Day Hiking Mount Adams and Goat Rocks  by Tami Asars

Day Hiking Mount Adams and Goat Rocks

by Tami Asars (The Mountaineers Books)
Day Hiking Mount Adams and Goat Rocks  by Tami Asars
Mount Adams is one of Washington’s treasured big volcanic peaks, while the Goat Rocks area is a favorite of serious hikers and backpackers. Day Hiking: Mount Adams and Goat Rocks provides routes to the 81 best day hikes throughout this region, which also includes the Indian Heaven Wilderness, White Pass, the area east and north of Yakima, as well as a few hikes in the Tatoosh Wilderness and Tieton area. In addition to the plethora of day hikes, this guide also includes the South Spur summit route of Mount Adams, which can be done in one long day.

© 2014 Tami Asars/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Trails from the "Day Hiking Mount Adams and Goat Rocks" Guide Book
81 Trail Guides

Bear Creek Mountain is a classic Goat Rocks hike complete with everything you’d expect from a beautiful subalpine area. As the site of a former lookout tower, it boasts huge views of Tieton Peak, Old Snowy, and McCall Glacier. I highly recommend this popular trail, but make sure you have a high-clearance vehicle, or even better, four-wheel or all-wheel-drive, to get to the trailhead—this puppy’s rough!
Packwood, WA - Backpacking,Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 7
There are only a few places you can get views of the east side of Mount Adams that are this beautiful and vast. The wildflower meadows that line the trail are an inspiring foreground at the picturesque viewpoint of Hellroaring Meadow’s basin to the east and the giant shoulders of Mount Adams to the north. Bird Creek Meadows has some interesting management history.
Trout Lake, WA - Fishing,Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 3.3
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If you’re a bird nerd, you’ll go crazy over this canyon. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: where there is water, there is life! Wildlife, including mule deer, coyotes, and the feathered ones, depend on this canyon to survive, and they raise young in the tall protected groves of quaking aspen and cottonwood. The roadbed-turned-trail also leads hikers to an old log homestead set among the deciduous trees and an opportunity to let the imagination run wild about days of yesteryear.
Ellensburg, WA - Birding,Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 7
Blue Lake itself is a multiuse, beautiful forested lake tucked deep in the woods. But perhaps Blue Lake isn’t the only reason you go! The hiker-only trail to the lake is a vision in green and a fascination in many ways. Running parallel to Blue Lake Creek, the trail shakes hands with high basalt canyon walls, formed by volcanic eruptions beneath a glacier. When the basalt flow cooled quickly from the melting glacier, it created long strands of rock, some of which looks like spaghetti. Small caves are also tucked in the cliff walls, piquing your curiosity about what might be living there. The raging creek drops to small seasonal waterfalls and keeps you company nearly the whole hike.
Randle, WA - Backpacking,Fishing,Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 5.5
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This hike is for the crazy adventurer who likes navigational, distance, and vertical challenges. It’s for those who want to get away from everything and everyone and don’t mind working for it. Because of the washed-out road to the trailhead, the odds of seeing another pulse that isn’t covered in fur is very slim. Don’t expect a pristine trail. Wear long pants to avoid getting scratched by brush. Expect to climb over many blowdowns and to challenge yourself with route-finding in places. Why is this trail in this guidebook then? Simple really: The end is worth it.
Packwood, WA - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 16
Boulder Cave is a place of wonder, deep darkness, and interesting geology. Kids and adults alike will love standing inside and pondering what lives in the depths surrounded by the chilly walls. Locate the very popular trailhead near the parking area and begin walking up the pathway toward the cave. Dogwood, lupine, and ponderosa pines guide you up the paved trail to a wooden platform overlooking Devil Creek canyon, the culprit responsible for the cave. This cave is home to the very rare and sensitive Townsend’s big-eared bat.
Naches, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 1.4
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The trail to Buck Lake can lead far into the backcountry by synching up with many different trails. But Buck Lake itself is accessible by a short, fairly easy approach and makes a great trip for those who want a shorter day hike or an enjoyable outing with kids. While the lake is murky and not a great place for swimming, bird life flourishes near the water’s edge and your odds of seeing elk or mountain goat are good, as they use these trails more than we do!
Naches, WA - Birding,Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 3
If you’re looking to get out and stretch your legs, enjoy the outdoors, and/or show off the Northwest to visitors, this is your hike! A very short trail goes through green forest understory to a spectacular 30-foot waterfall. The accessibility of this short trail to such a beautiful place makes this a great hike for kids and grandparents alike.
Randle, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 0.5
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Craving wildflowers, subalpine cirques, and views with a “Wow” factor? Then this is your trail! Yep, it’s a challenging hike with a lot of huffing and puffing, but the views from Cispus Pass and beyond will more than compensate for the push to get there. Some of the best scenery in the Goat Rocks Wilderness awaits you. Several trails have been established in this area, making it a bit confusing to find the main trail, which is located to the northwest of the lake. Once back on track, arrive at a junction with the PCT and head left (north). This is the beginning of your hike up to Cispus Pass, and from here on the views keep getting better.
Packwood, WA - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 14
