Horseshoe Trail near the top
For all you people that think Dog Mountain is a challenge – this hike a WAY more challenging. This was a true conditioning hike – do not attempt this hike if you are not already in considerably good shape. The uphill climb is over 2 miles long and some of it is almost vertical on a very narrow trail. The trail is not maintained very well and there are many areas of climbing over, going under, or going around fallen trees. That being said – the forest is beautiful – lush with mosses, varying shades of greens. The trail across the top of the ridge has many moss covered huge rock areas. I found them fascinating.
We hiked this in poor weather – not suggested. We encountered rain, snow, sleet, hail, and fog. The peak elevation is 3480 feet. The top likely has some great views, but today the weather was too bad to tell. I will hike this again on a clear day!
The trail shoots off the Siouxon Trail which has many waterfalls to view. It ends back on the Siouxon Trail a mile or so farther up from where you left it to start the hike. Overall the trail was easy to follow (see), we never felt we lost the trail. It does go through a camp area near the top that I assume could be used if you backpack in. There was no other obvious way to get to that camp area. The trail crossed several small creeks on the return side of the loop that were quite beautiful. Also the forest coming down was breath taking.
After this hike I feel ready to climb Mt. St. Helens!