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Everyone (mostly) knows Washington’s five active volcanoes, but our sixth most famous volcano is extinct. The Goat Rocks area is what glacial erosion has left us from a powerful stratovolcano similar to Mount Saint Helens. Come explore and imagine how the terrain once looked as we loop through one of Washington’s hidden gems. We’ll start our day by going uphill for a long time as we climb up Goat Ridge. Goat Lake will provide a wonderful rest spot as we take in the view of the full range before us. The route will continue to contour around the major valley until we continue our ascent towards the PCT. Then it gets real! We will climb up Old Snowy Mountain, one of the highest points in the Goat Rocks Wilderness. Plan on encountering some snow! Keep your wits about you for the descent back to the PCT. The exploration continues further south on the PCT before dropping back towards the finish through the valley.
Most of the trails are smooth singletrack. There are some steep traverses but with a good trail. The climb up and down Old Snowy Mountain will be a Class 2 scramble (maybe needing your hands in a few places but not a big danger of falling) on a primitive trail. There will most likely still be snow on the climb (microspikes and poles highly recommended). With the full climb, distance will be about 20 miles and around 5,500’ of elevation gain.
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