hiking
17 hours ago

oh goodness do not take this trail lightly. at about 3 miles on the actual trail I started a chant of "a****** trail I will defeat yooooou"... but I only saw one person at the lake, otherwise, so undertraveled for such a lovely place.

The trail was in great shape and there's an awesome vantage point right before the Sister Rocks Trail intersection. There are three other outcroppings where you can get absolutely stunning views before arriving to the top of Observation Peak. There are bugs but be sure to bring bug spray and they won't be a problem. I will note that according to Google there are three routes to get to the trailhead. We took SR503 through Yacolt/Amboy to get out there but I would NOT recommend this route unless you have a high clearance vehicle and dont mind branches potentially scratching your vehicle. On the way out we took the forest road and followed it leading to Dry Creek Rd, Meadow Creek Rd, and eventually to Wind River Rd and took that down south to Carson. The flowers are still in bloom but it would be even better to go in late spring/early summer when they are all I'm full bloom!

Did this morning 7/15/18. It was super hot outside but this trail is almost all shaded it was felt great. Did get super busy by around 11am and BEWARE of all the potholes! No idea how none of the reviews I read didn’t mention this. Drove in my sedan and ate crap on a couple so I parked a mile away and walked the rest. And we had bees circling us as we were walking towards the start of the trail and a few on the hike that followed us for awhile so be careful if you are allergic. Getting to the falls was easy though. Took us 35 minutes.

Hiked up on July 4th with my 16,8,5 year old boys and our Lab. The road from Carson is in excellent condition. The weather was a bit cloudy with no beating sun with temperatures in the 70's which made the mosquitoes tolerable using Repel Sportsman Max 40. The hike up was awesome as usual and my 5 year old son did all by himself. I had to hold his hand a good amount of the time as many parts of the trail are quite steep with a solid drop off for a 5 year old. My 8 year old made it in and out all by himself. When we got there we found a camping spot along the East side of the lake and within 5 minutes of having my line in the water I pulled out a 12" Rainbow Trout! I used a Feather Treble Hook Spinner Spoon Lure with Balls O' Fire Salmon Eggs on 2 hooks and garlic PowerBait on the other hook. Now, does any of this matter? Who knows, I did not get another bit, nor did my 8 year old son over the next 4 hours, but hey, I got one and it was delicious! The mosquitoes at the lake weren't too bad either. There was maybe 5-6 sets of people we saw the entire 8 hour day including the trip in and out. I would say we had at least 3 hours by our self while fishing at the lake. The views at the ridge line of Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens and the Goat Rocks were stunning as always! The one trail blockage that was there in May has been removed so it is smooth sailing up and in. If you can call 5 miles and 1500' elevation gain smooth sailing. If you have never taken a trip up to Soda Peaks Lake, DO IT! It is well worth the drive. It is just over 2 hours from Battle Ground WA each way.

Great hike. Super steep. Bring the poles! Leaving from Mineral Spring TH would cut out another mile or 2. I started from Trapper Creek and pegged it at 9.9 miles. Very rewarding.

took a day hike with my family(including my 4 year old daughter and 9 year old nephew) not the easiest hike and ended up carrying my 4 year old on my shoulders about half way. it was worth it. awesome lake and caught 2 German brown trout in about 15 minutes of arriving. it was July of last year and it started raining pretty hard so we didnt stay long but I will be returning for an overnight trip.

Did this hike 5/27. The road from Carson had one patch of snow that might give some low-riding vehicles problems but is otherwise fine.

The trail is by and large pretty good UNTIL you come out of the switchbacks on the east side of the ridge. This is where you have to start walking on top of 2-3 foot snow drifts that haven’t melted.

TOTALLY doable but following the trail isn’t a walk in the park. A good topo map with GPS along with some common sense and you’ll be GTG. Or just wait until July.

