Explore washington up to 10 miles - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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Love Beacon Rock, it’s in our “backyard” and we grew up hiking it many times. We took our kids for the first time last week. It’s straight up via switch backs all the way up, but there are many viewing points where you could stop for a rest. (Our five year old complained quite a bit and wanted frequent rests). The top viewing area is very small, not many people will fit together up there. But it’s worth the hike for the view! And the downhill is fairly easy. Love that there are restrooms at the trailhead. You will need a Discover Pass to park here.

One of the best viewpoints around. Smoky time of year, but when we reached summit of Silver Star, we had clear views above the smoke layer of St. Helens, Rainier, Adams, Hood, and a bit of Jefferson. Lots of trail offshoots - use the map. We extended our hike to include scramble up Sturgeon Rock (awesome) then a loop back via Tarbell Trail. Warning on Tarbell - new logging roads have been cut through trail...again, use map w/Phone/GPS and you’ll find trail. Also, after parking at Grouse Vista, trailhead starts *across* parking lot from pit toilet (not the other way, which is continuation of Tarbell).

hiking
6 days ago

Fossil Trail 242: Gifford Pinchot Forest
13 August 2018
This is an overlooked hiker trail I can recommend – moderate difficulty for the first mile then easier. Well traveled by horses but no shoe prints or bike tracks today. With the temperature in the mid-90s this August hike was 95% in the cool shade of a moderate growth forest. The trail starts in the north end of the Kalama Horse camp – walk 100 yards and cross the FR 81 to the trail signpost. Begin at 2,200’ elevation. The first quarter-mile is relatively flat then joins an old caterpillar track and ascends 30° for a mile with a couple switchbacks – this is the steepest part of the whole trail. The second mile is easier at a 10° ascent and by mile 3 is level at 3500’ (highest elevation).
On the ascent and right side of the trail looms Goat Mountain (4,965 feet tall). It is NE of the trail and viewed from time to time through the trees. Essentially the trail follows The Fossil Creek Valley and contours around the western slope of Goat Mountain. There are no trails marked on the map for a Goat Mountain climb. Along the way the only opening in the forest are four avalanche chutes – easily traversed.
At mile 3.3 the trail enters the Mount Saint Helens Monument boundary and follows it in and out for a mile. It is here the trail descends to Goat Marsh Creek – the only water source. On this part of the trail, now traveling east, a few glimpses of MSH can be seen. The trail eventually joins up with Road 8123 and ends south of Blue Lake where the Blue Lake Trail and Toutle Trail can be accessed leading back to the Kalama Horse Camp; a 14-mile loop.
The quality of the forest makes this hike. Patches of moderate and old growth Nobel & Hemlock Fir, and Western Red Cedar marks this as a mature mixed forest. Many large trees are >4’ DBH and a couple >6’. The tread is entirely ash/pumice and in many places the trail needs brushing, berms knocked down, the trail widened, and limbs trimmed. Long pants and hiking poles are recommended. No ticks.
Wildlife: abundant bear and coyote scat, along with elk droppings.
A report on this trail by Tom Paulu Oct 2, 2014 (The Daily News) says the Forest Service opened the trail in 2003 and it was built by Backcountry Horsemen of Washington.

The upper Cape Horn hike is great, not too difficult but also a good workout. Lower Cape Horn is ok, the rocky part is a tad tedious and the final portion which is about 1.5 miles of paved road is a slog.

Beautiful hike that’s not too crowded. We hiked it on a partly cloudy day and the views were still super pretty. If you don’t have an 4 wheel/AWD car I wouldn’t recommend it. I didn’t feel comfortable driving my car over the bridge at the bottom so we parked and hiked to the trailhead for extra 4 miles each way. Worth it though!

This trail is on the hard side of moderate. The falls and the views along the way were beautiful. The view from the top of Hamilton was, honestly, pretty disappointing though. The views along the way were so much more rewarding.

hiking
6 days ago

I really like all but 1 mile of this hike. The last mile for us was on a road and it was unclear if you walked on the road or if there was a trail we missed. Other than that last mile the hike is really pretty, seems like most folks do an out and back so after the viewpoint at 2ish miles there was hardly anyone out there.

Great spot, not crowded, a little too smokey for any views this time, but Ill be going back on a clear day!

hiking
7 days ago

#1 favorite hike to show friends and get them excited about hiking.

this trail is rated as moderate but it was pretty easy. it was nice and cool. The trail was surprisingly crowded, however you weren't nipping at one another's heels. It was BEAUTIFUL! At mile 2 the waterfall was amazing. Lots of dogs. Many off leash which was fine as my dog is well behaved.

