Backpack - Deadmans Lake


Backpack - Deadmans Lake

This is a 26-mile moderate loop backpack with 3300 feet of total elevation gain in the less traveled northern edge of Mt St Helen’s devastation area.

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  • Sat, May 23, 2015 — Mon, May 25, 2015
  • Foothills Backpacking Committee
  • Backpacking
  • Singles, 20-30 Somethings, Retired Rovers, Adults
  • Moderate/Strenuous
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 26.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,300 ft


Although open to all club members over age 18, this trip is also part of the B3 Backpacking Building Blocks series and eligible for B3 course credit.   This trip will have a practical instructional/learning focus and offer experience in proper gear use and camp set-up techniques.

This loop features Mt St Helen’s best and tallest waterfall, lush green forests, fabulous ridge views of Mt St Helen’s and the surrounding devastated area and Mt Hood and Mt Rainer and a tranquil lake.

On Day one, the group will meet very early to carpool to the Goat Creek trailhead.  We will hike 8.5 miles to Deadmans Lake and setup camp for two nights.  The elevation for the day will be 1900 feet.  The pace of the hike will be slow to moderate to enjoy the area and views, take pictures, and to adjust to the trip.  Along the way, we will be stopping for a rest break at 150-foot Leona Falls. 

Day two will be more relaxing as we will have plenty of time to enjoy two possible side trips with just day packs.  Option 1 is a two mile round trip to Deep Lake.  Option two is a 6-7 mile day hike with 700 feet gain up to Goat Mountain Ridge.  The ridge walk will have spectacular views of Mt St Helen’s, Mt Hood, and Mt Rainer.  The ridge acts as a separating line for the 1980 volcanic blast.  While the northern portion of the area was spared, the southern portion was in direct line of the blast zone.

On the last day the group will hike out 11 miles and 700 feet elevation back to the trailhead and drive home.

The trip is rated as moderate.  Pace will be slow to moderate to enjoy the hike and area.  Participants do not need extensive backpack experience, but need to be in shape enough to handle elevation gains and mileage.  Hikers should expect long days and make no plans on the last day of the hike as the return time will probably be late evening.  Water shoes will be required due to one or two streams crossings.  Micospikes may also be required depending upon possibility of snow on the trail at the time of the hike.  Participants must have a bear can, Ursac or way to properly hang their food.  The direction of the loop travel or location of the backpack may be changed due to trail conditions.  

Please contact the leader at for questions about the trip.


Deadmans Lake

  • Green Trails Mount St Helens NVM No. 332S

    Green Trails Spirit Lake No. 332

    Trails Illustrated Mt Saint. Helens/Mount Adams
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports