Goat Ridge Trail No. 95 and 95A
Lily Basin Trail No. 86
Snowgrass Trail No. 96
August 15, 2009 A Mountaineers CHS hike. This loop hike in the Goat Rocks Wilderness was the hands-down winner of Hike of the Year blue ribbon and perhaps of all the years I've been hiking. If I used every superlative in the dictionary, I could not do it justice. We hiked the loop clockwise from the Berry Patch trailhead, starting with the Goat Ridge Trail, which climbs steadily through pretty forest, then took the alternate trail up to the site of a former lookout tower for views of Mt. Adams on one side and Mt. Rainier on the other. The sky was bright blue, and clouds that moved in added drama to the scenery. We spent the next hour or two hiking in low-lying clouds that formed a muted backdrop for the brilliant wildflowers that grew in the many meadows. After a short lunch break near the Jordan Creek Trail junction, we continued along Goat Ridge. The clouds lifted by the time we climbed above tree level near the Lily Basin Trail junction, leaving amazing views in their wake. With Old Snowy in front of us and the most amazing wildflower display I have ever seen all around us, we climbed to our high point above Goat Lake. There were still icebergs floating on the highly colored lake, and we could just make out the shapes of goats on the slopes high above us. Masses of wiildflowers filled the basin with splashes of color that didn't end until we returned to tree level on the Snowgrass Trail. Waterfalls and quiet streams added a pastoral feeling to the landscape. I don't think I saw a single unlovely thing the entire day. Pity the poor hike that follows this one!