Our 14 mile hike would take us to some beautiful places today. We are in the Goat Rocks Wilderness that is located between Mt Adams and White Pass.
The trail took around the far end of the Walupt Creek basin that was mostly meadows and ponds. We felt a sprinkle of rain that did not continue but was a hint of what was to come. Farther on, the trail traversed up along a ridge heading north toward the Goat Rocks. We’d often heard about how remote yet beautiful the area was but had not ever had the opportunity to get here. Now is our time. We are traveling through the heart of this rugged wilderness.
There were few streams as we hiked along but several times we were surprised by chicken-sized grouse that would suddenly fly up right beside the trail. I guess we surprised them too. As the terrain opened up, we could see rain clouds behind us to the southwest. We had lunch under darkening skies and veils of rain falling in the distance. Three backpackers heading to a lake farther on visited with us for a few minutes as they passed. As we left our lunch spot, we put on our rain jackets as the rain seemed to be getting closer. As the trail wound up toward Cispus Pass, the rain and wind started. We did get a bit wet but we were well-prepared. At the top of the 6400’ pass, the vista of the upper Cispus River basin opened before us. So many great views of the rugged Goat Rocks and the lovely fall colored valley falling away to the west enchanted us. A very special place to visit.
Dropping toward the Cispus River headwaters, the rain kept up but the wind subsided. We crossed many streams and passed by a beautiful waterfall.
In about two miles, we arrived at our camp just as the rain stopped. The tent was set up and we took a side trail to a nearby stream with plenty of water cascading down.
As we had arrived at 2:30 today, we rested and occupied ourselves with snacks, reading, and catching up on our plans and blogs. The rain has not returned but the air is quite chilly. Chili Mac warmed us as we settled in for our camp here at 6100’ in the Goat Rocks Wilderness.