Trip Report    

Tatoosh Ridge

Scenic, challenging hike in the Tatoosh Wilderness.

  • Road rough but passable
  • Beautiful alpine hike with views of the Big one and surrounding peaks, Adams, St. Helens, Hood, Goat Rocks.  Ridge traverse through meadows that are probably spectacular during peak wildflower season. We did the trip from Ashford heading south.

    A recent WTA trip report states that the 'abandoned trail' (sign on a tree) at the beginning of the traverse is more efficient because there is little to no elevation gain and drop - not true.  We opted for this abandoned trail on the way up and I do not recommend it.  It does indeed gain elevation - and it has to in order to connect to the newer trail.  Also, it is very overgrown, and is hard to follow in places.  It eventually appeared to dead-end and we had to climb a very steep grassy slope about 100' to gain the correct trail.  We descended the newer trail without a problem. 

    Most of the trail is in good shape, but much of it on the traverse beyond point 6050 is  quite narrow with several rough spots from washouts.  One large washout with loose rock is easily passable with care.  Only a couple trickles of water were seen, bring at least two liters.

    Continuing to the former lookout site on Tatoosh Peak was optional, and two participants chose not to.  It is well worth the extra effort though, because the views are awesome. 

Road 52 is paved with a few potholes.  5270 is gravel and narrow one lane, not in bad shape but has many potholes, some are rather large.  Very little room to pull over to make room for an oncoming vehicle.  There is room for a few cars to park along the road at the trailhead, no bathrooms, no parking pass needed.  Weather was warmer than expected, breezy in places.   Interesting stacked lenticular clouds over Rainier.  Scattered other clouds, but mostly blue sky.  Total tracked mileage was a little over 11 round trip and about 3,800' gain - longer than described in Yore's 100 Peaks. 

A great hike, I highly recommend it.