Hiking Washingtonand39;s William O Douglas Wilderness  by Fred Barstad

Hiking Washington's William O. Douglas Wilderness Guide Book

by Fred Barstad (Falcon Guides)
Hiking Washingtonand39;s William O Douglas Wilderness  by Fred Barstad
Hiking Washington's William O. Douglas Wilderness leads you on 44 hikes in this rugged, beautiful, and lightly used area in northwestern Washington. Local hiker Fred Barstad provides inside information on hikes ranging from nature trails to multi-day backpacking treks into the heart of the Southern Cascade Mountains, all of which are easily accessible from Seattle and Portland.

© 2007 Fred Barstad/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Hiking Washington's William O. Douglas Wilderness" Guide Book
Displaying trails 20 of 44.

Displaying trails 1 to 20 of 44.

From an internal start, hike the eastern end of American Ridge from its junction with Goat Creek Trail, over Goat Peak and down to the American Ridge Trailhead on Forest Road 1800. This is a great early-season hike, when the trails along the Cascade crest are still snow-covered.
Goose Prairie, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 10
Hike through the east-side transition-zone forest to the upper entrance of Boulder Cave. Then descend through a short but very interesting cavern to its mouth. From the trailhead the route climbs gently southwest, through open ponderosa pine, Douglas fir, tamarack (western larch), and grand fir forest. In 0. 2 mile you will pass a reader board describing these trees, and on a short spur trail to the right is another reader board that discusses fire scars. A few yards farther along, there is a path to the left that goes to a platform and viewpoint overlooking the nearly vertical cliffs of Devils Creek Canyon.
Cliffdell, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.3
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Hike the relatively easy section of the Mount Aix Trail from East Mount Aix Trailhead, passing Buck Lake, to a campsite on Dog Creek. Along the trailside, ponderosa pine and grand fir are the predominant trees, with a few Douglas firs mixed in. Along the ridgeline, mats of kinnikinnick cover sections of the sandy ground. Two trails appear to start from the East Mount Aix Trailhead: The one you want heads southwest on the left side of the signboard. There is a MT. AIX TRAIL sign on a tree to the left of this trail. The route leaves the trailhead heading southwest but soon turns west along a poorly defined ridgeline.The USGS quad map (Timberwolf Mountain) shows the other trail to be the correct route, but the trail has been rerouted. Along the trailside, ponderosa pine and grand fir are the predominant trees, with a few Douglas firs mixed in. Along the ridgeline, mats of kinnikinnick cover sections of the sandy ground.
Goose Prairie, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.8
Hike along the shore of Bumping Lake, watching for elk and possibly stopping to fish as you go. The trail first descends a short distance, then turns right to head southwest along the lakeshore. The forest along the lake consists of mixed-age conifers, and much of the ground is covered with vanilla leaf. Vanilla leaf blooms in June here. Scattered around between the trees and above the vanilla leaf are a few shrubby Rocky Mountain maples and mountain ash bushes. After a short distance along the lake, the shoreline steepens, forming talus slopes, which in places reach nearly to the water’s edge. Penstemon sprouts from between the rocks, blooming by mid-June, and Oregon grape and hazel brush dot the slopes.
Goose Prairie, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 9
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Take this very short hike to the site of what was once a booming mining community. Then spend a little time imagining what it looked like in its heyday, more than half a century ago.
Goose Prairie, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.4
Hike a lightly used trail from an out-of-the-way trailhead, over the crest of the Cascade Range to a junction with the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. Roosevelt elk are common along this trail; in fact, they seem to use it more than people do. If you are backpacking, this route provides places for true wilderness camping. There is a sign marking the trailhead; however, the trail starts about 100 feet north-west of the sign, at 4,240 feet elevation.Walk a few steps down the trail to the wilderness registration box and pick up your wilderness permit. A short distance past the wilderness registration box, the route enters the William O. Douglas Wilderness.
Packwood, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 9.6
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Hike from Chinook Pass along the backbone of the Cascade Range to gorgeous Cougar Lake, passing Dewey and American Lakes as you go. Early in the season western pasqueflowers (Anemone occidentalis) bloom in profusion here. By August their blooms are gone, replaced by the hairy seedpods that give them their other common name, "mouse on a stick." Behind you to the west, Mount Rainier lifts its huge ice-covered dome high above the lesser surrounding peaks and timbered canyons. Early in the season the route crosses several tiny streams as you traverse this slope through the subalpine timber, but by mid-August they are mostly dry. Mountain goats are occasionally seen on the slopes of Naches Peak—look above to your right, through the thinning timber, for a possible glimpse of one of these white crag monarchs.
Sunrise, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 19.2
Hike into the lush southwestern portion of the William O. Douglas Wilderness, climbing to the plateau and passing Penoyer Lake before reaching the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail. Penoyer Lake, at 4, 940 feet elevation, is relatively small. It is a shallow lake with grasses growing over a large part of its area. Mountain heather and huckleberries, backed by subalpine timber, surround the shoreline. The Cowlitz Trail leaves the trailhead at 3,170 feet elevation, heading east. Soon the route appears to fork—bear left, the trail to the right is now abandoned.You will quickly enter the William O. Douglas Wilderness. Soon the trail climbs for a short distance, then levels to traverse a forested hillside.
Packwood, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 11
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Hike through pristine old-growth forest to Cramer Lake. From there explore the lake-studded plateau that makes up much of the southern part of the William O. Douglas Wilderness. You will cross a small wooden bridge over a sluggish stream as you stroll through the old-growth forest. As you leave the trailhead, the Cramer Lake Trail climbs gently to the northwest. The route here is through a mixed conifer forest of Douglas fir, Engelmann spruce, western red cedar, tamarack, hemlock, and western white pine. In 0.1 mile you have climbed to 4,330 feet elevation and reached the junction with the Dark Meadow Trail 1107.
