Placeholder Routes & Places


Backpack - Lily Basin, Snowgrass Flat, Cispus Basin & Elk Pass

A week-long grand tour of The Goat Rocks Wilderness. We will visit all the well-loved sites--Goat Lake, Snowgrass Flats, The 'Knife-edge, Nanny Ridge and Cispus Basin, plus many lesser known and no-less-spectacular side trips to Hawkeye Point, Old Snowy, McCall Basin, Chimney Rock and Corral and Gertrude Lakes. We will also be doing off-trail exploratory treks up several ridges and easy peaks to more fully explore the area. Expect wildlife--marmots, bears, elk and mountain goats; huckleberries, fall colors, close to non-stop views, and great campsites. This is an challenging trip and is Leader Permission Only (no requests please until June 15th).

  • Very Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 68.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 22,000 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 7,900 ft
  • Pace: 1.5-2.0

The trip incorporates two trailheads.  We will need to drop off two or more cars at the southern, exit, trailhead at Coleman Weedpatch (near Walupt Lake) and then shuttle back to Lily Basin TH (where our trip begins).  This pre-trip shuttle and the Goat Rocks Wilderness being a several hours drive from the Seattle area will require a quite early morning from home departure.  The exact meeting time, directions and carpool options will be determined closer to the trip start.  A Northwest Forest Pass or America the Beautiful Pass will be required at each trailhead.

This will be a challenging and epic trip.  We will visit all the most-loved areas of the Goat Rocks as well as special, rarely visited areas.  We will be visiting the following areas:  Lily Basin, Snowgrass Flats, Cispus Basin, Nanny Ridge, Coyote Ridge, McCall Basin, and the "Knife-edge" section the the PCT. We will summit Old Snowy on a trail and get close to but likely not summit Ives, Johnson and Big Horn peaks as well as traverse other high points.  There will be regular off-trail travel most days but the exposure will low or we don't go.  We will also visit and/or camp at Heart, Goat, Corral, and Gertrude Lakes.

Here is the Gaia Route for the trip:

On the Gaia Folder, above, each of the days itineraries are broken out by different color.  By explaining the map and clicking on the routes the distance and gain are shown and whether that section is done with a full-pack  or  is a 'day hike' exploration.  Please acquaint yourself with the trip particulars to see if it meets your interests.

This is a Leader's Permission Only trip.  ***Please no inquires until June 15th.  Earlier requests will be ignored.***  Due to the trips length and multiple challenges, participants for this trip will be chosen for the rooster by the leader and not via the more common first come, first serve method.  Participants will be selected on the basis of having the highest likelihood to comfortable embrace and enjoy the trip's challenges and be compatible and friendly with the group as a whole. I will select the participants at or before June 30th and inform each person.  In requesting leader's permission please thoroughly answer/response to the following five questions:

1)  Participants need to be experienced backpackers and have successfully completed at least a five night backpack trip within the past year.  Participants need to have completed several backpacking trips this season prior to this trip commencing.  Please tell me about these past and anticipated trips.  Selected participants will need to demonstrate that they can carry a full pack on multiple days with about 3000' of gain each day.

2) Participants for this trip need to have prior backpacking experience with the leader or have a well-know Mountaineers backpacker leader give a recommendation email that highlights there conditioning, amiability and temperament.

3) The trip will encorporated off-trail travel on most days.  We will be embracing 'route-finding' fun. Please tell me about your experience and comfort with off-trail travel.

4)  The trip will cross at least two snow patches on the PCT on the south end of The Knife-edge. One section on the edge of the Packwood Glacier is rather steep and can give some folks 'pause' (I did this section with my sure-footed 10 and 12 year old children a long time ago). There may be some other snow crossing on some of the cross-country travel sections.  Please talk about your experience, confidence and comfort in crossing smaller snow sections on and off-trail. I will not be requiring Microspikes.

5)  This is an exploratory trip, which means that while the trip was well researched, not everything is known regarding travel conditions, workability and camp spots.  Changes to the itinerary may occur as we assess conditions in the field.  Participants need to be flexible and actively participate in route discussions and decision-making.  Does this trip expectancy work for you?

Additionally issues:  At least one of the proposed campsites (night 5) will have no trees for hanging food.  Participants need to bring at a minimum a bear can or Ursack large enough for the last two days of food storage.  Additional, not all camps will be right adjacent to water.  Participants should bring at a minimum of two liters water capacity. Full rain-gear and trekking poles are required.

This should be a very memorable trip.  I hope you can join me.  Rob


Lily Basin, Snowgrass Flat, Cispus Basin & Elk Pass

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
  • Extra set of clothes
  • Full rain-gear
  • Food and snacks for seven days
  • Bear canister or Ursack, plus a stuff sack and rope for the balance of the food that might not fit
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
  • Two trekking poles
Trip Reports