The lake itself was perfectly crystal clear.

backpacking
1 month ago

Planned a Memorial Day weekend 2-night backpack camping trip with my kids and another friend. Life happened and I was only able to go up for the day to visit. FS54 is still closed so I had to drive from Battle Ground through Carson and around the back side. I had to park about 1/2 mile from the trail head as the few patches of snow on the road were a bit too much for my Highlander. My Excursion would have been just fine. The hike to the ridge line wasn't that bad. There is still a couple of patches along the trail with over a foot of snow. As we made our decent we quickly hit a lot more snow after the switchbacks. That is where I surprisingly ran into my friend and his family hiking back OUT a day early. He said the main trail to the lake was covered in quite a bit of snow and that he ended up bushwacking down to the lake the day before and then back out that afternoon. They were able to camp in one of the camp sites just fine. The night was VERY COLD and windy. We may still be a few weeks to a month out before the full trail to the lake is snow free. Either way, my son and I, along with our lab had a blast hiking up and back out even if we did not get to hang out at the lake at all. We went to Stevenson and eat at Walking Man Brewery, a must visit if you ask me.

hiking
2 months ago

Beautiful hike! Well maintained trail, there is still snow covering the last .5 mile of the trail. Definitely one I want to do again and see the other trails in that area!

We weren't actually able to hike this today as there was still a lot of snow on the road about 4 miles from the trailhead. I like reading about this kind of thing in reviews so I know if I can even get there, so just thought I'd post that here! However, the drive up there is gorgeous (and paved, very good road conditions fyi) and definitely planning on going back later this year when the snow is melted and we can actually do the hike!

hiking
9 months ago

Well marked trail that features rushing creek, several foot bridges, old growth trees, and a spectacular lake. Stunning fall foliage and even snow on the trail near the lake. Definitely is steep in places & this time of year it’s good to bring poles to help your balance with snow on the trail (was very very slick in a few spots) The lake took my breath away- absolutely beautiful with crystal clear water and snow covered peaks surrounding it. Eating our lunch on a log by the lake enjoying the sunshine -it started lightly snowing! Did not see one person on the way up...so peaceful & serene. My hiking buddy clocked this trail as being 11 miles out & back. Took us about 6 hours total. I agree with the “HARD” rating. Hiked this on October 13.

backpacking
9 months ago

Hiked up on Sept 30 and had the trail to myself. I agree with the other reviews about the steeper incline. Set up camp at one of the 4-5 lakeside campsites. Pretty lake with mist rising from the water as clouds rolled over the mountain tops. Rained hard all night and next morning so it made for a soggy hike down the next morning. Camped the next day at one of the government mineral springs campsites and dried out by a campfire.

backpacking
10 months ago

Pretty easy hike, although the trailhead was a bit hard to find. A good climb for the first 1.25 miles, nice switch backs on the way down to the lake! Nice camping spots along the lake! Quiet, clear trails!

hiking
11 months ago

Great hike! Mostly uphill with a few spots of level ground to catch your breath. There are several spots along the trail that you can veer off and take in the view. Mostly covered but the summit is open. Was able to see all 5 peaks on a clear July day. Take bug spray in the summer.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Would have loved to have even made it to the trailhead using the Chelatchie entrance to the western trailhead. Read below for conditions as of June, 11, 2017

FR 57 to 5704 to FR 58 has about three feet of snow for the last two miles to the 5407 JCT. It is covered in deep potholes as well. If you have the right vehicle, a strong resolve while driving on the edge of a very steep drop, patience to go about 10-15 mph for two hours, and chains, you may be able to get through this way.

FR 54 through the concrete dividers, road will go to gravel then back to paved. About half a mile into this paved portion the road is COMPLETELY GONE. Be aware, the hole we came across was about 7ft across and already 200-300 feet down. There are some warning markers hanging above in the tree on the other side of the chasm.

If you're planning to hike Soda, take the Carson route.

backpacking
Thursday, October 06, 2016

Tough incline. Great view. No trailhead signage

hiking
Monday, July 25, 2016

Hiked this trail a few years ago. For pictures and my full review, please visit The Washington Trails Association website (WTA.org). All I can say is make your way to the top for an absolutely stunning view of 5 mountain peaks of the Cascade Range.... You will not be disappointed.

fishing
Monday, June 13, 2016

Great hike but with several blowdowns on the back side as you come down into the lake. Perfect place to spend a couple days camping and fishing. Five star without the blowdowns.

