OverviewGoat Rocks Wilderness. It is aptly named. We saw hundreds of birds hovering over a neighboring subpeak. A trail goes all the way to its summit which once held a lookout station. In the summer, the way to the summit is little more than a hike. Before mid-July, with abundant snow cover, this outing will be a beautiful snow scramble. You will encounter meadows with great wildflowers. This is an easy summit with big rewards.
Hawkeye Point is possible in a long day (from either of two possible trailheads, it will be about a 16 mile day. Combine this with the fact that the trailhead is a long drive from practically anywhere, this trip will be much more practical as an overnighter. Luckily, Hawkeye Point lies in some of the greatest camping country of the Pacific Northwest.
Alternatively, one can approach Hawkeye Point from the northern end of the Lily Basin Trail. Either way, the distance to Hawkeye Point is about 8 miles one way. Accordingly, it makes sense to make this a multi-day trip to enjoy this beautiful area at your leisure.
Red TapeGoat Rocks Wilderness. There are no restrictions beyond the use of self-service permits and a NW Trailhead Pass ($30/year). I have found this ranger station to be of very limited help. From my telephone conversations with them, it appears that only a couple of the rangers who work there actually seem to hike. To say that the information they provided us was out of date would be an understatement. To be more cynical, they seemed determined to keep us out of the area, claiming snowcover and conditions were much worse than they actually were. If bound and determined to call this station, the contact information is:
Packwood Ranger District
P.O. Box 559
Packwood, WA 98361