Goat Rocks/Nannie Ridge day hike: out-and-back to Cispus Pass, or PCT loop?

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adamschneider
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Goat Rocks/Nannie Ridge day hike: out-and-back to Cispus Pass, or PCT loop?

Post by adamschneider » August 17th, 2019, 10:52 pm

I'm thinking of heading up to Goat Rocks this week. I think I'll start from Walupt Lake and go up Nannie Ridge to Sheep Lake, but then I have two choices, each of which is about 13.5 miles:

1) Keep going up to Cispus Pass on the PCT and then go back down the way I came.

2) Turn right on the PCT and make a loop back to the trailhead via the Walupt Lake Trail.

(I guess a third option could be to go to Cispus Pass and THEN do the loop, but that adds a lot more distance to an already longish day.)

Normally I'd always go for the loop, but in this case I'm wondering if the extra alpine splendor of going up to Cispus Pass (versus a mostly-wooded basin along the Walupt Lake Trail) might be worth just doing an out-and-back instead.

Anyone have any thoughts?

Nannie Ridge options.jpg

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retired jerry
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Re: Goat Rocks/Nannie Ridge day hike: out-and-back to Cispus Pass, or PCT loop?

Post by retired jerry » August 18th, 2019, 5:21 am

I've done that

Going right (south) on PCT was through trees, not as interesting

Going left (north) to Cispus Pass more scenic. You could keep going a bit and it gets more interesting. Or there's an unmarked trail going east. I think it eventually gets over to Surprise Lake

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Re: Goat Rocks/Nannie Ridge day hike: out-and-back to Cispus Pass, or PCT loop?

Post by Aimless » August 18th, 2019, 6:49 am

The loop option taking PCT from Sheep Lake south back to Walupt Lake is pleasant, but not exceptional. The PCT from Sheep Lake up to Cispus Pass starts out quite nice and becomes spectacular. I'd say out-and-back is your better bet. I did something very similar last summer.

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Re: Goat Rocks/Nannie Ridge day hike: out-and-back to Cispus Pass, or PCT loop?

Post by texasbb » August 18th, 2019, 6:51 am

I'm the world's biggest hater of out-n-backs, but I'm telling you to do the Cispus Pass out-n-back. It's gorgeous, with views into Klickitat and Cispus Basins, a great view to Ives Peak, and better views to mass of peaks around Curtis Gilbert.

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Re: Goat Rocks/Nannie Ridge day hike: out-and-back to Cispus Pass, or PCT loop?

Post by adamschneider » August 18th, 2019, 8:06 pm

Sounds like we have a consensus.

Follow-up question: which driving route would you take?

1) Via Trout Lake.

2) Via Randle, turning south at Randle and then east on Forest Roads 23 and 21.

3) Via Randle, continuing east on US 12 almost to Packwood and then FR 21 south.

Google says #3 is fastest, but I'm wondering if there might be compelling reasons to try the others.
Last edited by adamschneider on August 18th, 2019, 11:05 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Goat Rocks/Nannie Ridge day hike: out-and-back to Cispus Pass, or PCT loop?

Post by Aimless » August 18th, 2019, 9:15 pm

#3 probably is fastest, as Google says. The unpaved portions are in pretty good shape, except for some washboarding. Via Trout Lake requires you to drive a lot of miles on unpaved roads, some of which are not very good. I'd only go that route if I wanted that kind of experience for some reason.

I can't recall ever approaching Walupt via option #2, so for all I know it might be either the best or the worst choice.

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Re: Goat Rocks/Nannie Ridge day hike: out-and-back to Cispus Pass, or PCT loop?

Post by adamschneider » August 18th, 2019, 11:04 pm

If my map-reading is correct, #1 (Trout Lake) has 15 miles of unpaved roads, #2 (Cispus River) has 6 miles, and #3 (the "fastest" route) has 16 miles.

The relatively small amount of gravel is why I'm wondering about #2.

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Re: Goat Rocks/Nannie Ridge day hike: out-and-back to Cispus Pass, or PCT loop?

Post by retired jerry » August 19th, 2019, 5:23 am

I've done #2 - better road

Maybe in #2, out #3

#1 is nice if you just want to check out a different road

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Re: Goat Rocks/Nannie Ridge day hike: out-and-back to Cispus Pass, or PCT loop?

Post by Aimless » August 19th, 2019, 7:10 am

If my map-reading is correct, #1 (Trout Lake) has 15 miles of unpaved roads

When projecting your route from Trout Lake, don't be tempted to take Road 5601 (starts near Takhlakh Lake) down to Road 56. This is a wretched road. It's unmaintained, deeply water-rutted and extremely narrow, with very little, or no leeway to get past an oncoming vehicle if you meet one. Pretty much a jeep-only road.

The best road down to 56 would be 5603, which is paved part of the way for whatever mysterious reasons, as it is out in the middle of nowhere and only connects to miles of unpaved roads in any direction.

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Re: Goat Rocks/Nannie Ridge day hike: out-and-back to Cispus Pass, or PCT loop?

Post by adamschneider » August 19th, 2019, 8:36 am

Aimless wrote:
August 19th, 2019, 7:10 am
The best road down to 56 would be 5603, which is paved part of the way for whatever mysterious reasons, as it is out in the middle of nowhere and only connects to miles of unpaved roads in any direction.
I was thinking 2329 from Takhlakh Lake. It goes east, then north.

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