Searching for Elk on the Western Slopes of Mt. St. Helens

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Gobar Creek

Weyerhaeuser owns vast amounts of private timberlands in the Pacific Northwest. The land is accessible to hikers, hunters and others by a limited number of permits.

West of Mt. St. Helens their holdings are great habitat for elk, and other animals. This is the second year I have paid for a permit to enter those lands by foot.

After parking at a gate north of the Kalama River Road on a cool, cloudy late-January day, I spent five hours hiking logging roads as I looked for elk in the upper Gobar Creek drainage.

Above 2,000 feet there was snow on the roads and indications of a few elk in the area. Soon I got caught in an intense, but happily, short rain squall.

As I was drying out, I spotted four Roosevelt Elk in an older clearcut. Sad to say, the good-sized bull spotted me at the same time and they were soon long gone. Still it’s always enjoyable seeing them in the wild.

I’ve been spotted by two of the Roosevelt Elk

Some sunshine brightening the trail (logging road)

Small waterfall along the way

Stormy day in the mountains

A common sight for all Elk hunters (Elk on the run)

Bridge over Gobar Creek

Rain forest (Sword Ferns, Lichen and Moss)

One of many streams coming down the steep slopes to Gobar Creek



Categories: Washington Cascades HikesTags: , ,

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