail, about 18 washouts on the gravel road. We got up in our Toyota Corolla going slow. Beautiful forest with flowers and mushrooms to investigate. The trail is used by dirt bikers as well and makes a deep U shape in parts. The view was breathtaking!!

As a follow-up to the review by PhLo S just below...my group went August 10-12. There were some flies and mosquitoes at the lower elevations, but nothing close to plague-level. As a precaution we wore long sleeve shirts and long pants, with the option to wear head nets. While hiking these precautions weren't really needed, but during rest stops the bugs can get annoying. The views at the upper elevations are amazing. This was one of the best hikes I have been on.

First off, DO NOT follow the directions on AllTrails! Take FR 21 instead of FR 48 and search for directions ahead of time from somewhere else as the ones here are horribly inaccurate (wrong forest road and not 9.5 miles, more like 20 once on FR 21). If it weren’t for the payoff when you make it up to Goat Lake, I’d have a hard time recommending this trail. I went counterclockwise to how Alltrails has you do it (I went through Snowgrass Flats then onto Goat Lake) and the first 4 miles are brutal but not because the trail is incredibly difficult, but because of the relentless biting flies and gradual ascent. I pushed through faster than I wanted and when I’d stop for a break I’d be covered in seconds by dozens of flies, none of them caring that I had 100% deet all over. So then you just keep going and by the time I made it out of the forest I was exhausted. Once you clear the forest, Snowgrass flats is great. Crowded, but beautiful and with plenty of water sources so no need to carry a lot of water if you have any way to filter. The last push up to the lake is absolutely gorgeous though a pretty steady climb. Once at the lake, madness; it was a Friday evening and there must have been over 50 people camping at the lake (including a tent city with 6 tents all clustered together) so I pressed on to Jordan Basin and found a spot to hang my hammock for the night. Easy 5 miles into the Berrypatch parking area the next morning and then the short connector back to the other parking lot. Overall it was worth it but I won’t come back until the weather has turned in the fall when I think the bugs won’t be an issue and the crowds will have died down.

Three friends and I did an overnight along this route, staying near Goat Lake. The hike is absolutely miserable near the beginning and end due to plague-level biting flies that easily eclipse the also annoying mosquito infestation. A ways above the treeline all that junk disappears. The views and nice weather made up for the terribly buggy ascent and descent. We did the side trip up Hawkeye Point on our way back, well worth the extra effort. As the first evening approached, the clouds cleared off Mt. Adams. The view south from Goat Lake is amazing. The wildflowers were fairly abundant, especially near small streams. Keep in mind that standard insect repellent does absolutely nothing for the biting flies even if it keeps the mosquitoes from biting. Deet, Picaradin - no effect. Had I known, I would have read up on specific solutions for biting flies as they were far worse than mosquitoes. If you can tolerate wearing pants on a hot day, it will reduce the flies' annoyance at least a bit. Slapping your full body is harder, though it burns more calories. If you plan to camp, I highly recommend going on a weekday. It's a very popular and crowded trail. Maybe we saw over a hundred people total. Luckily we stayed Sunday night, so most of the weekend hikers were on their way down as we went up. If you are concerned about snow, as of August 6th there isn't any on the trail this entire loop route. There is a big, steep snow patch in the saddle going to the Hawkeye Point side trip, but there is a makeshift trail below and east of the snow to keep it safer. From Hawkeye Point we were able to see 28 goats to the northeast. Keep in mind they might be in the snow, in which case they blend in a bit. Bring a powerful lens (like 200 or 300 mm at least... aka 10x zoom+) if you want to get a decent photo of them.

We planned our arrival in hopes that 830 at the trailhead would get us parking and avoid the crowds. We were right and wrong at the same time. The trailheads at West Parking and Berry Patch were both packed, but as it turned out, it was mostly day hikers.

The trail condition heading up Snowgrass Trail (We did the loop counter clock wise) was in great condition, and the bugs were only bugging us if we stopped. We were hiking with two dogs, and the bugs were more interested in them than us.

There were plenty of people on the trail, but almost all of them were day hikers in large groups. We saw maybe 5-6 backpacking groups (2-4 people) the entire way up. We stopped and ate lunch at Snowgrass before pushing on towards Goat Lake, where we intended to set up camp. The bugs were worse up in snow grass flat, but not unbearable and as the valley opened up the views made us completely forget it.

We ended up deciding to make camp about a mile shy of Goat Lake. I'm not one for crowds, and everyone was headed up there and we were early on the trail for backpackers. It ended up being a great call, as we found a nice shaded spot a little off the trail with a perfectly framed view of Mt. Adams and easy access to fresh water. Through my telephoto later that evening, I counted over 15 tents in the vicinity of Goat Lake.

