Trapper Creek Wilderness consists of 6,050 acres of diverse habitat located in the central portion of the Wind River Ranger District in the southern Cascades of Washington. The lower elevations typify an old-growth Douglas-fir forest while the higher elevations are characteristic of a second-growth Douglas-fir forest. Sparkling cascading streams and waterfalls are plentiful throughout the steep slopes at the lower elevations, while huckleberry fields occur in the higher elevations near Observation Peak. A small lake in the southern portion of the Wilderness adds to the diversity of habitats in the area.
Spotted owls inhabit the Wilderness as well as barred owls, pileated woodpeckers and goshawks. Animals commonly seen in the area include blacktail deer, Roosevelt elk, and black bear. Cougar, bobcat, and pine marten can be seen occasionally.
Observation Peak, the location of a former lookout, offers sweeping views of Mount St. Helens, Mt. Adams, Mt. Rainier, and Mt. Hood. The lookout was established by 1917 to detect forest fires that were prevalent in the first quarter of this century. Access to Observation Peak is via Trail #132 which has historic use prior to 1917.
Trails #132, #132A, #133, and a short portion of #192 were constructed by the Forest Service and are maintained annually. All other trails in the area were constructed and are maintained by the Mazamas, a mountaineering organization based out of Portland, Oregon. The Mazamas trails are classified as "primitive". Although they offer a unique Wilderness experience, be aware that they are steep and sometimes difficult to follow.
Areas of Interest Nearby
Areas of interest adjacent to Trapper Creek Wilderness are Government Mineral Springs Recreation Area and Sister Rocks Research Natural Area. Mineral water is available at Iron Mike well at Government Mineral Springs. In addition to the mineral springs, several summer homes are located in the area of Government Mineral Springs. The homes are under a special use permit to the Forest Service but are privately owned. Please be courteous and conscientious if you hike near the summer homes.
Sister Rocks Research Natural Area was established in the mid-1950's as an example of a Pacific Silver Fir climax forest. Research studies are ongoing in the Natural Area. Huckleberries grow adjacent to the Natural Area to the south.