hiking

wild flowers

hiking
4 months ago

I hiked this trail many years ago with my youngest sister. I don't even recall the year, but I do remember it was in the month of October as there was fresh snow.

I rated the hike with 5 stars because it is a pleasant, moderate hike and the view from the top is incredible!

I have basically taken pics of old pictures to show how it was like in October, though I have done this on a very clear sunny day on my own. Let me tell you that not only do get a great view of the Goat rocks, you can also see Mt. Adams and Mount Rainier quite well in the distance!

trail running
5 months ago

Hands down the best views of the Goatrocks for the effort! Bring a vehicle with clearance though, the last two miles get rough.

Super flat and easy for 80% with most of the elevation gain happening right at the end. The loose volcanic rock on the ascent is a frustrating, but it passes quickly. Enjoy the view but bring a jacket for the top!

Road was blocked due to a wash out. This would add 6.7 miles back and forth to the hike. We didn't do that. Aug 5th 3017

hiking
6 months ago

This trail is actually more like 9 miles to get out to Sheep Lake and the PCT, and should be rated as hard due to the extreme upward first two miles. After that, however, it levels out and is a gorgeous hike along the ridge to Sheep's Lake that serves as a great campsite for PCT hikers and more. We found a great wildflower meadow toward the end and our dog thoroughly enjoyed the water.

I did this yesterday with my daughter who is getting ready for cross country. It's a nice trail for hiking or for trim running which we did The trail was in great condition with only one dead fall and that could easily be stepped over. Essentially all the snow is off the trail but there still plenty of running water for dogs along the trail. Still had plenty of wildflowers in the Meadows but I'm assuming they Will be gone quickly. The road is a little bumpy the last 2 miles but much better since they filled it in with rock much better than the deep ruts it used to be. First half-mile is a little uphill and then somewhat flat and rolling for the next 2 miles then the last mile is a steep 800 foot ascent over some scree and rock. Bugs were not a problem especially while moving. Great views from the summit as always

Amazing overnight! The hike was intense but worth it. The weather was perfect and the views of Adams, Hellens and Rainier were very picturesque! Will be doing this again in the next season or two.

hiking
9 months ago

Absolutely beautiful hike!

hiking
Saturday, August 27, 2016

Great trail. The view from the top is like nothing I've seen before!

backpacking
Sunday, August 14, 2016

best hike I've done so far this summer. pretty easy-going three-quarters of the way until you start your climb to the top. once you get to the top it will all be worth it with the views that await you. can't wait to do it again.

hiking
Saturday, July 23, 2016

Beautiful hike with a fabulous view at the top. Some snow around on July 23.

hiking
Friday, September 11, 2015

Trail seamed washed out in most places and the overgrowth was dreadful! But still pretty when you stopped to look around.

hiking
Friday, September 11, 2015

We hiked on a warm September afternoon and couldn't have asked for better. Subalpine meadows and forests for the first 2.5 miles after Section 3 Lake, then an 800ft thigh-burner for the last mile up to the summit of Bear Creek Mountain. Great views east all the way up, and wonderful views of Adams, Goat Rocks and Rainier at the top.

I imagine in late Spring, this area would be mind-blowing with a little more snow on the ridges and wildflowers in the meadows. We look forward to returning in June/July next year.

The road to the trailhead is a little rough, but easily doable for anything besides a sports car. 4wd would only be necessary in snowy or very muddy conditions.

hiking
Wednesday, August 19, 2015

This trail wasn't what I remember it being 5 or 10 years ago. Over growth along the trail has become a small problem. My friend and I did this trail with our kids on our back, so the tree limbs sticking so far out was scary for a six month old. Lol but we had fun. Beautiful canyon walls all along the trail.

hiking
Tuesday, August 04, 2015

8-1-15, Clear Lost Trail:

This is a great hike and can be difficult at times, however…it’s a bit hard to find and not easily seen from Hwy 12. I did a solo, day hike from the Clear Lost Trail #76 trailhead to the “Old Lookout Site” at the junction of Bluff Lake Trail #65, for a 16.3 mile out and back that took 11 hours counting stops with a 4347 foot elevation gain RT.

The road to Clear Lost Trail TH is excellent. It’s off Hwy 12 however, there are no road signs and is easily driven by as it looks like one of the many pullouts on Hwy 12. Plus the trail itself isn’t easily seen from the road and the registration box is 75ft down the trail. Here’s how to tell: The pullout is on a corner. The pullout guardrail stops near the trail entrance. The guardrail restarts on the corner and is marked with 3 yellow/black diagonal striped signs. One sign on the beginning of the guardrail and two signs on a pole above the guardrail. The trail/registration box is to the right of the 3 signs and below the road. While this is a pullout, there can be limited parking.

From the get to, you go down loosing approximately 900ft the first mile. At the bottom there’s an area to camp next to the Clear Fork Creek. There is no bridge and will need to be forded. The creek is very low but expect to get your feet wet.

