Dayhiking Big Goat Peak 7120′
I was looking for a trip with some miles to see what my calf was going to act like after a muscle tear about 5 weeks ago and Big Goat Mountain was one of the few peaks my long time hiking partner and I had left to do in Washington’s North Central Cascades Sawtooth Range so we had at it. We use to drive up here quite frequently and Grade Creek road was deteriorating but this time we found the road to be in the best shape we had ever seen grated, widened, all around good efficient traveling despite the six canyons you snake in and out of to get to the business end. The access road down to Safety Harbor parking lot / CG (which has a BR) but not much else was also in good shape and while the initial trail is fairly level as it makes it’s way for 3.3 miles down to Safety Harbor Creek it slowly becomes brushy and rocky, yet scenic as you hike. The creek was low and we rock hoped across it took a break and refilled some water after that we made our way up through the burn areas from the Uno wildfire and what a treat that was in the sun while we found we still had sporadic stream crossings and water there are numerous washouts, slides, downfall, overgrowth and trail erosion areas and it looks like the Uno trail especially the South and Southeast areas may be lost. It is a rugged area and after the Pass between Uno and Big Goat the terrain showed little fire damage with the exception of the highest point on Big Goats summit ridge which burned out but in doing so left the best views much better than the named summit which is slightly lower. We took a break in the shade of a few trees and had intended to do Little Goat this trip also, but the terrain ate up some time and energy and in the heat of the day / moment we gave it a pass I was just really glad my calf held up. On the way back we side tripped to the old cabin and it was burned to the ground (Steve had a tear in his eye :winksmile: ) then made our way back through the jungle it is funny how you don’t quite remember how bad it was when your fresh and coming in. Hats off to the family we saw with maybe a 6/7 year old girl who spent 3 days doing a loop all through the burn area I imagine that will be a trip they remember. The dayhike ended up being 15 miles and 3400′ and my calf persevered despite the punishment it received from the terrain.