Vanson Lake Loop (Mt St Helens Monument, 5 days, 4 nights)

Vanson lake campsite
Vanson fishing
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Vanson lake
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Vanson lake campsite
Vanson fishing
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Vanson lake
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$1895+tax/adult, non-wilderness

Aug 14 – 18 2023 (private trip)         Aug 21 – 25 2023  

Reserve your spot now!

This adventure offers a fascinating loop through varied forests, some great views of Mt St Helens and the blast zone, as well as the best huckleberry picking that we’ve found. There are lots of fish rising in both lakes: bring your fly rod!

The first day starts at the Goat Mountain trailhead parking area and travels down the picturesque Green River trail for about 6 miles. The first 5 miles are largely in the 1980 blast zone from Mt St Helens and is thickly forested with 40-yr old trees. The last mile is in a shielded area of truly impressive ancient Douglas-fir and cedar stands. The first camp is a lovely flat with tent sites adjacent Green River.

Day 2 is a gradual climb of 1700 ft elevation for 4 miles to Vanson Lake. Day 3 is a moderate 3 miles and 900 ft elevation gain and loss to Deadman Lake. We layover a day at this exceptional site to have time for fishing and huckleberry picking. Day 5 is a 6-mile hike along Goat Mountain with 2000 ft elevation drop to the starting point. This necessitates an efficient process to break camp and get started.

Day 2 and Day 5 are challenging enough to warrant a classification of “Strenuous.”

These trails are open to hikers, bicycles and horses, and closed to all motorized traffic. 

Trip Logistics

We meet up at the trailhead at 9 a.m.  Contrary to what some hiking guides write, no Forest Pass is required at the Goat Mountain trailhead.

Lunch is provided on the first day and the last day, as well as meals and snacks in between.

Llamas aren’t very tolerant of hot weather, so if it is very hot, we start early, with breakfast served at either 6 or 7 a.m.  Extra coffee will be provided 🙂

Specific Hazards

  • Horses and bicycles on trail occasionally
  • Open water, drowning hazard for small children

Food

We strive to provide exceptional meals in the back country.  Fresh meats and fish, steamed vegetables, salad, fresh bread from Dutch ovens, and desserts are planned for the first three dinners.  High fire danger will necessitate a simpler menu, as Dutch ovens can’t be used.

Subsequent dinners will be dried and re-hydrated, or selections of commercial dried dinners. Pescatarian, and dairy-free are easily accommodated. Vegan and gluten-free are available individually through commercial dried dinners with fresh additives that we will bring.

We can customize the menu for your group.  All dietary requests must be made at least 2 weeks before the trip.

Lunches typically include wraps with fresh meats and cheese for the first three days, as well as fresh fruit.  Days 4 through 5 will be wraps with nut butters and dried fruit.  Snacks will be a selection of Kind bars, Larabars or similar items.

Breakfasts on travel days will include hot coffee, tea, and instant oatmeal selection.  A nice breakfast is standard fare on layover days, sometimes with fresh coffee cake if fire danger allows.


What to Bring

We carry 30 pounds of gear per person, including the tent (3-4 lb) and pad (1-2 lb) that we provide.  Any overage is carried by the client.

  • Rain gear
  • Sleeping bag (available to rent for $22)
  • Warm clothes
  • Hat
  • Trekking poles
  • Flashlight
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen 
  • Medications 

Reserve Your Spot

 

    We're delighted that you want to join us on this adventure!



    Vanson Lake Loop August 14-18 2023 (private trip)Vanson Lake Loop August 21-25 2023



    TentSleeping padSleeping bag


    VegetarianNo dairyOther


    We want happy mornings!

    Click the button below to send us this information, and we'll email you an invoice for your deposit.
    Your trip will be reserved when we receive your deposit.

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