From there it’s UP until the Old Lookout Site. After 2.5 miles is the four-way junction of Clear Fork Trail #61 and Clear lost Trail #76, the site of Dewey’s Cabin. An old fallen cabin. This junction is clearly marked on a downed log. I missed it because I was looking up for signage not down. That said, if you have a map, it’s quite obvious your direction.

After is a gentle climb that gets steeper as you go and levels out for a bit at the junction of Coyote Lake 2.5 miles later. There was no signage that I could see but if you have a map, still clear as its direction. This is where you get your first views of Mt. Rainier and other peaks. About a mile later is a small lake in an alpine meadow below beautiful cliffs. This is the only source of water since Clear Fork Creek 5 miles ago. Climb another 1/2 mile to Lost Hat Lake. This lake is at the bottom of a cirque and only half its original size. Not sure if that’s normal or this year’s low snow level. There were a lot of animal tracks at the lakes edge. A popular watering hole I guess and the reason I opted to get water elsewhere.

Next climb about 800ft in .9 miles to the Old Lookout Site at the junction of Bluff Lake Trail #65 at 6200ft elevation. This was a tough section for me. Steep and very hot and was running out of water with little shade at the top. From Lost Hat Lake on is all alpine and the trees become scarce but there was a nice breeze at times that was welcomed! The lookout is on a peak that’s thin and long. From the top you can see Coyote Lake below. Beautiful. There is the three mountain view of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams and Mount St. Helens and in the distance, White Pass Ski lifts.

The return trip went much faster but that’s to be expected since its all downhill, but even the last climb to the car wasn’t that bad. All and all, this was a great hike. Wonderful views once you entered the alpine area near Lost Hat Lake and if you’re multiday hiking, there is camping at Lost Hat and Coyote Lakes. I’d rate this hike as moderately difficult due to its elevation gain.

Thursday, July 09, 2015

This is a favorite of ours. Yes a little difficult to get to trailhead , 4wd is best to have. Perfect amount of flat and elevation gain. Best part of work out is last 800ft or so, straight up but what a reward at the end! It's rated Easy, be careful though, it's not a "stroll in the park".

hiking
Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Perched halfway between Rainier and Adams, this offers great views of both. Depending on the time of year, water sources are limited once you hit the PCT from the Snowgrass Flat area and not much shade either. It's a nontechnical scramble up a rocky trail to reach the summit.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

This hike is a little more difficult to get to. You have to drive up pretty rough gravel roads. At the beginning of the hike the meadows and wildflowers are beautiful. Towards the end, it gets pretty steep with loose dirt paths. The views are amazing towards the end!

hiking
Thursday, September 25, 2014

This hike is a solo day hike to Old Snowy via Snowgrass Trail 96, the PCT, an alternate trail to Old Snowys summit and the horse route back to the PCT to make a small loop at the end for 16.8 miles RT that took 9.5 hrs counting stops. Max Elevation: 7930ft, Elevation Gain: Approximately 4500ft. The posted track is one way, so Elevation Gain is just a guess.

I started at the Snowgrass Trail 96 TH on the Saturday after Labor Day and at 9am there was still parking. However when I got back 9hrs later the TH was packed but still some parking at the end.

For the amount of traffic, the trail is in good condition and quite level for the first couple miles, climbing a bit beyond the Bypass Trail 97 junction and a bit more to the Lily Basin Trail 86 junction at Snowgrass Flats. This junction can be somewhat confusing as scramble trails to campsites intersect the junction and you’ve got a few directions to choose from. Lily Basin is clearly marked on the left. The PCT is not. If heading to the PCT continue straight, following Snowgrass Trail 96 for .8 miles. From Snowgrass on, the vistas are beautiful and don’t stop. If you plan on staying at Snowgrass Flats, some campsites are out of view. Use scramble trails to access them.

Continue straight on Snowgrass Flats Trail 96 to the Jct of the PCT with vistas of Old Snowy and Ives Peak ahead and Mt. Adams and Mount St. Helens to your right and behind you. Now with vistas everywhere, turn left and follow the PCT for 1.8 miles. The trail is distinctive, however cairn’s mark the way. Bring extra water for this section as there are no good water sources. There are a number of campsites along the way to choose from if overnighting here. At one point I thought someone was whistling but later found out it was marmots. Those suckers are loud. Mt. Rainier soon comes into view behind Goat Lake/Hawkeye Point. Then you’ll cross a small snow patch near the Old Snowy junction, marked by a large cairn. The signed junction is a couple hundred feet to the right of the Cairn.