Tougher than moderate and longer too. Views are incredible.

The road to the trail head is rough but doable in a stock 4Runner.

Definitely go up Ed’s Trail and come back on the Silver Star path. Breathtaking views of the area.

Great hike! Had a lot of fun and views were awesome!

Fun and challenging hike. Beautiful waterfall, mostly shaded trail with excellent views. At the top you’ll get a good view of Mt. Adams. On a warm day make sure you have water. Trail is dog (on-leash) friendly but difficult at times if your dog pulls on leash due to the rocky parts and lose rock. Lots of flies/bugs on the trail as you get closer to the top. Restrooms at the trailhead. It was busy but plenty of parking at the trailhead and the parking lot just past the trailhead on the left. Got to the trail at about 8:30-9am. Finished the hike around 1-1:30 with having lunch at the top.

hiking
9 days ago

About 8 miles. Took us almost 3 hours. I’d say moderate is a good description if you are in shape. We started with the upper trail and did the loop. Glad it wasn’t any hotter or we would have really suffered. Not crowded. People were nice. I would not take small children or dogs. Lots of loose rocks and narrow passages.

hiking
9 days ago

This is one of the shortest hikes I've done that still gives you high-up Gorge views. If you exercise regularly, it's an easy climb. The trail did get fairly crowded with families around 11 am (I went on a Friday), so go early or during the week if you don't want to be passing someone on every switchback.

Real steep near the end, but push through it and it’s all worth it. Two separate “peaks” on the mountain. Gorgeous view of the gorge

Great hike, really cool history, and beautiful views.

still killer views even though we couldn't see the mountains this time through the smoke. one of my top favorites. this trail is hard on dog paws.

Nice trail! Beautiful look out!

hiking
14 days ago

The trail was about 7.2 miles total. Some really great switchbacks, views, and different terrains. You can stay a pretty steady pace, as the trail isn’t too difficult.

Wow, this kicked my butt. Much harder than moderate! The rock scramble was pretty scary but a fun adventure. I’d totally start going up then do the whole loop. Bring extra water as I’d say half is not covered. It’s a beautiful butt kicker!

I really enjoyed this one.
I started with the upper trail, and I'm glad I did.

Loved this one!! I stopped at the top of Hamilton Mountain and came back down, didn’t continue on to the full loop. I will next time because this hike is one of my new favorites! About 4 miles up and down. Would have been about the 7.5 with the full loop.

Starts off steep, levels off a bit, then steep again with switchbacks, then lots of rock/gravel. My little 20-lb dog made it just fine!

Waterfall/pool was cool to explore.

Scramble a bit down some side trails if you so choose for some beautiful views. Then keep continuing up the narrow gravel trail for some gorgeous views of the gorge at the top!!

My daughter was driving her Honda Pilot and was not comfortable with driving up the last 2.4 miles to the trailhead so we parked and walked to the trailhead adding another 4.8 to the overall hike but it was still an amazing hike. I’m pretty sure someone with more experience (and patience) would have been able to make it to the trailhead in her Pilot but she was not about to try. This is the third or fourth time I’ve done this hike but still love it and will probably continue to hike it from time to time.

hiking
17 days ago

The upper Trail is a moderate though continuous upward climb with a beautiful full gorge view as your capstone. It was 95 degrees and the tree canopy was a delight BUT the lower trail that had just reopened (July 16) was NOT moderate. The last 2-3 miles is full-on rock in full-sun with difficult footing- this is followed by a closing loop along an asphalt road. Hot hot hot! Very little water in the waterfall. I was told by a regular user it is actually 8.2 miles. I would not do the lower trail again.

Great view at the top! Fairly steep on the last half and if you ignore most of the trails off the main trail it’s fairly easy to stay on track to the top. Turning right at the pile of rocks at the fork keeps you on the main trail. Lots of water in the summer, sturdy hiking boots and wouldn’t recommend taking dogs in the summer.

Arguably the best views of the gorge are from this trail. Located on the WA side of the gorge it's grown in popularity since I first hiked it. Yes, I'm terrified of heights. Yes, I went suuuuper slow but once I got going the hike became easier and more enjoyable. On a cloudless day the view is out of this world. I found the history of the rock very fascinating and it blew my mind that I was climbing the exposed inner core of a prehistoric volcano. Read the signs when you go if you have little ones. It adds an extra dash of fun.

Did this with little ones. It was a tough one, but so worth it in the end!! Slow and steady

Very nice hike. Best start early or parking will be a problem. Parking cost money too and will require the discovery pass. I did the entire loop and once you hit the peak and finish the cardio portion, it gets to be a very relaxing hike.

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