The Goat Rocks Wilderness is located in the southern Cascades of Washington State. Remnants of an ancient volcano core eroded into crags of stone, the Goat Rocks lie between the mammoth summit of Mount Rainier and Washington State’s second highest peak, Mount Adams.
The Pacific Crest Trail makes its way through the wilderness on its way from Mexico to Canada.
In late July and early August the snow melts and the meadows are alive, painted with acres and acres of fantastically beautiful wildflowers.
Snow Grass Flats is a fairy-like section of trail nearby. The Bear Grass and Lupine creating such color splendor that its hard to hike!
The Pacific Crest Trail is a 2,400 mile long foot trail stretching from the US border with Mexico through California, Oregon and Washington State to Canada.
Pacific Crest Trail, Pasayten Wilderness
Powder and Shull Mountains, from the Pacific Crest Trail, Pasayten Wilderness
The northern most part of the PCT follows the Cascade Crest crossing Rock Pass, Woody Pass and then making a long gradual ascent of Lakeview Ridge.
Rock Pass, from Woody Pass
Here a more than 7,000 feet the views are breathtaking. Lining the international border are Hozomeen Mountain, Joker and Freezeout Mtns and Castle Peak. To the west the snowy dome of Mount Baker is clearly visible. Three Fools Peak dominates to the horizon to the south.
Three Fools Peak from the PCT on Lakeview Ridge
The grassy ridgetop is a fine place to camp. Snow lingers here, usually until August, providing water.
Lakeview Ridge at Sunset
Jack Mountain from Lakeview Ridge
The easiest way to get here is to drive to Mazama and take the road towards Harts Pass, up the steep valley and towards Slate Peak. The road (generally suitable for passenger vehicles) bisects the PCT just below the summit of Slate Peak. This it the highest point that can be reached by car in Washington. From here its about a 20 mile hike to the top of Lakeview Ridge.
There many trails starting along the North Cascades Highway. The Pacific Crest Trail crosses at Bridge Creek, heading south. At Rainy Pass, on the north side, the PCT heads up to Cutthroat Pass. On the south side of the highway is the famous Maple Pass – Lake Ann Loop.
The trail is about 7 miles long, climbing from the road past a spur trail to Lake Ann and then heading up to Heather Pass. The views of Lake Ann along the way are super. The trail continues past Heather Pass up to a border with the North Cascades National Park and then turns, ascends a short distance to Maple Pass and the plunges down switch backs back to the parking area.
This August I wanted to go hike but the weather report called for storms in the mountains, however down in the valley, where I live the sky was blue, so I headed up and well…these images show the rest!