Collapsing tread in Goat Rocks along Knife’s Edge (impassable for equestrians)

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June 20th, 2014

The Pacific Crest Trail at the top of the Goat Rocks Wilderness may be dangerous and is impassable for stock travel. The problems are not new. The trail across the Packwood Glacier, the Knife’s Edge and past Rooster’s Comb can be steep and narrow and it passes by steep cliffs. Tragically, stock have fallen off the edge in the past.

Historically, it’s been a very hard portion of trail to keep passable for stock. Substantial work was done in 2013 to improve the Packwood Glacier portion but dangers remain, especially near Rooster’s Comb. Many horseback riders and stock trains report that they won’t even attempt this portion and instead trailer around it.

Mt. Adams area logged out

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By: Dean R.
July 18th, 2013

After weeks of work, the PCT is logged out through the Cascade Creek Fire area. Expect hazard trees along the trail and pay particularly  close attention during high wind events. There are some small  portions of the tread that have either washed or burnt away, but the trail is easy to follow and not really in that bad of shape considering.

Indian Heaven snow conditions

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By: Rob Stevens
July 8th, 2013

Between Columbia River and Indian Heaven, trail is free of snow. Once in Indian Heaven Wilderness, snow level is above 4,000′ but not impassable. Campsites at Blue Lake are bare and dry. I believe that I was the first to make it through the entire wilderness this season. One switchback near mile 2220 is real easy to miss due to snow conditions and confusing clearing. Otherwise all snow patches are intermittent and easy to jump between bare trail sections. Trail crew was clearing downed trees as I hiked through.

September 18, 2012

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By: Rebecca Wilcox

Just want to add to what is already posted about the split trail at Old Snowy in Goat Rocks. We took the Stock PCT trail thinking it would be less treacherous, but it was actually pretty frightening. Totally unsuitable for stock animals and barely hike-able without sliding down the mountain. Crossed a steeply inclined snow patch where we had to kick steps because apparently most people are taking the hiker PCT route. We did not check out the hiker route but I would not advise anyone to attempt the stock route.

September 7, 2012

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By: Jack Haskel

Packers in the Goat Rocks area report that a section of the tread north of Old Snowy (both hiker and equestrian routes) are too hazardous to support equestrian traffic. The conditions are a combination of landslides and trail slump, which leaves little to no surface in several locations. For folks not familiar with section, there are 1000 foot drops on both side of this ridge. GPS coordinates for the southern limit of this area:

N46 30.862 W121 27.651 (sign and junction of stock route and hiker route at Old Snowy.

There is no reasonable detour in this landscape; the best advice is to plan on shuttling around to White Pass to continue northern travel or return to the south on the PCT to Elk Pass, which is the northern limit of this dangerous section.

Hikers are able to negotiate the poor trail conditions.

August 24, 2012

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By: Kaffe and Kuchen

Trail conditions fabulous, 8/7-8/18, 2012. Peak wildflowers, mountain goat herd near Cispus Pass, swimmable lakes. A few snow patches on Round-the-Mountain Trail on Mt. Adams at about 6,000 feet. Goat Rocks snow free except for snowfield up to Cispus Pass and crossing the glacier on Old Snowy.

August 1, 2012

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FYI on the detour around Snag Creek, the tributary to Rock Creek referenced in the post below. It failed its USFS safety inspection and needs to be replaced, even though the rot may not be readily visible. The detour is something the USFS needs to put in place for liability’s sake when there is an unsafe bridge. However, Snag Creek may be easy to skip across for those who choose to do so.

Dana Hendricks, PCTA Regional Rep.

Photo by: Nathaniel Middleton