The next day, we continued the loop, stopping for pictures and to let the pups play in the snow at Goat Lake.

The trail from a mile prior to Goat Lake, and about 3 miles after it is absolutely beautiful, but a little precarious for novice hikers, hikers with inexperienced dogs, and children. The drop offs exceed 1000 feet in places, and while the path is mostly in wonderful condition, there are sections that require a little more concentration, and they generally match up with those steep drop offs. Just a thought to consider when deciding how best to tackle this loop, or whether to just do an out and back on Snowgrass.

After crossing the ridge into Jordan Basin and following the long ridge-hugging trail down into the treeline, the trail slowly widens, the canopy thickens and despite a last minute climb before the 1.8 mile elevator descent to parking, the trail was very enjoyable.

Water is pretty available the whole loop, but the wooded section on the western part of the loop has only one good creek access, and the rest of the water is available above the tree line. Jordan Basin has a wide, cool stream to fill up in before your descent. We packed too much water in, considering the availability of fresh water throughout the hike.

For a weekend backpacking trip on this trail, I was pleasantly surprised at the lack of crowds, availability of camp sites and the friendliness of everyone on the trail. There were lots of dogs, lots of families with young kids and hikers of all ages on the trail.

This is a beautiful scenic trail. Unfortunately I ran out of gas about one half mile before Goat Lake. The views are amazing but I ended at 12 miles which was too much for me to day hike. I will have to try it again another day. A side note, the biting flies are insane, bring lots of repellent or you will be miserable.

18.07.28 (Overnight)
The trail itself is in good shape and the spectacular views begin around 5 miles in. The trail was very busy, but not excessively so.
Bugs were an absolute horror until you get above the treeline, to the degree that even my 2 dogs were actually groaning and thrashing around in frustration whenever we stopped for water.
The lake is 90% frozen and there was still snow around Goat Lake, but solid ground could be found for tents. However, there were easily >30 tents crammed throughout the vicinity and campfires were in use by some groups despite very visible signage stating this was prohibited. In short, it was a zoo.
The gross misconduct by overnighters and general overuse of the area will unfortunately keep me away. Please, be respectful when you enjoy these beautiful trails.

The hike itself is good. The trail had it’s up and down slopes, not many rocks on the trail so it’s fairly even ground to walk on. The views of the lake are awesome. The only thing I didn’t like was the drive to the trail head. It’s about 15 miles on gravel roads.

hiking
2 months ago

Falls are beautiful. Supposedly, the trail up to the lookout is down at the moment but they are trying to get it finished. My dad lives about 1 mile from this hike so I do it quite often. Great workout. Can't wait until we can hike all the way to the top.

7/6/2018 Incredible loop, my son and I hiked in from Berry Patch trailhead to Goat Lake with an overnight at Jordan Basin. The second day we went up to Hawkeye Point in the morning, then trotted the 4 miles back from camp to Berry Patch in the afternoon.

There is still a lot of snow: Goat Lake was still frozen over, with melt along the edges, and the campsites there were still in snow. The way from the Bypass Trail to Goat Lake was about 40-50% over snow, but easily navigable, with many short snow bridges over the numerous runoff streams. The scenery is magnificent as you come out above timberline on the Lily Basin Trail after the Snowgrass veers east to join the PCT. Enough wildflowers were out to provide constant interest. Camp at Jordan Basin was beautiful, with a view south to Mount Adams and water at the doorstep; we were alone except for a solo camper and several marmots. A cold night with a bit of skim ice on the water when we awoke.

The morning hike to Hawkeye (about 1,000 vertical from Jordan) was beautiful, with one long snow ridge (again, easily manageable). From Hawkeye we had a magnificent view taking in Rainier, Adams, the tip of Hood, and Mount St. Helens, only this last shrouded in clouds. Goat Lake is directly below.

The trail back to Berry Patch is a pleasant gradual descent through Jordan Basin and then into forest. Really an extraordinary hike, strenuous but not desperate on the way to Goat Lake.

Loved it. Beautiful scenery all around! We went early September so we just missed the wildflowers, but it was still amazing.

hiking
2 months ago

this is a beautiful trail but I wouldn't call it lightly traveled. Of all the trails I've hiked around here so far this one had the most people on it. The Falls are beautiful the scenery is beautiful it's a good hike

6/16 - attempted to backpack this and there is more snow up there than I thought there'd be. 6+ ft of snow by the time you approach snow glass flats. More snow the further elevation you gain. Packed in pretty well, but we got hit with hard rain and the temp dropped quickly, so we hiked back out.

hiking
3 months ago

The road is a little rough in places on the way up to the trailhead. I would recommend a high clearance vehicle. There were a few other vehicles at the trailhead. I think I saw 5 people all day. It's a well maintained trail and it looked as if someone had come through recently to cut back trees that had fallen in the trail. There are many creek crossings in the trail. Some are small and you can basically step over them, others I was grateful to have waterproof boots and trekking poles for stability. The many waterfalls are incredible and so worth it! The main one is only about 1 mile in. About 5 miles in there was still some snow on the trail, but nothing that was difficult to walk over. At the 6 mile mark there are other trails that you can continue on.

