Goat Rocks Wilderness

I had heard from many of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) thru hikers that the Goat Rocks Wilderness section was their favorite, and after seeing photos of Old Snowy and the Knife’s Edge, I put this trip on my bucket list and one year later made it a reality. From Mt Adams to Mt Rainier, I was not disappointed – it was spectacular!

Mt Adams as seen from near the Walupt Lake / PCT trail crossing.

I loved Cispus Pass & Basin, such a tapestry of color, plentiful water and mountain goats!

Part of the nearly 70 goat herd enjoying the Cispus Basin.

Sunset at Cispus Pass looking west toward Mount St Helens

Goat Lake and Mt Rainier from Old Snowy Mountain

Old Snowy and the first part of the Knife’s Edge

And the Knife’s Edge continues north toward Mt Rainier

There are goats down there on that snow patch

Very small herd all taking a nap

Looking south toward Old Snowy and the progress I’d made on the Knife’s Edge

Smooth sailing to White Pass with Mt Rainier calling my name

Mt Rainier

Jan’s Videos:






Jan’s Tips:

(1) For planning, I used the book, “Hiking Washington’s Goat Rocks Country” by Fred Barstad, Hike #14, in conjunction with National Geographic’s Map, “Goat Rocks, Norse Peak, & William O Douglas Wilderness Areas.”

(2) For trail use, I used Halfmile’s paper maps and app as well as the Guthook app. Reference my PCT Love page for links and details.

(3) I stayed at the White Pass Village Inn, the night before I began my hike as well as when I ended (some rooms have tubs, hot tubs, microwaves and ovens). Warning: the staff is not very friendly, but rooms were sufficiently clean and comfortable. Other lodging is available nearby in Packwood.

(4) The staff at the Kracker Barrel store at White Pass (Naches) are extraordinarily hiker friendly. They have a small deli and a gas station. They allow hikers to park their cars at the store.

(5) There is no public transportation to make this an easy one-way trip, but there are options for those willing to spend some time inquiring about personal transport for hire.

7 thoughts on “Goat Rocks Wilderness

  1. How far? How long did it take you and did you go alone? I really want to do this hike but have an incredibly hard time finding hiking partners.

    • There were originally four of us planning to go, but one by one everyone bailed except me, thus it became a solo adventure (by the way, my first solo). The route I took was about 50 miles and I did it in 4 days. Since this was the PCT and it was peak time for the thru hikers to be hiking this section, I did not feel isolated. There are a couple trailheads with quicker access and areas where you could base camp and then day hike to the Old Snowy and Goat Lake area if you preferred. Even mid-week in September those areas felt quite congested. I’m happy to share additional details if interested.

  2. Pingback: WA – Goat Rocks Wilderness, Goat Ridge / Snowgrass Flats Loop (Part 1) – Jan's Jaunts and Jabberings

  3. Pingback: WA – Goat Rocks Wilderness, Goat Ridge / Snowgrass Flats Loop (Part 2) – Jan's Jaunts and Jabberings

Thoughts? Questions? Comments? Broken Links? I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s