hiking
Sunday, August 23, 2015

This hike may be a long and winding loop but it is capped off with an excellent view of Saint Helens, Adams, and Hood, on the clear day I hiked both Rainier and Jefferson were visible. By my GPS the total loop was 13.6 miles with elevation gain of 3,050 feet to a height of 4,210 feet. Starting at Trapper Creek trailhead of Mineral Springs Road my route was anti-clockwise up trail 132 via Howe ridge where after approx. five miles you approach the final accent of just under mile (trail 132A). On descending back down 132A I continued on 132 to the junction of 158 and Trapper Creek trail 192 close to Sisters Rocks. From there it was back down the approx. eight miles to the trailhead. One thing I would do the next time is to take a cutoff approx. four miles down the trail and about a mile from the junction with trail 198. It will shave about a mile of the loop, either way you approach this apart of the trail you will be faced with an elevation gain of approx. 400 feet before heading down to the trail head. The hike gave this seventy one year young a great work out and provided the solitude to reflect on the wonderful nature of this area apart from the rewarding view.

hiking
Monday, July 27, 2015

The Trapper Creek Wilderness is a special place and I have a goal to hike all of the trails in it. This one has been on the list for a long time, mostly because I didn't know if I could make it. It is a difficult climb but I gave myself plenty of time to do it. The cooler temperatures helped but it rained for the first 7 miles of the hike so I had to make multiple stops to wring out my socks and boot inserts so I could avoid blisters. That worked well but was also time-consuming. Not many flowers in the TCW overall and I only really saw two or three varieties today. But it is very lush and verdant greenery, especially so when walking through head-high thickets of sopping wet. There are no views to speak of but along the ridgeline, the clouds made for some interesting photo opportunities as they settled in the valley.

The last push to the lake was quite difficult. There were quite a few people camping at the lake but all of them came in from the Soda Peaks Lake West trail, as it is much shorter with a lot less elevation gain. The campsites are pretty much right on the trail so it can be a bit awkward walking through people's campsites to stay on the trail around the lake. I fought my way through lots of ankle-grabbing undergrowth to do the lake circuit and heard a pika calling on the big talus slope on Soda Peaks. On my way back down, I passed quite a few backpackers on their way to the lake and a few day hikers. The descent almost took me as long, as it was super steep and a little tricky once it was wet, what with the rocks, roots and such that I had to step over. I was very glad to have my poles to help with balance.

Overall, a long and tiring hike but a rewarding one.

camping
Monday, July 27, 2015

Did an overnight trip. From Trapper Creek Trailhead, took trail #192 about a mile to Observation Trail #132. Uphill the whole way, so be prepared! Beautiful clear day with views of Helens, Adams, and Hood. Camped at the area at the intersection of #132 and #158 - if you are looking for water, there's some a few hundred feet down #158. Don't be like me and detour an extra 2 mile round trip down #192 to get water! Went back to the trailhead via #158 to #194 - downhill a few miles on #158, and mostly flat on #194 with plenty of water access.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Closer to a 4 mile hike (out& back). 700 feet up, 600 down, repeat on the way back. The lake is gorgeous though, and you can camp there too. Make sure you have a good map to find the trail head.

hiking
Sunday, October 13, 2013

This is an amazing trail with great scenery and solitude. We did the shorter version to the top of Observation Peak, via the entrance off FR 58. It encompassed Sister Rocks as well and was about 7 miles in length. When you park at the trailhrad, it is 1.1 miles to the wilderness boundary and another .1 of a mile brings you to Sister Rocks. Turn right onto the trail for about .6 of a mile. After visiting the rocks, retrace your steps and continue down the Observation Peak trail. Climb up and enjoy the views. When you retrace your steps, look for an unmarked trail to the right about .3 of a mile from the summit of Observation Peak. This trail heads out on a ridgeline and offers some incredible views of the Trapper Creek Valley. All total, this trail gains about 1,500 feet of elevation and loses a few hundred feet. If you have a hike to choose from in Trapper Creek, do this one. It's worth the extra driving to this trailhead.

hiking
Monday, July 02, 2012

We came down this trail from the intersection of Trapper Creek Trail 192 after camping on the Trapper Creek Trail in the rain the night before. I was a pleasant meandering decent (not too steep). There is not much in the way of views, however, there are some enormous old growth trees to be seen. Overall, it was an ok hike.

hiking
14 days ago

hiking
28 days ago

hiking
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