This is perhaps one of the weirdest trails in this book. The cattle allotment agreement between private landowners and the Forest Service allows for grazing between late June and early October. The bovines have decimated the trails, made enough dust to start the next Dust Bowl, and lessened the chances of seeing wildlife. But we can’t complain too loudly. The private land owners are nice enough to let us walk through their pastures to get to the Goat Rocks Wilderness and enjoy beautiful Surprise Lake. Those with extra motivation and off-trail skills can make the cross-country trek to Warm Lake, not far from Surprise Lake.
Naches, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 13
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Getting to Council Bluff is not nearly as exciting as the destination itself. A defunct Forest Service road leads the way to the short spur trail that puts you on the top. The summit views are vast and well worth the yawns to get there. Years ago, a fire tower stood here, watching over Council Lake below and the Mount Adams Wilderness not far in the distance. Today, the fire tower is gone, leaving behind a perfectly flat place to enjoy a picnic with a bird’s-eye view.
Randle, WA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 3.2
There are a handful of places near towns that feel so remote you can lose yourself in solitude. Cowiche Canyon, 6 miles northwest from downtown Yakima, is just such a place! With the tall canyon walls, gentle flowing creeks, well-maintained trails, and seasonal wildflowers, this place is a treasure for both those who care to stroll and those who wish to crank out a swift trail run. The fairly level path allows “elevationally challenged” hikers to enjoy a leisurely walk without much exertion. Spring and fall are the best times for this hike; summer may be uncomfortably warm.
Yakima, WA - Birding,Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 5.8
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The Crofton Ridge Trail runs along the shoulder of Crofton Butte near Mount Adams, in sparse forest with occasional peekaboo views and a gentle cruising grade. On a warm day, this hike offers a cool creekside reprieve, dropping to the babbling Crofton Creek before ending at Forest Road 8040. While it’s not the most scenic trail in this book, especially since the fires of 2012 burned many trees here, this is a great place to stretch your legs and get some exercise if you’re in the area.
Trout Lake, WA - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 5.2
Like nearly all of the hikes in the Indian Heaven Wilderness, this loop features a plethora of lakes, ponds, and grassy meadows. As a bonus, you’ll catch a glimpse of the sub-alpine terrain just under the shoulders of Bird Mountain, have an opportunity to dip your toes in the clear waters of Deep Lake, and enjoy several good views of Mount Adams to the northwest, which reigns over these lands.
Trout Lake, WA - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 7.3
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Have you ever seen the backside of a waterfall? This is your chance! Believe it or not, the trail goes directly under one of the waterfalls here, which drops from an overhanging cliff above, allowing you the opportunity to duck behind its white curtain. In late snow years, this early season hike is a great way to get out on the trail for a deep forest day of fun, waterfalls, and even some bonus cave exploration on this lowland hiking adventure.
Randle, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 3.75
While the name Dark Meadow might conjure up images of moss-covered trees lurking in haunting fog, that couldn’t be any less accurate for what you’ll find here. The sunlit meadows in this open area give way to views of a vast landscape, where elk munch on greens and seasonal wildflowers bloom in the foreground of subalpine peaks. It makes sense, then, that the area was named not for an eerie vibe but rather after homesteader John Dark, who built a cabin in the meadow in the late 1800s as he prospected for gold nearby. The trails in this area are multiuse, but don’t let that discourage you. There is much to enjoy and your odds of seeing motorcycles especially are slim. All things considered, the trails are in good shape, with only a few ruts and reinforcement with grass pavers for erosion protection.
Randle, WA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking - Trail Length: 8.4
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Pack up the kids, the dogs, and the extended family for this hike along a gentle grade through the forest to two shallow lakes, perfect for wading and a picnic. If you walk quietly, you may even see the deer or elk that call these lakes home! Sand Lake has a much different feel, as it’s more open, its shoreline partially exposed near the trail, sporting grasses and seasonal wildflowers such as lupine and aster.
Packwood, WA - Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 5.2
Divide Camp Trail might conjure up images of a camp perched on a high divide, but don’t let the name fool you. While there is a forested camp near a trickling spring just off this trail, the features of this hike are the volcanic creekbed cut out by the angry Adams Creek and the wildflower meadows rich in color and fragrance that line the hillsides. The subalpine foreground to the mighty Mount Adams is sure to turn your head and make you want to grab your camera.
Randle, WA - Hiking - Trail Length: 6.8
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At one point, a fire lookout stood tall and proud watching over the Big Bottom Valley to the north and keeping a close eye on South Point to the east. The tower has long since been removed, but the views that it once enjoyed are still here, along with a quiet retreat, a well-used trail, and a good workout to get the heart pumping. This trail is open to motorcycles, but don’t let that stop you—they’re usually scarce and the trail is only occasionally rutted.
Packwood, WA - Hiking,Horseback Riding,Mountain Biking,Off-Highway Drives - Trail Length: 7
Dumbbell Lake supposedly got its name from its shape, which reminded someone of a free weight—a serious stretch of the imagination. Regardless of the shape, or perhaps because of it, the lake’s arms—or water peninsulas—make great places to sit and relax by these remote, quiet waters. The trails around Dumbbell Lake are a maze of small and wide pathways that lead to campsites. It’s easy to wander and get confused about which way is back, so be sure you’re a good navigator before you set off to explore the surroundings.
Packwood, WA - Backpacking,Hiking,Horseback Riding - Trail Length: 14
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State Log Book

Feb 2019