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Goat Creek

South Cascades

Location

South Cascades -- Mount St. Helens
View map below

Length

11.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 400 ft.
Highest Point: 2400 ft.

Rating

4.33 out of 5

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 
 

Hike along a lush green valley wall above Goat Creek in the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. Because this part of the monument is so infrequently visited, it's possible you won't see another soul on the trail, meaning you'll get to have the incredible Cathedral Falls all to yourself.

This is a perfect hike if you want to get a feel for Washington's forests, though it's not necessarily indicative of what the rest of the National Volcanic Monument is like. The north side of St. Helens was the least affected by the 1980 blast, and the forest that the Goat Creek Trail winds through is home to huge, old trees that survived the eruption that obliterated the forests on the other side of the mountain.

The trail leaves a small parking area large enough for five cars and traverses the hillside through quiet forest of red cedar and hemlock. Mossy rocks, and plenty of trailside distractions like chipmunks and slugs will keep kids entertained. Continue gently climbing to Cathedral Falls, the highlight of the hike. The trail provides an intimate, 360-degree view of the falls, leading hikers towards the base of an enormous waterfall, and then winding behind it.

Hike under a cave and enjoy the spray from the falls, but be careful - the trail drops steeply away off to your left here and a wrong step can mean a far fall.

After getting your fill of the falls, continue on for about a half mile until you arrive at a junction with Goat Creek. Go straight ahead here, and find another creek crossing in another half mile. Stop here to cool your heels and soak in the sights and sounds of nature surrounding you before you head home.

 

Goat Creek

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.4305, -122.1525 Open map in new window

Trailhead

South Cascades -- Mount St. Helens

Goat Creek (#205)

Gifford Pinchot National Forest and Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

See weather forecast

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: South Cascades (Nelson - Mountaineers Books)

Green Trails No. 332 Spirit Lake

Getting There

From Randle, drive west on U.S. Highway 12 for about 11 miles, and turn left onto Kosmos Road. At the intersection 1000 feet later, turn left and follow this road 4 miles, past Riffe Lake toward Taidnapam Park and campground. Pass the campground and cross the bridge, then make a right onto Forest Road 2600. After about three-quarters of a mile, turn left onto Forest Road 2750, which may be gated. When the gate is open, follow one-lane FR 2750 3.7 miles to the road's end and the trailhead.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass
 

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Goat Creek

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