Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Gifford Pinchot National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Love this trail love fording the creeks hiked this trail and backpacked it wanting to go back and explore more.

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.

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.

It has been busy past few weekends. A lot of people from oregon. I was glad to see the ranger writing tickets to all the people who didnt have passes. buy a discover pass and northwest forrest pass. its cheaper than a ticket

Went on a multi-family day hike Satruday from the main TH to Chinook Falls. 3 adults (ages 38,40,62), 8 kids (ages 7,8,8,10,11,13,14,14) and 3 dogs (1 lab, 2 small ones). The road up is in relatively excellent shape. We took an Excursion 4x4 and Highlander 4x4 and had no problems with the busted up paved roads. The forecast called for heavy rains but those came on Friday and Sunday. Even with the heavy rain the day before, the trail was in amazing shape. We say a few people camping, but the majority of the camp sites were open, probably due to the foretasted rain. 8.7 miles total out and back from TH to Chinook Falls. This is a must hike if you live in SW WA or even NW Oregon. Remember, it does require a NW Forest Pass, $5 day e-pass can be purchased online and printed, that's what we did.

such a great climb! started later than we wanted and multiple groups coming down stating weather wasn't permitting a summit, no visability. We as a group decided to go as far as the last of the rocks on the trail then make a call on the summit. as the discussion was taking place, wind shifted and gave us a window to take the last push. Amazing views once we broke the clouds. Sliding down was the funnest part except taking the wrong route down, once we realized our mistake we were six ridges over from our needed path down, this added at least another 90 minutes to get down, GPS saved the day. Lots of boulder scrambles, wish I had crampons instead of micro spikes but just a little extra work.

Such a fun little trail! Can be very crowded but we had a great time hiking on it.

hiking
19 days ago

WTA has this clocked it at 12.0 miles rt with 5,699 elevation gain. Starting at the Marble Mount Snow Park. Don’t under-estimate this climb. It’s ruff for all the obvious reasons. Classic NW climb. Standing on the crater is an unexpected powerful experience.

went out backpacking over memorial day weekend. it was crowded! Was glad to see the ranger handing out tickets to cars without passes, mainly from oregon.

I did about 9 miles of this trail (out and back) and it was amazing! Lots of waterfalls, lots of places to climb around the waterfalls and lots of little swimming holes if it's warm enough. The trail was not very hard at all just kinda meanders with no crazy elevation gains. Will definitely take people back here.

hiking
1 month ago

Overall a great experience! Hiked on 5/11/18. We used hiking poles and micro-spikes. Ice axe was helpful for glissading down. Took ~9 hours total -- ~7 hours up, ~2 hours down. Learn from our mistake and put on sunscreen and re-apply :)

Beautiful, crystal clear water!

Fun hike! Chinook Creek Falls was a beauty!

Great hike. We're first timers and though there are a couple steep areas (right near the parking lot, killer on the way back) it was a fantastic experience. Great camp areas; though most of them are at the end there are a few in the first 1-2 miles and some nicely hidden ones at the bottom of the first major waterfall if you take the trail downhill.

Road is paved all the way up but there are fairly regular washouts and bulges that will hit you hard if you don't watch out. Our Outback did great but anything too low might be dicey.

Overall amazing, just amazing!

This is an amazing hike! Can’t recommend it enough :)

hiking
1 month ago

Lot tougher then expected, the grades toward the top were rough. Crampons at 1 mile, snowshoes at about 2.5. Sunscreen is a must. Also make sure you wear easy to remove layers. left the lot at 0530 it was in the 20's, in a mile was down to a tee shirt. Was sunny and in the 70's really wished the snow pants I had on had shorts under them for the climb up. Loved them glissading on the way down though.

hiking
1 month ago

First time here, very cool experience. Went on the last day of an April heat wave, snow was very soft. Can’t wait to go back again sometime. Make sure you bring snow shoes, crampons, and an ice axe. 98% of everyone out that day had snow shoes and trekking poles. I got away with crampons till I switched to snow shoes the last couple hundred yards, though I’m not sure that was any easier.

snowshoeing
1 month ago

A fantastic climb, make sure you bring snowshoes, crampons (or at least micro spikes) and an ice axe. Be careful at the top, there is a cornice at the edge of the summit that is difficult to see at first. Incredible views, next time I’ll brings skis.

hiking
1 month ago

First time hiking a real mountain and I’m officially hooked. Went on 4/22/18 and lucked out with a very clear day. Views of Mt. Adams, Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, and Mt. Rainier. Summiting was an awesome experience!!!

Awesome trail .....

This is an easy trail that sticks next to the Siouxon Creek the majority of the way. There are some spectacular waterfalls and deep, clear pools along the way. Loads of good camping spots all along the trail and tons of secondary trails, perfect for an overnight pack trip that won't get boring no matter how many times you do it.

A NW Forest Pass is required to park at the trail head and the access road is in fairly serious disrepair. Cars with normal clearance can make it with care, but anything that's been lowered shouldn't even try it.

hiking
3 months ago

The primary winter route. I have done this route seven (7) times this 2017/2018) winter. On a nice day you will have an amazing view. Basic mountaineering gears will be essential for your safety. Have snowshoes and crampons ready as they may be the deciding factor between you making it to the summit rim or turning around. Some day you can just boot it to the summit but other days you will need snowshoes or crampons as you will posthole or slide on ice. Just be prepared and you will have a great time here.

hiking
5 months ago

Lots of snow, had to park on the main road and hike to the TH. Trail was untouched with deep snow in some areas, easy to navigate still. snowshoes would be highly recommended!

hiking
5 months ago

Fairly straightforward and easy approach to Mt St. Helena crater rim.

There are definitely higher elevations to the west of the crater rim if you feel like hiking around.

Conditions will really make or break this hike; I lucked out with near perfect weather.

Amazing falls and crystal clear water!

Great trail for a first backpacking trip! Ended up camping just past Chinook Falls. Not too busy due to below 40 degree weather

This hike started at Trout Lake, Wa, PCT mile 2226, for a 66 mile - 6.5 day hike to White Pass, Wa from 9-3-17 to 9-9-17. Trout Lake temp forecasted for 101. We left early and missed most of the heat and while hot, had cool offshore breeze all day. Elevation gain steady all day. Arrived at camp at 5pm, mile 2238. All set up and done by 7:45. In tent at 7:45pm

Day 2, PCT Mile 2238-2251. up at 5 AM, breakfast pack up by 7:20 AM. Hotter than yesterday and very smokey from Cascade Locks Fire. Had to hike with buff over face to breath better. Crossed wide fast flowing creek. Long gradual decent to lava springs. Lunch. Up to camp after seasonal spring mile 2251. .13.3 miles today. Dinner with neighbors. Bed at 8pm

Day 3, PCT Mile 2251-2262. Up at 6am. Set alarms for 5am then 5:30am and got up at 6am. We needed the extra morning sleep. Breakfast, packed up and got more water for the morning hike. Steep up til lunch and hotter than yesterday. Down til last water for 10 miles and level to camp at Walupt Lake trail jct. Camp at mile 2262. 7:20pm.

Day 4, PCT Mile 2262-2272. Up hill all day and all day and all day through Cispus Pass! Beautiful even with all the smoke from local fires! Refilled with water at Cispus River. Got extra cooking water that another small seasonal stream. Wanted to camp close to Cispus Basin. Had to push on up another mile to a wonderful camp at 2272.1. Had dinner with two Northbounders. Got to bed late by 830.

Day 5, PCT Mile 2272-2279. (NOTE: I forgot to start track until PCT-Old Snowy Jct. Adding another 1043ft to elevation. Total Elevation is 1765ft. Total elevation gain is not known for this section) Northbounders are gone first thing. Took my time. Decided my plan for the day was go to McCall Basin. Up up up all the way to the junction of PCT an old snowy. Talked to northbounder who was now southbounding. She skipped Oregon and South bounded Washington to avoid fires. She was coming to grips that this may be her last leg due to fires. I stayed here for over an hour. Had cell service contacted Friends and Family. Texted other family on The Knife. Got water on the other side. Found camp at mile 2279, half-mile before McCall basin. In tent by 730 because of the cold and the wind. Cooler tonight. I put the fly on tonight. Could rain.

Day 6, PCT Mile 2279-2287. Chilly night but not bad. Up late. Breakfast and coffe, packed up and left at 9:30am. Getting ride for a Saturday pickup. Planning on staying at campsite after Shoe Pass. Trail is downhill to Lutz Lake. Got almost 2 liters of water. Hard to filter. Lake questionable. Saw the kids (a couple we've been leapfrogging all week, dubbed them "The Kids") at Lutz. Down and level till after campsite. Up up up til Hidden Springs jct. took break. The kids arrived about 10 min later. Up til Shoe Lake jct and right to Shoe Lake. Got water and lunch. Up and up til Shoe Lake Pass. The kids arrived about 5 min later. :) Walked over the Pass to campsite CS2287. Passed it since my apps couldn't agree. Came back and the kids had the spot I wanted. I took a more exposed site but really good if it doesn't rain. :) In tent by 5pm. Cool and windy after sun went below ridge behind us. Made coffee and dinner. Let kids borrow my stove. Twice. They had fuel. Contacted all the family. Time now is 8:06pm. Almost time for bed. Cold and blowing all night. Tent caved in from all sides all night. High winds. Kids helped me pack up in the morning...very windy! No breakfast up here. 5 miles till White Pass. No track for this 5 miles (phone battery low). Took my time. Arrived at Trailhead at 10:55...right on time. Wonderful trip and beautiful despite all the smoke. An awesome experience. Next year...I'll shoot for over 100 miles in one hike. :)

Backpacked Labor Day weekend so it was busy as expected. Spots filled up quick but got a nice spot that fit 2 tents and a hammock past the river crossing even after a late start. The last falls (chinook) was our favorite. If you walk a little ways away you can find a little hidden spot to cliff jump. Not much views besides waterfalls and a creek. Decent flip flop/water shoes came in handy.

Starting from the Huffman/Siouxon Creek Trailhead (marked on FR 5701 with a sign that simply says "trail"), you'll pass though old growth steadily going down until you reach the fork with Huffman Trail forking left. That trail (about half mile) heads steeply down to the creek with a small campsite and water access. Continue straight on the Siouxon Creek Trail through old growth, and over small creek crossings. First week of September they were all almost dried up, but a few had enough of a trickle to fill a water bottle. Early in the morning you'll catch views of deer. The trailhead says 3 miles to the main Trailhead for Siouxon Creek Trail to the falls...but my Fitbit tracked me hiking 6.47 miles. We camped roughly 3/4 mile after the bridge, not continuing on to the falls because it was SO BUSY. We we're trying to hike away from people, not toward them. All in all, a great hike though. No spectacular views, but if you just like to hike bouncy, moderately graded, old growth trails aways from people, you'll get it starting at the first trail marker. The waterfall trail marker has practically a parking lot, there were about 40 cars when we hiked by and could see the road.

Did this loop with some friends in July. I want to do it again this month!!!

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