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Goat Peak
Mountain/Rock

Goat Peak

 
Goat Peak

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Location: Oregon, United States, North America

Lat/Lon: 44.64350°N / 121.7975°W

Object Title: Goat Peak

Elevation: 7159 ft / 2182 m

 

Page By: Don Nelsen

Created/Edited: Feb 8, 2005 / Sep 26, 2005

Object ID: 153673

Hits: 6808 

Page Score: 87.31%  - 24 Votes 

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Overview


Located just two miles south of the much more magnificent Mt. Jefferson, Goat Peak takes a distant second for prominence but nevertheless stands out in the area. Mt. Jefferson dominates the view to the north and Three Fingered Jack, and the peaks of the Three Sisters Wilderness are easily visible to the south.

The view of Goat Peak from the Pacific Crest Trail at the start of the bushwhack section of the route.
The view of Goat Peak from the Pacific Crest Trail at the start of the bushwhack section of the route.


The summit prominence is composed of bus-sized basalt (probably andesite) blocks that offer class four climbing opportunities at the least and it looks like a few more challenging routes as well. Located at the very upper limit of the tree line, the dwarf trees bend and contort in fantastic shapes to the photographers delight.

There is no trail the final few miles to the peak but at this altitude, there is hardly any vegetation but dwarf Hemlock and Whitebark Pine that won't impede your progress much through this extraordinary alpine scenery. This area is very isolated and even on summer weekends you will probably have several square miles all to yourself. In several trips, I have yet to meet anyone on the trails to the east and above the Pacific Crest Trail.

Getting There


From I-5 take Hwy 22 east toward Detroit. About 4 miles past Detroit is the little town of Idanha, set your odometer and take a left on the Woodpecker Ridge Road 7.4 miles east of Idanha. Follow this gravel road for 5 1/3 miles to the trailhead. (If you see the turnoff for the Pamelia Lake Trailhead, go back 4/10 miles) This is a pretty good road, though narrow, and easily navigated by two-wheel drive vehicles.

The closest trailhead, Pamelia Lake, is patrolled and requires an advance permit to park and hike plus that lame "trail park" thing, as well. If you plan ahead, fine, but the above Woodpecker Ridge Trailhead, which doesn't require an advance permit, (though still requires the trail park pass) adds less than a mile to the trek and only about 400 extra vertical feet .

Take the trail uphill and in about 1 3/4 mile, turn right on the PCT. Use the map below from that point.

Update: See alternate route in Red Tape, below.

Map

The map shows my GPS track of a recent trip and totals 5,695 vertical feet and 22.2 miles, though you could shorten this to only 4,590 vertical and 17.5 miles by doing an out-and-back to the peak and foregoing the loop. The scenery makes the loop a fascinating trip through an alpine forest and volcanic geologic wonderland untouched by logging, man and apparently even fire for millennia.

Also, here is a shot I posted on the Mt. Jefferson page that gives a good example of what the trails do look like, when you can find them: Link (Goat Peak is above my right shoulder in the photo.)

There was at least one rappel sling on the summit rocks late summer, '05, so at east some climbers do this peak and rappel off the top.

Red Tape


Trail park pass or equivalent required at trailhead. Most of the area is wilderness so the usual rules apply.

Brian Jenkins adds: "You need to contact the Detroit Ranger Station and get a special permit to go in at Pamelia Lake." "...The area is restricted by quota and rangers do patrol Pamelia Lake and the area around Shale Lake to make sure you have the required permit. You can only request it one month or less in advance and the camp spots go quickly during summer. This is in addition to the NW Forest Pass. Yes, these are a hassle but this is a high impact area and the lakes are worth keeping as pristine as possible."

So it seems that although the Woodpecker Ridge Trailhead doesn't require a special permit, the route I've described passes through a couple of sections of the "restricted area".

Here's the fix for that: Continue on Hwy 22 another 3 1/4 miles past the road to the Woodpecker Ridge trailhead, turning left on the Bingham Ridge road. Follow this road 5.4 miles to the Bingham Ridge trailhead.

