Goat Rocks Ramble (Trip) - Grades 8 & 9


Goat Rocks Ramble (Trip) - Grades 8 & 9


Monday, August 12 - Friday, August 16, 2019 (CLOSED. Contact us about space availability).

Pre-Trip Meeting (Mandatory) Sunday, August 11, 2019

Backpackers are invited to join us at a bucket list location whose praises have been 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 advanced adventure is well-suited to many hiking preferences, with lots of options for different inclinations.  Read more here.

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

Elevation Gain: 2,600 ft. Max. Elevation 6,200 ft.


Scholarship applications available during registration.

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2019 Itinerary

Monday, August 12 - Friday, August 16, 2019

Pre-Trip Meeting (mandatory): Sunday, August 11, 2019. Time: 10:00-1:00PM. Location: Cascades Montessori Middle School, 2710 McKenzie Avenue, 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 Cascades Montessori Middle School, 2710 McKenzie Avenue, Bellingham at 9:00AM. Directions. We’ll drive south toward the shadow of Tahoma (Mt. Rainier), arriving at a front country campsite near Packwood, WA to do a final shakedown with gear and review our maps and itinerary. The rest of this day will be a time to share our intentions and excitement for the days ahead and settle into the peace and presence of living amongst the trees.


After our morning routine, 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 intended trailside camp, adjacent to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), is directly under the remains of an ancient volcano, has unobstructed views of Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens, and access to a burbling, clear mountain spring. Read more here.


Today, we'll day hike along the PCT, 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’ll 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 and here


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: Cascades Montessori Middle School, 2710 McKenzie Avenue, Bellingham. Directions. Time: 7:00PM or later. Expect a text or call from the road with exact ETA.

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 pre-trip questionnaire and tetanus immunization required to participate.

Trip Training Tips

Trip Pack List

Essentials of Layering