Trip Report    

Alpine Scramble - Goat Island Mountain (Mount Rainier)

Excellent scramble on a gorgeous day!

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • We took the NE ridge up from the Wonderland trail and did a counter-clockwise loop along the Goat Island massif and descended via the SW end of the mountain to Frying Pan Creek.  If you go clockwise, you miss the in-your-face Rainier views unless you keep turning around.  A decent boot path can be found up the NE ridge, but does fade away on and off.  GPS was extremely helpful during the whole trip. 

    We side-hilled through grass and brush on the SSW side of the rock spine from 6200' to about 6600' to avoid unknown hazards such as rockfall and drop-offs on the other side.  Found a nice, but steep, brushy slope at about 6600' up to the main ridge leading to the summit.

    The stretch from the saddle up to the Goat Island ridge described in 100 Peaks is in poor shape.  It is overgrown and badly eroded in some sections.  We descended this way, and a boot path is visible here and there, but you have to watch carefully.  Descending this part was challenging in places, careful footing needed and veggie belays came in handy.  We got to the creek and were able to cross without problems around 5720'.

    This was a fantastic scramble with lots of variety and we all had a great time! 


Saw a porcupine climbing a tree, heard several marmots and saw one run across our path, heard and saw a pica and a good sized bunny rabbit.  Lots of butterflies, and many large fat flies on the summit.  Wildflowers are well past prime, some blueberries are out.  Lots of fresh evidence of a large mammal - maybe a bear based on the scat size.