Silver Beach, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 10.6
Dark Meadow Trail is an easy hike through old-growth forest just north of White Pass. The route crosses a small stream, which may be dry by late summer. A few western red cedars grow close to the stream, adding diversity to the old-growth woods, and vanilla leaf covers the ground in places. The first 1.1 miles of this hike follow the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail 2000 (PCT). As you leave the trailhead, the route climbs gently for 30 yards to the wilderness registration box. Get your wilderness permit here, then enter the old-growth forest of mostly Douglas fir and western hemlock.
Silver Beach, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3
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Hike the somewhat challenging trails, mostly through old-growth forest, from deep in the American River Canyon to picturesque Dewey Lakes. Bunchberries and vanilla leaf line this part of the trail, as do several ant piles. Soon the course bears to the southwest and crosses a small stream. The route follows the roadbed, heading southwest, quickly crossing another creek. Soon after crossing a broken-down bridge, there is a wet meadow on your right. The trail continues to wind its way on up through the Alaska cedars and firs to another drier meadow, which is on your left, at 4, 900 feet elevation. Lupine, phlox, and hellebore dominate this meadow. Above the meadow the sometimes muddy route soon crosses a small stream. Just after crossing the stream, there will be a short path to your left. This path leads to a viewpoint with a view of a pretty, little waterfall. There are actually several waterfalls in this creek, which is the outlet stream of Dewey Lake.
Cougar Valley, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 17.8
Hike through the old-growth forest along the Bumping River, passing large meadows that often host elk as you go. Then climb gently to Fish Lake near the crest of the Cascades.
Goose Prairie, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 15.4
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Climb a challenging trail to the summit of 6, 473-foot-high Goat Peak, on top of American Ridge, where you can sit at the site of a long-abandoned lookout and take in the view, which includes most of the William O. Douglas Wilderness.
Goose Prairie, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 8.2
Hike from the bottom of the Bumping River Canyon to the alpine summit of Goat Peak, where you get a panoramic view of Mount Rainier and much of the Norse Peak and William O. Douglas Wilderness Areas. While Goat Creek Trail is not the shortest route to the summit of Goat Peak, it is probably the easiest.
Goose Prairie, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 13.4
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Hike from the trailhead next to the Bumping River to the top of American Ridge. The route then makes a left turn to begin its climb up American Ridge, through the tall pine, fir, tamarack, and hemlock forest. After climbing moderately for 0. 4 mile and gaining about 200 feet of elevation, an opening in the timber allows for views to your left. After crossing the creek the timber starts to thin, allowing more views of the surrounding mountains. White-bark pine and subalpine fir are now included in the forest mix of trees, and kinnikinnick covers the ground in places.
Goose Prairie, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 10.4
Hike completely across the southern part of the William O. Douglas Wilderness on a generally well-maintained route. Heading northwest from the trailhead, the Indian Creek Trail passes through a semi-open forest of ponderosa pine and fir atop the alluvial debris along the bottom of Indian Creek Canyon. The course, which is a long-abandoned roadbed that allowed access to the Indian Creek Mine, climbs very gently.
Silver Beach, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 9.8
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Hike along an alpine ridgeline, passing over or close to several peaks, taking in some of the best views in the William O. Douglas Wilderness and watching for mountain goats and elk along the way.
Rimrock, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 10.1
Hike the moderate trail to Jug Lake to camp and fish, or if your route-finding skills are up to it, go on to Chain Lakes for an isolated campsite. Unless you are sure of your route-finding abilities, Jug Lake should be your stopping point. The trail from here to Chain Lakes can be very difficult to follow. If you decide to head for Chain Lakes, continue west-northwest on the Judkin Trail. Shortly you will cross a stream that empties into Jug Lake near the campsites along the northern shoreline. After crossing the stream the tread bears right to head northwest. Just after turning to the northwest, the trail crosses a small meadow, where it becomes very vague.
Packwood, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 10
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Take a short walk to a pretty little lake just south of Bumping Lake, where trout can be caught. From the trailhead the tread climbs very gently to the north through the hemlock, red cedar, white pine, fir, and tamarack forest. After less than 100 yards, the trail flattens and soon begins its gentle descent toward Lily Lake, which is reached 0. 2 mile from the trailhead. Lily Lake, at 3,850 feet elevation, has a use path encircling it and an island, which is often used as a campsite. It may be possible to reach the island via floating logs from the lake’s north shore. There are trout—some of them good-size—to be caught in the lake.
Goose Prairie, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.4
Hike across the flower-covered streambed of Indian Creek, then climb to the top of Sand Ridge. Where it can get enough direct sunlight, Rocky Mountain maple forms the forest understory. In 150 yards the route enters the rocky streambed of Indian Creek, where it becomes vague. Lupine, penstemon, and skyrockets grow between the rocks beside the route as you cross the 30 yards of streambed to Indian Creek. There is no bridge here so the creek must be forded. By midsummer this ford is usually easy, but earlier in the season it can be difficult.
Silver Beach, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.8
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