Hike 57
The Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Soda Peaks Lake via Trapper Creek Hike
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THE FOLLOWING MAP IS NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATIONAL PURPOSES.
Map of the Soda Peaks Lake, Trapper Creek Wilderness Hike

Length: 7.8 Miles round trip
Elevation Change: 2680' Elevation gain
Season: Summer thru Fall
Difficulty:   Difficult
Permit:   NW Forest Pass Required


Features:

This approach to Soda Peaks Lake begins off Forest Road #5401 which is a short distance from the Wind River Hwy #30. Also, this approach to Soda Peaks Lake is for those who are desperate for a heart attack... in other words this is a very challenging hike!

See Hike #58 for a more reasonable way to get to Soda Peaks Lake.

Having said that, lets hike. The trail begins fairly level as it leaves the trail head. The trail parallels a private road that follows Trapper Creek for about 1.5 miles. At .8 miles you will come to the junction of Trail #132. Keep straight ahead and continue on until you reach the junction of Trail #133. Bear left and follow this trail.

Trail #133 descends a bit to Trapper Creek and crosses on a vehicle bridge that has been transformed into a hikers bridge. After crossing the creek, the trail veers off to the left as it prepares to climb like a homesick angel up a very steep mountain. Just before lift off, you will pass a junction of a trail that leads back to the Government Mineral Springs.

Now the climb begins. Thank goodness for the switchbacks. This trail climbs and climbs and climbs. Then it climbs some more. Then after that... you guessed it, it climbs even more. A couple enjoyable aspects to this approach to Soda Peaks Lake is that you get to hike/climb through a significant Old Growth Forest. I mean, these trees are really big and really old. Then there are also occasional views as you make your way up this mostly heavily timbered trail.

When you finally do get to Soda Peaks Lake, if you have any energy left, walk down to the lake, then follow the user trail to the east side of the lake and up the rocky part of the East Soda Peak. Here you get some frosting for your hiking cake as your view out at Mt St Helens, Mt Rainier, and Mt Adams.



Mt St Helens peeking over ridge above Soda Peaks Lake in the Trapper Creek Wilderness
Mt St Helens peeking over ridge above Soda Peaks Lake
How to get there:

from Portland, OR
From Portland, travel east on Interstate Hwy 84 to Exit 44 to Cascade Locks. Exit the freeway and cross over the Columbia River into Washington via the Bridge of the Gods. Then turn right, or east, and head east through Stevenson, Washington to the intersection of the Wind River Highway to Carson, Washington. Bear left onto the Wind River Highway which will take you through Carson, Washington.

from Vancouver, WA
From Vancouver, WA travel east on SR14 through Stevenson, Washington to the intersection of the Wind River Highway to Carson, Washington. Bear left onto the Wind River Highway which will take you through Carson, Washington.

from Carson, WA
Continue north on the Wind River Highway (FR30) for about 8.6 miles to the little community of Stabler and the junction with Forest Road 43, also called Hemlock Road. Continue northwest on FR30 for another 5.4 miles and you will pass a fish hatchery on the left. Continue on another half mile and you will come to the junction with Forest Road 3065, which continues straight ahead.

The Wind River Highway, or FR30, makes a sharp right turn here and heads north. You, however, do not turn, but continue straight ahead on Forest Road 3065. After crossing the Wind River you will pass Forest Road 5401, but continue on straight ahead for another half mile or so. The road will narrow as you enter the Mineral Springs area. The trailhead for this hike is at the far west end of this road, just next to the mineral springs pump, where you can pump yourself a carbonated drink of mineral water if you have absolutely no taste buds left in your mouth.... hee hee hee.



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