I went in late July and I can say that this is not for the inexperienced hiker, but a great first backpacking trip. I've not seen anywhere more gorgeous than this place in my 10 years in the Pacific Northwest. The scenery is breathtaking and diverse and I've never seen so many colorful wildflowers anywhere else.

DOG OWNERS BEWARE: there is snow traversing and swift creek crossings where the snow has created a bridge over the creeks, so if your pup slips in they might not get out. I have small dogs and I highly recommend a Ruffwear harness with a handle so you can (gently) toss your pups over to the other side while keeping them leashed (and keeping the leash snug around your wrist), just in case they do stumble in (also don't rely on the clipped part of the leash to stay fastened if this happens, tie the leash tight to the harness, and honestly small rope is preferred to a leash in this scenario).

Don't miss the view at the Goat Ridge lookout but BRING BUG SPRAY. There are mosquitoes all over the place, especially at many of the campsites, but the mosquitoes at the Goat Ridge lookout were intense. Totally worth it though because the views are great and also a great place to set up shop.

hiking
3 months ago

June 2 2018, great hike. Great people on the trail. The big falls was a sight to see.

one of my fav. trails I have ever done. 2 waterfalls 100' or more & a dozen amazing smaller ones. tough dirt rd to trail for a low car but made it within a mile & walked the rest. At trail junction the left is washed out bad about a mile in i didn't make it past but worth it for the falls. The right trail has yet more waterfalls leading to what i believe is deadman lake.

Hiked this 2 days ago. The road is washed out about 1/2 mile from the trailhead (coming from Packwood area) but is an easy walk in. The trail itself is beautiful and green for the spring. It has a few steep ups and downs but they are split up by rolling flats.

hiking
4 months ago

Hiked Goat Creek Trail #205 (near Morton) to Vanson Lake. But turned around mid-way due to snow. Cathedral Falls is snow free.

Rd 2750 has average pot holes and a few big ones. There are some flat spots. It gets rougher toward the end. High clearance vehicles won’t have a problem. Careful driving for lower clearance vehicles. Parking at the trailhead will accommodate many vehicles.

The trail is as you’d expect. Easy to Cathedral Falls. It’s 1.25 miles in and beautiful, but I was expecting there to be more water.

It is snow free beyond Cathedral Falls past the Jct of Trail #218. Keeping right, the first signs of spotty snow are just beyond that. It’s off and on for about ¼ mile until it becomes constant around the 2700ft level a ½ mile after the jct. In the beginning, the snow is slushy and slippery but only inches deep. Soon it’s a foot deep but firmer and lightly travelled. Then becomes mid-thigh post-holing. After this the tracks stop and I was the only one. Breaking trail was about knee deep post-holing with some butt deep post-holing. That’s where I turned around and actually lost sight of the trail at the 3000ft level at a very beautiful cascading falls. At the 2900 ft level, there are 2 very big blow downs across the trail that require hiking around. Snow makes it more difficult.

All and All it was a good hike. Snow made it more challenging and I will go later in the year to make it to Vanson Lake.

Did part of this trail today. It was beautiful! Roads and the trail up to the waterfall are clear. Snow about half way up the trail prevented us from getting to the top. Need snowshoes still (easy to lose the trail and the post holing was going to be too tough for us.) This trail is nice because of the changing scenery along the route.

hiking
5 months ago

A couple of good pot holes on forest road so take it slow but gate is open.. you can get all the way up to the trailhead.. no snow on trail either....wet in spots but not bad at all..falls are flowing real good!!

I have never actually done this said trail! But burley mountain lookout itself is an old fire lookout in which you can drive too. However I wouldn’t recommend taking a full size. Coval creek and angel loop falls trail at cispus learning center offer a trail that takes you to the lookout! It’s a climb! Once you reach the top you can see Mount Rainier, St. Helens. and mount hood! Tongue mountain and the side of tower rock.
You are surrounded by wild blue berries! You can see more with a good set of binoculars! The view is breathtaking.

truck now required to get to trail head. also right now I would consider some of it a snow hike.

The road wasn't as terrible as we expected it to be. The trail was pleasant and the falls were amazing. Good hike for all ages and abilities.

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