Hike Distance: 9.1 miles Yearly Hike Distance: 751.6 miles
Elevation Gain: 1180 feet Yearly Elevation Gain: 99456 feet
Hiking to Goat Marsh, in Mt. St. Helens National Monument, is one of our favorite hikes. On a clear day the view of Mt. St. Helens is nothing short of spectacular. However, we didn’t know if there was any snow on the trail before the hike and decided to check it out.
We parked at the Kalama Horse Camp and headed out toward the main ski trail that went toward the marsh. Unfortunately, the convoluted trails resulted in us crossing the wrong stream and we intersected the road. Rather than turning back we decided to walk the road to the parking area that many people use to shorten the hike. While walking the road we noted that snow was getting more prevalent on the side of the road.
We finally turned into the parking area and located the trail at the end of the parking lot. Not surprisingly, the snow was piled up on the trail, and we were slowed down by it. There was anywhere from one to three plus feet accumulated on the trail, as we ascended toward Goat Marsh!
At the Goat Marsh Research area entry the trail was all but lost. It was slow going but we finally navigated to the marsh, and were met by a stunning view of Goat Mt. Next we followed clockwise around the marsh and found the view of Mt. St. Helens. What can I say about a front row seat looking at the snow capped volcano, with the marsh in the foreground, and no other hikers in sight!
We took a long time to get here so we took our pictures and quickly headed back toward our car. On the return we used the desired ski trail to get back, thus avoiding walking the road. The return trail gave us some nice mountain views along with views of the Kalama River!
We met a small hiking group, on the way back that we had seen at the trailhead, and they decided not to go because of the snow. Very nice people and I got some pointers on hiking the PCT.
Fantastic day and highly recommended to visit Goat Marsh. 🙂