3 days 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.

13 days 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.

1 month 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!

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.

3 months ago

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.

11 months ago

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Tough incline. Great view. No trailhead signage

Sunday, September 11, 2016

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.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

fly 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.

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.

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.

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.