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Showing posts from August, 2020

A little taste of Goat Rocks

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For years, we've had Goat Rocks listed in our page of trail to-do's. Our plans finally aligned such that we made a detour on the drive home from our two separate weekends in the greater Seattle area to run a shorter, 12 mile loop in Goat Rocks Wilderness.

We parked at the Berry Patch trailhead and made our way on Goat Ridge Trail (95) up, up, up, through the dry forest. Sadly, the huckleberries weren't ripe yet, but we were soon distracted with views of Rainier through the trees.Then we emerged from the trees into a wide open alpine valley, ringed by peaks and ridges, cascading with a rainbow of wildflowers. It was absolutely stunning. And I understood why we drove an extra three hours out of our way to run here.
We wound our way up and up, passing plenty of backpackers for a Monday. Everyone seemed thrilled to be there, enjoying the perfect blue sky, the crisp mountain views, and the sweet scent of flowers filling the air.
We got to the top of the ridge and ran over the pass…

Diamond Peak Circumnavigation

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Susan and I had originally planned on running Mt. Rainier's Northern Loop trail but according to recent trail reports there were still several miles of snow to cross. Which normally wouldn't scare me away but considering the distance ~37 miles and the new to us trails, I thought we should wait a few weeks before attempting it. But since we already had the day off of work I came up with several plan b options for us. One of them was a popular loop from Odell Lake to the east side of Diamond Peak. But after looking at my Diamond Peak map I noticed you could stitch several trails together and actually circumnavigate Diamond Peak
Knowing how much we love circumnavigations, I knew we had a plan b winner. I started Googling "Circumnavigating Diamond Peak" and I couldn't much. Then I started looking for information on Diamond Peak Trail #3699, which is the trail that runs along the west side of the mountain. But I could find very little on the trail and only 1 OregonHike…

St Helens Ape Canyon- Windy Ridge- Smith Creek- Lava Canyon loop

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Mt St Helens is beautiful, distinctive, and convenient from Portland. But its circumnavigating trail, Loowit, is... well, too much. Despite being shorter, the one time we did it, it took about the same time to run as Timberline around Mt Hood. The rocky lava fields to start, the lack of water, the relentless exposure, and the numerous washouts at the end of our clockwise route made me not want to do it again anytime soon.