From Evergreen Trail Guide
The Goat Mountain Epic is threatened by new permits for mining that may destroy parts of these trails. Read the advocacy information lower on this page for more information.
This epic ride includes Vanson Peak, Goat, Stawberry and Tumwater Mountains, and combines fantastic trails with mind blowing views of Mt St Helens. The ride can be done several ways for normal riders or as an epic if you're looking for a real suffer-fest.
For a description of the ride, check out the ride report that was posted to our email list.
How to find it
Take road 26 off of the main road up to Windy Pass. You turn right to Norway Pass trailhead then keep going to Ryan Lake . You can also turn off the main road/highway before you turn up to windy pass and take the back way which is still road 26. There is a small restroom/parking lot at Ryan Lake. If you look on Green Trails map you can see 26 running north and south. Right at the Ryan Lake parking area there is another road running west, the trail head is about 1500 ft west of 26 on this road. You could also call the ride Tumwater Mt. or Vanson Peak but I think Goat Mt. just sounds better. You can camp at a big plateau next to the Ryan lake parking area, room for hundreds of rigs if you wanted. Then you can also ride to Norway pass and do Boundary trail #!, and keep going on that or ride Strawberry Mt (east of 26).
Here you describe how the trails hold up with rain, late in the summer, etc.
This is where folks will report how the trails were on a recent day.
General route is up the hill, turn right at Deadman’s Lake and go to Tumwater Peak and then drop down and climb back up to Vanson Peak then back down the way you came(lollipop). But it only takes about 2 hours to get to Deadman’s lake and this is a perfectly fun ride for less hardcore riders, Or you can go to Vanson Lake and make it a 5 hour trip. The full lollipop takes 9 hours if you swim twice, eat lunch, etc.. If you do the lollipop you will drop down further on the back side then you started at on the front side, it’s a hell uva climb back out but very nice , woodsy, quiet, wet. Most people would be better off just riding to Vanson Lake or something. I don’t recommend trying to come back up the Green River trail, steady uphill on horse churned rocky trail.
Right at the top of the first climb is another small lake, don’t know if its even on the map. Always wanted to swim there but usually too tired since you have to bushwhack a bit.
Rough map of the area from the FS website.
Local Points of Interest
Here you might list nearby places to get a bite to eat, nearby bike shops, etc.
Goat Mt trail #217 FS website
Mining may affect Mt. St. Helens area trails April 2007. Many of you enjoy riding in the Mt. St. Helens area. Most people just ride the standard Ape Canyon loop, and aren’t even aware of the other superlative singletrack in the area. One of the best is the Ryan Lake area. With tons of room for camping and not one, not two, but three nearby epic rides that you can pedal to from your campsite, it is a premier mountain biking destination. If that isn’t enough, two of those rides have not one but two swimming lakes. Even more, its not just your normal everyday forest and mountain riding – while not quite as spooky as the Plains of Abraham, you travel and view the varying destruction zones of the St. Helen’s area. People – Northwest riding just doesn’t get any better than this!
One of the greatest of these is the Goat Mt/Tumwater Mt epic. You can reference the ride report below to get a flavor for it. Don’t let the agony put you off, the ride is a classic lollipop and can be ridden as an in and out where you can actually swim in 3 different lakes in a day. It doesn’t have to be a gut buster.
There is a threat to this great area. The BLM has approved initial permits to consider mining in this area.
The original article says only mailed letters are allowed for comment, but I notice the BLM site includes an email address as well: Eric_Hoffman@or.blm.gov
Mail comments here
- US Dept of the Interior
- Bureau of Land Management
- Oregon State Office
- Attn: Lands and Mineral Resources
- PO Box 2965
- Portland OR 97208
Please take the time to write in and talk about how this is one of the rare high country mountain bike rides in the state and the St Helens area and how you consider it inappropriate to site a mine in such a unique and precious landscape, right on the border of a National Monument.
Here is my sample letter:
- I recently learned of the potential for siting a mine right outide the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument on the flanks of Goat Mt.
- Normally I would be somewhat supportive of mining activity as I recognize the need to accquire raw materials.
- But I have serious reservations about this location. First of all I have greatly enjoyed mountain biking on Goat Mt. for the last 7 years. It is one of very few high country epic trails in Washington State open to bicycles. With the possibility of swimming in 3 different lakes, big ascents and descents, incredible views of the regrowing volcanic devastation areas and the local Elk herd make this an incredible journey. The large plateau at Ryan Lake provides the perfect camping area for a multi-day trip to traverse the nearby Strawberry Ridge and Boundary Trail, making this one of the only mountain bicycle “destination” areas in the state.
- The contrast between the areas of volcanic destruction, untouched terrain, and the regrowing forest create a magical and totally unique landscape. I have a very hard time believing a mine could be located in this area without completely destroying the magical character of the area. Right now access to the area is limited to very tiny windy 1 lane roads that have often been washed out and unpasseable in years past. Even the main road up to the St. Helens monument is an incredibly tight and windy road with no provision for large trucks. How will heavy equipment and giant trucks be allowed to come in to this site?
- Then there is the un-ignorable question of what risk are the workers of the mine being put by the active St. Helens volcano?
- I think there are a lot more questions and difficulties that could be raised about this project, but suffice to say that as a lifelong Washington resident, I am totally opposed to the idea of siting a mine anywhere near this totally unique monument.