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Carlton Ridge

South Cascades


South Cascades -- White Pass/Cowlitz River Valley
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8.8 miles, one-way


Gain: 2400 ft.
Highest Point: 5600 ft.


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WTA worked here: 2012

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In the early part of the 20th century, this trail was used by sheepherders to reach their camps. Kincaid Lake is a tiny, 1-acre lake named for Sam Kincaid, a Yakima Valley sheepherder who ranged his herds in the area.

Now, this 9-mile, rugged trail trail delivers hikers into the remote William O. Douglas Wilderness at mile 3.5 and offers excellent views of Mount Rainier. It's also a great way to access the deep woods off of Highway 12, where you can loop hike to your heart's content.

Beginning at the end of Forest Road 4510, Kincaid Trail starts just past the access point for Cowlitz Horse Trail 44A. From the start, it descends, then begins to climb steeply before reaching the top of Carlton Ridge near Log Springs.

Then, cross the summit (the site of an old burn) and enter wilderness at 3.5 miles. From there, proceed along a semi-open ridge, which offers excellent views of Rainier.  Soon arrive at a junction with the Judkin Trail. This trail descends to Jug Lake, but Kincaid continues to the left.

It's another 4 miles to the Kincaid Trail's terminus at an intersection with the Jug Lake Trail. Along the way, you'll switchback along Carlton Ridge, then up and over Fryingpan Mountain.


Carlton Ridge

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 46.7128, -121.4898 Open map in new window


South Cascades -- White Pass/Cowlitz River Valley

Kincaid (#42)

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Cowlitz Valley Ranger District

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Getting There

From Packwood, drive east on Highway 12 for 8.9 miles. Make a left on Forest Road 45 and travel .4 miles then take a slight left on Forest Road 4510 and follow for just over 5 miles to the Kincaid Trailhead.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee


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Carlton Ridge

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