Campsites in Goat Rocks

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MrMalaprop
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Joined: June 22nd, 2014, 7:35 pm

Campsites in Goat Rocks

Post by MrMalaprop » July 1st, 2014, 7:36 am

I'm a long-time reader, first time poster. Is it strange to be nervous about a simple first post? :oops:

I'm taking a group of 14-15 year old boy scouts through the Goat Rocks later this summer. I have not been there myself, but I am sooo looking forward to it. Over 5 days (taking a slow pace) we plan to start at Walupt Lake, climb the Nannie Ridge, join the PCT, go over the Cispus Pass and around the basin, continue on the PCT past Snow Grass Flats, pass (or climb) Old Snowy, cross the knife's edge, take Elk Pass to Packwood Saddle, follow the Coyote Ridge Trail to Lost Lake, then down to Packwood Lake, then out to the Packwood Lake trail head. I'm going from memory there, but I think that covers the major points.

I know there campsites along the Cispus Basin portion and we plan to camp our first of four nights there. The last two nights will be at Lost Lake and Packwood Lake. The problem is the second night. I want to camp somewhere between Elk Pass and Packwood Saddle, but can't find references to camping spots along that area. I suppose I could cut east with the PCT and camp somewhere along the ridge of the McCall Basin, It seems like I heard someone say there were nice places along there.

Any camp site insight? Any trip recommendations in general?

We would need space for up to 10-12 people. Seclusion is desirable, but a memorable experience (like a view or particularly nice spot) is the most important.

Thank you so much in advance.

Mr. Malaprop

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retired jerry
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Re: Campsites in Goat Rocks

Post by retired jerry » July 1st, 2014, 8:23 am

my switchbacks.com map, which tends to be fairly accurate says there's a spring about 200 feet West of Packwood Saddle. I suspect there's no other water between Elk Pass and Packwood Saddle. I've hiked to Elk Pass before but not on your stretch of trail so I don't know for sure. Elk Pass definitely dry with no streams.

USGS topo maps often identify "springs" that aren't really springs but switchbacks.com is better.

I assume you're going down the Upper Lake Creek Trail down to Packwood Lake. It goes along Saddle Creek. That spring is the headwaters for Saddle Creek.

Keep going on the Coyote Trail, towards the Packwood Saddle, 100 feet past the junction with the Upper Creek Trail. Then go 200 feet West, off trail, to the spring.

Or go down the Upper Creek Trail 200 feet from the Coyote Trail, then go off trail North 200 feet to the spring.

Hopefully someone has first hand experience.

I bet when you get there, there'll be a side trail going to the spring. And maybe the spring will be located a bit different than this.

You might have to go down the Upper Creek Trail until there's water flowing in Saddle Creek.

There are no campsites identified on the switchbacks.com map, but there's a large flat area at the saddle where you could probably find places to put tents. Maybe you'll find good campsite before Packwood Saddle.

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n.bumppo
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Re: Campsites in Goat Rocks

Post by n.bumppo » July 1st, 2014, 9:33 am

There are no campsites between Elk Pass and Packwood Saddle. Your are traversing the side of a steep ridge. There are no flat stops to camp. You can probably find a spot to camp at Packwood Saddle. Another option is to continue on the PCT past Elk Pass. As you descend to Teton Pass there are camping spots on the left side of the trail. The water source is the melting snow field on the right.
Dave

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drm
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Re: Campsites in Goat Rocks

Post by drm » July 1st, 2014, 10:02 am

MrMalaprop wrote:I suppose I could cut east with the PCT and camp somewhere along the ridge of the McCall Basin, It seems like I heard someone say there were nice places along there.
I think that's what you will need to do and you should be prepared to break the group up as I'm not sure if the sites will be big enough for the whole group. I remember a nice spot I camped in close to the right-hand turn, even had views of Rainier. But not big enough for 10-12. Here is how I described it in my trip report: "I camped as soon as I could, after the PCT turned a corner and dropped down, with Mt. Rainier as a backdrop."

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MrMalaprop
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Re: Campsites in Goat Rocks

Post by MrMalaprop » July 3rd, 2014, 9:46 am

Thank you all for your helpful and timely replies.

One more question. While there are no campsites between Elk Pass and Packwood saddle, I assume there are campsites at Packwood Saddle, am I correct?

I'm really looking forward to this trip, thank you again for you assistance.

MrMalaprop

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n.bumppo
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Re: Campsites in Goat Rocks

Post by n.bumppo » July 3rd, 2014, 5:19 pm

I wish I could be more definitive but I am not sure there is an established camp at Packwood Saddle. There is definite potential. The saddle is wide and relatively flat and there is a water source a short way down the trail to Packwood Lake. I just don't recall seeing any campsites.
Dave

glennjacklyn
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Re: Campsites in Goat Rocks

Post by glennjacklyn » September 13th, 2018, 8:46 am

Hi Mr Malaprop,

I plan to do the same hike soon. What camp sites did you find around Packwood Saddle?

Thanks,
Glenn

Aimless
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Re: Campsites in Goat Rocks

Post by Aimless » September 13th, 2018, 2:35 pm

The person you are addressing has not posted here since 2014, so you aren't likely to elicit much information directly from them. However, someone else may be able to offer assistance.

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