If continuing on the PCT keep left at the signed junction. Turn right and follow the PCT Alternate route to Old Snowy. Aside from a small snow patch in the beginning, the route is easily discerned among the rocks. Once on a ridge take in the view, not quite 360 degrees yet since Old Snowy is in the way and choose to scramble up Old Snowy or turn left to take the alternate route back to the PCT. Follow the scramble trail to the summit. The scramble trail is easily discerned in the beginning and can get confusing later on. Trekking poles become more difficult to use after this and nearing the top requires both hands. Trekking poles are best put away so they don’t get dropped. The path disappears near the top and a few small routes can be picked. Choose the right side and pay attention to loose rocks with each step until you reach the top.

Now a 360 degree view, there is room enough for about 6 people plus a small bivy spot. The view is stunning! Everything can be seen. Mt. Rainier, Mount St. Helens, Mt. Adams, Goat Lake/Hawkeye Point, Tieton Peak, Packwood Lake and The PCT/The Knife to name a few. Have a snack, take pictures and return to the ridge and go back to the PCT the way you came or continue straight for .4 miles on the Alternate PCT trail down toward The Knife , then turn left on the Horse Route for .4 miles back to the PCT. Head back the way you came.

This makes for a long day hike but well worth the time and effort! Bring extra water and snacks for the day. Extend this hike one day and overnight at Snowgrass Flats or on the PCT and take your time, relax and enjoy.

hiking
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

I hiked this trail as a loop consisting of 3 different trails. Nannie Ridge Trail 98, PCT 2000, and Walupt Lake Trail 101. It's a 15 mile loop with excellent vistas once on Nannie Ridge and the PCT and views of Mt. Adams and The Goat Rocks.

The trailhead starts at Walupt Lake Campground. Weekends tend to get busy with campers and parking is at a premium, however there is overflow parking just for people using the trails. Park before the Walupt Lake Campground on one of 2 or 3 designated (with yellow printed signs) areas for hikers.

Access the trail by walking through the campground to the end of road. The loop can be done in either direction and I choose clockwise, taking Nannie Ridge Trail 98 first. After Sheep Lake, it's all downhill which I preferred. Take Walupt Lake Trail 101 for 70 yrds and register at the TH. A NW Forest Pass is required. You'll see the Nannie Ridge/Walupt Lake junction shortly after this, head left for Nannie Ridge. The trail climbs steeply for the first 2.5 miles or so and I saw only 3 people till Sheep Lake. Once it starts to open up, look for the Nannie Peak trail. It's unmarked but you'll know it when you see it. Turn left. The hike to the peak is beautiful with meadows opening up the forest. On top, Mt. Adams is in your face and Mount St. Helens can be seen in the distance. Nannie Peak is about 1/3 mile long. Before you go down, hike to the other end of the peak. You'll be greeted with views of Gilbert Peak and the Goat Rocks which you'll see until you reach Sheep Lake.

Return to Nannie Ridge Trail 98. Now the ridge trail takes you in a northerly direction along the contour of the ridge for 2.2 miles with many wonderful vista and meadows. A mile or so after the peak you'll reach a small picturesque lake. From this point on there are many more meadows and vistas. Nearing Sheep lake wildflowers appear. If you're in season, they are stunning. And did I mention the meadows and Vistas? Beautiful.

Once I arrived at Sheep Lake, I started seeing people, about 7-8. This is a popular place to overnight if you're Thru-Hiking the PCT or doing a multi-day hike. Walk around the lake to pick your campsite. The lake is clear and surprisingly warm. Just right for a swim.

Upon leaving I ran into a field of wildflowers and in no time reached the PCT junction. The next .8 miles of the PCT is Beautiful! If going clockwise, be sure to turn around and look for views of Mt. Adams. This section follows along the contour of the ridge and is mostly a huge meadow. Look across to the upcoming ridge for views of the PCT you'll be hiking. When you cross a small creek, you're at the junction of the two ridges and now traveling in a southerly direction toward Walupt Lake trail 101. The map shows camping here, but I don't remember seeing anything that stood out.

Heading south on the PCT, again you're hiking on the contour of the ridge oppsite, east of Nannie Ridge. This section climbs a bit, levels out a bit, then descends toward Walupt Lake trail 101. The huckleberries were out in force along this section. A nice surprise once I took my eyes off the views of Mt. Adams and Walupt Lake. I ran into more people here than anywhere on the hike. Some Thru-Hiking the PCT or sections of it, others on mulit-day and day hikes. Once you reach the Walupt Lake trail 101, it’s 4.7 miles to the TH. Turn right and enjoy a nice level stroll for a bit, then descend some and enjoy the final level 1.6 miles to the TH.

This loop has alot of views, meadows and is worth the effort. If doing the loop in one day, plan on 9 hrs of unrushed beauty.

hiking
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Backpacked to the Alpine camp off the Snowgrass flats trail and day hiked to old snowy. Good patch of snow just below the saddle, and had to glissade down. I really found the trail trail very easy. However, I hike every weekend. Load up on water . Not too many opportunities for water once you hit the PCT. So load up.

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