Return to Goat Peak


My doberman, my folks’ black lab and I were sitting with our tongues hanging out at the summit of 6,500-foot Goat Peak, the highest point on American Ridge.

It was a hot, sunny summer day and the 3,000-foot plus elevation-gain climb had worn us out. But the views! They were everything Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas had promised in his writings.

Mt. Aix and the other jagged peaks of Nelson Ridge rose above the Bumping River, some well over 7,500 feet tall. Mt. Rainier, Fife’s Peak, Bumping Lake and undisturbed forests extended for miles.

Thirty-eight years later I’m back at the summit. It remains a tough, unrelenting climb. But, to my chagrin heavy smoke from several close-by wildfires obscured most of the vistas. Still, I could see the area where I bagged my first bull elk, the stream where I caught my first dolly varden and many peaks summitted over the years.

The William O. Douglas Wilderness is still one of the best destinations in the continental U.S. for getting a taste of the wild.

Climbers' register at summit of Goat Peak

Climbers’ register at summit of Goat Peak

WIldfire smoke hindering the views of Mt. Aix and Nelson Ridge

Wildfire smoke hindering the views of Mt. Aix and Nelson Ridge

Thousands of flies on the summit of Goat Peak (a common occurrence when the wind is slack)

Thousands of flies on the summit of Goat Peak (a common occurrence when the wind is slack)

Looking over an old Whitebark Pine to the American Ridge extending into the distance

Looking over an old Whitebark Pine to American Ridge extending into the distance

The lower trail passing through Hemlock trees

The lower trail passing through Hemlock trees

Categories: Washington Cascades HikesTags: , , , , ,

What's your opinion?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: