Goat Rocks Lily Basin Monday July 22 - Wednesday July 24, 2019

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skein4
Posts: 8
Joined: June 16th, 2011, 1:10 pm

Goat Rocks Lily Basin Monday July 22 - Wednesday July 24, 2019

Post by skein4 » August 6th, 2019, 4:06 pm

A little late, but I always find these great for researching later, so better to get it up. The best part for me was experiencing a route I've done several times with a young guy who had never hiked in the PNW, coming from DC area. He was in awe and just kept repeating..."I can't believe this is real." We're lucky here!

Monday July 22 - Wednesday July 24, 2019
Day 1: 7 mile hike up, lovely day, a bit hot but dry. We hiked from Snowgrass parking which is free, counterclockwise around the Lily Basin route. Skeeters above 5500'; especially bad at our epic campsite at 6400', which was still moist with leftover snow. Great display of wildflowers almost from the beginning, evolving with the elevation. Because the route is so popular I try to only hike it on weekdays, and we were not disappointed. Just a handful of lovely people up there, chatty and relaxed. Seemed like the Snowgrass campsites fill up faster than the ones on the way to Goat Lake or Jordan Basin. Glorious alpinglow on Adams as we bedded down for a clear, starry night.

Day 2: 10 miles. Back down to Snowgrass Flats and scramble up Old Snowy. Especially great displays of flowers at Snowgrass Flats. Great climb up Old Snowy and weather held off with views to Rainier, Adams and St Helens. We leap-frogged a few different parties on the way up, stopping for water, food and ogling beauty. Partly cloudy and weather gathered as the afternoon wore on. We scrambled down the ridge to our campsite and discovered running down the snowfields to be as much fun as adults can have [sober]. Like little kids we descended about 1500 feet in a few minutes. By evening the clouds rolled over Jordan Basin, making for a great show of liquid air. We retired early and listened to a bad audio book and slept. Windy, cold night.

Day 3: 7 mile return. Morning was socked in with fog and cold drizzle. By breakfast it was getting lighter and finally opened up by about 10am. We hit Goat Lake for a bit of cold fun and then descended through Jordan Basin and whistled at Marmots. Dropped packs at Berry Patch and ran the half mile to Snowgrass parking lot and shuttled the cars over.
In a week or two it should be ideal conditions, as the skeeters should be mostly gone and the paintbrush and lupine looked like they were ready to pop. Might be a banner year...get up there!

Queen cup down lower with some Columbine, candy flower. Lots of: Avalanche lilies, mariposa lilies, paintbrush, bistort, lupine, phlox, heather, yellow heather, buttercup, cinquefoil, marsh marigold, phacelia, pasqueflower. Some: Aster, butter and eggs, delphinium, arnica, shooting star, pearly everlasting, pentstempon, thistle.
01.Trail_up.jpg
02.The_ridge_opens.jpg
03. View back to adams.jpg
04. The valley.jpg
05. almost there.jpg
06. campsite water.jpg
07.campsite.jpg
08. back to snowgrass.jpg
09. snowgrass.jpg
10. near snowy.jpg
11. top of snowy.jpg
12. goats at the campsite.jpg
13. on way out.jpg
14. goat lake.jpg
15. view to valley.jpg

proxie
Posts: 26
Joined: September 12th, 2009, 7:39 am

Re: Goat Rocks Lily Basin Monday July 22 - Wednesday July 24, 2019

Post by proxie » August 10th, 2019, 9:49 am

Thanks for sharing. I did this many years ago a one of my first backpacks and have fond memories of it. Yes we are truly blessed to be living in the PNW.

Aimless
Posts: 1479
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:02 pm
Location: Lake Oswego

Re: Goat Rocks Lily Basin Monday July 22 - Wednesday July 24, 2019

Post by Aimless » August 10th, 2019, 10:02 am

Sounds like you had a fantastic time! I notice one of your photos shows people camped on a meadow. Wondering whether that was your "epic campsite" at 6400? If so, a great choice for views, but not so much for LNT practices. :(

skein4
Posts: 8
Joined: June 16th, 2011, 1:10 pm

Re: Goat Rocks Lily Basin Monday July 22 - Wednesday July 24, 2019

Post by skein4 » August 11th, 2019, 5:44 pm

I will follow up with the rangers on the campsite- it is clearly a used site with spots for tents and a fire ring, and a path to get to it, but it doesn't look like it gets used much. Not sure if it is official or if it has been turned into one by crowds. There was no sign on the path saying to avoid or not use it like in some other areas so we went for it. But agreed, it's a fragile place around a meadow and maybe better to err on the side of not using it in the future.

Aimless
Posts: 1479
Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:02 pm
Location: Lake Oswego

Re: Goat Rocks Lily Basin Monday July 22 - Wednesday July 24, 2019

Post by Aimless » August 11th, 2019, 7:09 pm

it is clearly a used site with spots for tents and a fire ring

The extreme rarity of backcountry rangers ensures that prohibitions that are put in place are never actively enforced and following both the written regulations and LNT practices are left to voluntary observance. Unfortunately, fire rings and campsites constantly appear in areas where fires or camping are prohibited.

Generally, any place above 6000 ft. in the Cascades is a very poor place to build any fire, prohibited or not, as these are almost invariably alpine areas where any tree that might exist at that elevation grew at a painfully slow rate and any dead wood one might collect for a fire is better left to enrich the soil for the use of further plant growth. Alpine meadows, while inviting as campsites, are just as bad an idea. The damage done to ground cover at those elevations will take decades to regrow.

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anne37
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Re: Goat Rocks Lily Basin Monday July 22 - Wednesday July 24, 2019

Post by anne37 » August 12th, 2019, 8:25 pm

Gah, I love it there so much - thanks for the report! I have yet to see photos that capture the beauty and scale of the Goat Ridge approach to the lake. I passed through at sunrise one morning and seriously almost cried at how pretty it was. Although, when I was there again a couple weeks ago, I was shocked by the overuse. There were a lot of people camping on meadows and near the lake, and -most disgustingly- leaving dog waste everywhere, both bagged and not. Who on earth bags dog poop and leaves it in an alpine meadow?! :evil:

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