Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Goat Creek Trail adds to my Frustration

I don't have the same vigor when hiking a trail a second time and such was the case when I returned to the Goat Creek Trail #205. I had been there once last year ad was turned around by a massive downed tree. I was there earlier this season only to be turned around by snow. Yesterday and still today, I am determined to see as much of this trail as I can.

I started late and finished late. I arrived at about 1:30pm and returned to my car at about 6:30pm. I took the Goat Creek Trail #205 and made it about 4 miles to the 3500 foot level before losing the trail in snow. By far, the highlight of the trail is “Cathedral Falls”, but there many unnamed, waterfalls joining the flow towards the Cowlitz River. I was hoping to get to Vanson Lake or at least the top of the ridge itself.

Cathedral Falls is the most impressive point in the trail that I have found so far.

The trail is usually streamside through mature forest and is in excellent condition until it gets into the snow. Much of the forest was burned in the last hundred years or so, but a mosaic of much larger, very impressive trees exist.

This is a low budget trail and there is a lot of water in the creeks. There are no bridges or engineering to help hikers across the streams it crosses. There is about a 300 meter section of the trail where I just took off my boots and went barefoot to save them from becoming inundated with water. It is a good hike for a hot day!

Here are a couple of artful photos of Cathederal Falls.

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