Goat Rocks Ramble (Trip) - Grades 8-9


Goat Rocks Ramble (Trip) - Grades 8-9


Monday, July 31 - Thursday, August 3, 2017 (Sold out. Standby list available). 

Note: Registration priority on this advanced trip will be given to those with previous backpacking experience.

Pre-trip Meeting (Mandatory) Sunday, July 30, 2017

Intermediate-Advanced backpackers are invited to join us at a bucket list location whose praises we've heard sung for years. Many call this area the jewel of the North and South Cascades for good reason: located between three volcanoes, it has epic views, alpine lakes, high ridgeline trails, peak scrambles, the most technical part of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), and goats! Since the trailhead is at a relatively high elevation, it’s not too challenging to reach and stay in the alpine zone, with views galore of Mt. Rainier, Adams, and St. Helens from summits of the remains of ancient stratovolcanoes. This adventure is well-suited to many hiking preferences, with lots of options for different inclinations.  

Total trip miles: 14-16 miles with full packs, collaboratively decided additional distance in day hike explorations.


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2017 Itinerary

Monday, July 31 - Thursday, August 3, 2017

Pre-Trip Meeting (Mandatory): Sunday, July 30, 2017. Time: 1:00-4:00PM. Location: Cascade Montessori Middle School, 2710 McKenzie Ave, Bellingham. Directions. Participants should bring backpack and everything on the gear list they plan to bring on the trip. While this meeting is for participants only, we're happy to fill parents in on everything we discuss! 


Meet at Cascade Montessori Middle School, 2710 MacKenzie Ave, Bellingham at 8:30AM. We’ll drive south toward the shadow of Tahoma (Mt. Rainier), arriving to a riverside camp near Packwood, WA to do a final shakedown with gear. Then we'll head for the Snowgrass trailhead, one of the most popular trailheads in Washington - for good reason. At just five miles from the trailhead, we'll be in the high country above Snowgrass Flats, with clear water, wildlife, wildflowers, and looming peaks. Our trailside camp, adjacent to the PCT, is directly under the remains of an ancient volcano, has unobstructed views of Mt. Adams and St. Helens, and access to a burbling, clear mountain spring. Read more here.


After our morning routine, we'll day hike along the Pacific Crest Trail, no doubt passing motivated hikers headed north, nearing the end of their long journey on this 2600 mile trail. Our goal is to ascend Old Snowy (at 7000', this is the highest point of the PCT in Washington) and then walk along the Knife's Edge, the most technical part of the entire PCT. Outstanding views of Rainier, Packwood and Goat Lakes, and the PCT east to White Pass will accompany our day's adventure, along with some snow sliding and snowball throwing! See more here


We'll take our time soaking in views and the azure water of a glacial cirque as we hike from our PCT-perched camp to alpine Goat Lake, where we’re very likely see herds of the lake's namesake. After establishing camp in this surreal environment, we'll scramble up to the site of an old fire lookout at Hawkeye Point. The views from Hawkeye on a clear day are the best we've seen anywhere in the Cascades, stretching north to Mt. Baker and south to Mt. Hood, with Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, and Mt. St. Helens ringing the lookout vista. Read more here andhere


We'll be up and packing to head down and out this day, perhaps starting at dawn to see sunrise from Hawkeye Point. Then we’ll hike from Jordan Basin, stopping at another site of a former fire lookout for our last view of the big three volcanoes. We'll aim for a stop en route for well-deserved treats and a meal, then we'll clean up a bit before heading north for our fair city by the sea.

Pick-up: Cascade Montessori Middle School, 2710 MacKenzie Ave, Bellingham in the early evening (time depends on trail and road travel time + traffic). Expect a text or call from the road for exact ETA (7:00PM or later).

Learning Outcomes: Lessons learned and concepts covered on this adventure include daily in-depth exploration of the bridge to young adulthood and all its attributes, challenges and changes; living out the Wild Whatcom mottos; healthy and supportive interpersonal communication, Leave No Trace (TM) ethics, collaborative leadership development, common sense camping, analyzing hazards and how to mitigate their risk, living with integrity, exploring how our thinking affects our reality, self care, ecology and botany of subalpine and alpine ecosystems, multiple intelligence theory, wilderness awareness and ethics, glaciers and our connection to them, geology, survival priorities, navigation, preparedness, human impact on mountain ecosystems, wildlife and their adaptation to humans, working with and through fears, mountain weather systems, accepting and working with emotions, advanced backpacking skills, practicing gratitude, understanding personal potential, human and natural history...and more!

Participant trip questionnaire and tetanus immunization required to participate.

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4+ Day Trips Pack List