Boundary Trails: Elk Pass to Johnston Ridge Observatory

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Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Boundary Trails: Elk Pass to Johnston Ridge Observatory is a 24 mile lightly trafficked point-to-point trail located near Randle, Washington and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking and backpacking and is best used from July until September.

Distance: 24.0 miles Elevation Gain: 4,757 feet Route Type: Point to Point



no dogs

10 months ago

The hike to the lake is relatively easy but the last .8 miles to the summit is the hardest part. Plus you have to contend with tracked out trail due to dirt bike use, the worst of which is in that last .8 miles to the top.

Sun Jul 06 2014

My family and I started at the intersection of US Forest Road 25 at Elk Pass. We hiked to the west about 4 miles then returned to the starting point. 90% of the hike was on a pumice surface and in a mature stand of Douglas Fir and Hemlock trees. We did not see any wildlife, but we made quite a bit of noise as well. I had our 11 month old on my back and we also had our seven year old along. While the terrain was at times steep, overall it was a very enjoyable hike. With the exception of two open windows to look at Mt. St. Helens, it was more of a walk in the timber. We did see elk tracks and poop on the trail. Unfortunately we also so dirt bike tracks on this trail. If a person(s) were going to hike an extended distance, suggest proper medical supplies, etc. ( Which we had ). Near the top of the trail you can hear FSR 25 traffic and on the trail you will look down on a couple of gravel FS road. Fun day. Perfect temperature.