Goodykoontz Peak is located between Williamson Rock and Mount Williamson. It has probably the best views of the spectacular Williamson Rock area outside of the Frog closure zone. Goodykoontz Peak is named after a Sierra Club Hundred Peaks Section (HPS) Member, Frank Goodykoontz. You will not see this peak on any maps, but it and 246 other peaks were selected to be on the HPS list and therefore are sought after by many HPS Peakbaggers. This peak and its routes offer nice views from all directions and good terrain for off trail hiking. This hike combines well with Mount Williamson, Pallet Mountain, Will Thrall Peak and Pleasant View Ridge. You need to make sure that you do not enter the closure area while hiking this peak. The closure is purportedly to protect the endangered mountain yellow-legged frog.
From the intersection of I-210 and Angeles Crest Highway (SR 2) in La Canada, drive north on Angeles Crest Highway approx. 38 miles to a large parking area on the left (north). This is 0.7 mile east of a large shed on the right. Park here for routes 2 and 3. For Route 1 park approx. 5 miles ealier at Buckhorn Campgroud.
Google Maps Directions for Routes 1 and 2
The routes to Williamson are limited due to the closure for the yellow legged frogs. Here is the closure Map. Referring to the HPS website, there are 3 main routes listed.
Route 1 is via the Southeast Ridge. It does cut the corner of the closure area so is not recommended. I have hiked it in the past and did enjoy it. Great views of Williamson Rock. Works well for a loop.
Route 2 is via the Northeast Ridge and is not within the closure area. This is my Preferred Route. There are great views all the way along the northeast ridge and it involves some steep terrain. This route is also shown on the topo Map above. In the past GPS track it was my ascent route and the Southeast ridge my descent. You basically hike as you would up the PCT to Mount Williamson but continue, drop down the steep ridge from Peak 8248 ft and gain the next peak (8160 ft). From this peak, basically head due west off the ridge. Make sure you stay to the west as when I hiked it I almost went down the more easterly ridge, which would have resulted in a much longer hike. Once you gain this ridge, it is easy to follow it west and increasingly southward as you approach the peak. The barren, beige gravel summit just to the north is actually the highpoint.
Route 3 is via the West Ridge. This route can still be used with the closure as long you use Burkhart Trail at Buckhorn Campground. The HPS website has direction, they are fairly straightforward, follow Burkhart Trail, turn left at the closed Rattlesnake Trail junction and hike about 1/8 th of a mile to the ridge. Climb this ridge and at the bump (6709’) turn east. If you arrange a car shuttle, one can ascend either route 2 or 3 and descend the other.
Other routes are possible. Once the frog closure is lifted you will be able to hike directly up from Williamson Rock. Also, I saw a summit register entry from someone who had hiked up from Devil's Punchbowl (see photo). This would be an interesting route.
You need an Adventure pass to Park.
Don't enter the frog closure area or risk a hefty fine.
and if you see any of these guys outside of the closure, please give them the right-away.
The following Website has GPS Tracks available for Download.
Here is the website containing the GPS Tracks for the other peaks in the area, any of which could be combined with Goodykoontz Peak for a longer hike. Caution: The GPS Track on this page crosses what is now the Closure Area.