Follow the trail for about 2.7 miles and turn right at the junction with the Lake of the Woods trail. Follow the Lake of the Woods trail another 2.4 miles to the junction with the Hunts Creek trail. Follow the Hunts Creek trail another 1.5 miles to the PCT. Take a right on the PCT for about 1/3 mile then take a left and follow the faint trail east until you are on the NW flank of the cinder cone. Either make your way between The Table and Cathedral Rocks or make your way up the slopes of The Table (from there you can see your goal) and enjoy the rest of your hike!

This alternate does not appreciably change the total vertical or the distance covered from the description of the loop route shown on the map.

When To Climb


Snow typically lingers into August and can fall in any month of the year. The best times would be from the beginning of August to the middle of September, however, in this exceptionally low snowfall year, unless conditions change dramatically, this could be open by early June! This is a very long snowshoe or cross country trip in the winter.


Camping


Camping spots are everywhere and the views are fantastic. Just pick out a spot and enjoy. Very unlikely anybody else will find you up there.

Mountain Conditions


The snowfall here is extreme and can last well into July and even August making route finding difficult without a GPS or specific knowledge of the area.

Additions and Corrections

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Don NelsenUntitled Comment

Don Nelsen

Hasn't voted

You mean they are patroling clear up to Shale Lake now and require special permits even there?! You know, from a runners standpoint, this is nuts since a trail runner makes no impact at all. Time to grab the muskets and take the country back!





dn
Posted Feb 8, 2005 9:51 pm
Brian JenkinsUntitled Comment

Brian Jenkins

Voted 10/10

Ha ha. Yeah, when Dennis Poulin, Tom Snuffin (Cornvallis), Cory Crebbin (cjwhat) and I did Jefferson last year, we had two rangers check our permits at Pamelia Lake and then the next day again at Shale Lake.
Posted Feb 9, 2005 12:43 pm
Brian JenkinsUntitled Comment

Brian Jenkins

Voted 10/10

You need to contact the Detroit Ranger Station and get a special permit to go in at Pamelia Lake. I think you mention a bit about this on your page but the area is restricted by quota and rangers do patrol Pamelia Lake and the area around Shale Lake to make sure you have the required permit. You can only request it one month or less in advance and the camp spots go quickly during Summer. This is in addition to the NW Forest Pass. Yes, these are a hassle but this is a high impact area and the lakes are worth keeping as pristine as possible.
Posted Feb 8, 2005 9:34 pm
awilsondcMilk Creek Crossing via Woodpecker Ridge Trailhead

awilsondc

Voted 10/10

It would be worth mentioning something about the crossing at milk creek. Your directions say follow the woodpecker ridge trial (1 3/4 miles) and turn right on the PCT then follow your map. Your map, however, doesn't show the first 2 1/2 miles of the PCT which included a tricky crossing at milk creek. I got lost here and spent about 2 hours trying to find the PCT once I hit milk creek.



As the PCT makes it's way down to milk creek it disappears in the washed out creek basin. From this point it looks like there could be three trails; one going up the creek, one going down the creek, and one going up the creek on the other side of the basin. None of these are the correct trail. The PCT on the other side is pretty much directly across the creek (perpendicular) and continues in that direction, but you can't see it from the other side and there are no cairns or markers of any kind.



I'm not going to go through all the things I tried that didn't work, but I finally found the trail by heading down the creek about a tenth of a mile and scrambling up the bank after I found a place to cross. From that point I had to do some serious bushwacking back up the creek through a couple hundred feet of dense shrubs before I finally found the trial. From there I headed east and found a couple bivy sites and the turn off to pamelia lake within the first quarter mile.



I got lost because I didn't print a topo of this crossing, figuring the directions and the other map to be sufficient. Lesson learned.
Posted Jun 24, 2007 9:47 pm
Don NelsenThanks for the info!

Don Nelsen

Hasn't voted

I'm sorry you had problems finding the trail across Milk Creek. That's really brushy and steep in there so I can imagine it was a pain! Last November's storms were pretty bad for washing out trails and changing streambeds. I've uploaded the rest of the map from the trailhead so the alignment can be seen. Thanks for the comments - I appreciate your input. Don
Posted Jun 24, 2007 11:37 pm

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