Wilderness: Trapper Creek
The 5,963 acre Trapper Creek Wilderness protects nearly all of the Trapper Creek drainage and provides critical anadromous fish habitat in the Wind River watershed. Streams and waterfalls are plentiful among the steep forested canyons at lower elevations. The old-growth Douglas-fir forests that comprise the heart of this Wilderness provide habitat for a variety of wildlife such as spotted owls, pileated woodpeckers, goshawks, blacktail deer, Roosevelt elk, and black bear. Cougar, bobcat, and pine marten can be observed occasionally.
Soda Peaks Lake, the area's single body of water, is within a valley below Soda Peaks in the southwest corner of the Wilderness. Observation Peak, the site of a former fire lookout, offers sweeping views of Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, and Mount Hood. Access to Observation Peak is via Trail #132, which has historic use prior to 1917.
Trails to Soda Peaks Lake and Observation Peak total 12 miles. Another 12.4 miles of primitive trails, including Trail # 192.2 Trapper Creek, provide loop opportunities through the middle of the Wilderness. These primitive trails (including: #132B Shortcut, #195 Big Slide, #198 Sunshine, #202 Rim, #209: Deer Cutoff) are maintained to a lesser standard and can be challenging to follow.
- Key access points: Trail and trailhead information.
ALERT: This Wilderness area was impacted by the Big Hollow Fire (2020). Hikers travel at their own risk. Please review safety tips for burned areas.
At a Glance
|Current Conditions:||06/28/2023: Trapper Creek Wilderness is clear of snow and fallen logs. The area was partly burned over in 2020 and some of the trails are difficult to follow. Hikers travel at their own risk. Contact Mt. Adams Ranger District for current information (509) 395-3402.|
|Permit Info:||Wilderness permits are required for entry into all Gifford Pinchot National Forest Wildernesses. The self-issuing permits are free and are available at all trailheads leading into these Wildernesses, and at Forest Service Ranger Stations.|
|Restrictions:||Wilderness Regulations Apply|
|Closest Towns:||Carson, WA|
|Passes:||Some trailheads require a valid recreation pass. Check our Recreation Passes and Permits page for details.|
|Information Center:||Mount Adams Ranger District|
From Carson, WA follow the Wind River Road north for about 13.5 then miles take a left on Mineral Springs Road (Forest Road 3065).
To get to Trapper Creek Trailhead take the first right on Forest Road 5401.
- Campground: Government Mineral Springs - access to the southeast corner of the Wilderness and Trail #132 Observation, Trail #133 Soda Peaks, and Trail # 192.1 Trapper Creek.
- Trailhead: Big Hollow - access to Trail # 158 Big Hollow which travels west and intersects with Trail #132 Observation at the Wilderness boundary.
- Trailhead: Observation Peak - access to Trail # 132 Observation Peak
- Trailhead: Soda Peaks - access to Trail # 133 Soda Peaks Lake
- Trailhead: Trapper Creek - access to Trail #192.1 and Trail # 192.2 Trapper Creek sections. (The trailhead also accesses Trail #194 Dry Creek which travels outside of the Wilderness boundary north to meet Trail #158 Big Hollow.)
Bare Mountain, Termination Point. Download free U.S. Forest Service Topo maps.
Find maps online
Go to the maps page. Or pick up a map at any Gifford Pinchot National Forest Ranger District office.
Go to Wilderness.net for online maps and other important Wilderness information.
Other Trails within Trapper Creek Wilderness
Trails #132, #132A, #133, and #192.1 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. These trails are classified as "primitive: and are steep and sometimes difficult to follow:
- Trail #132B Shortcut - access from Trail #132 Observation Peak
- Trail #195 Big Slide Primitive - access from Trail #132 Observation Peak.
- Trail #198 Sunshine Primitive - access from Trail #132 Observation Peak.
- Trail #202 Rim Primitive - access from Trail # 192.2 Trapper Creek and Trail #198 Sunshine Primitive.
- Trail #209: Deer Cutoff Primitive - access from Trail # 192.2 Trapper Creek and Trail # 195 Big Slide Primitive.
Nearby Areas of Interest
Government Mineral Springs Campground and Recreation Area
Mineral water is available at Iron Mike well at Government Mineral Springs. In addition to the mineral springs, several privately owned summer homes are located in the area under a special use permit to the Forest Service. Please be courteous if you hike near the homes.
Sister Rocks Research Natural Area
Sister Rocks Research Natural Area at the northwest corner of the Wilderness boundary 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 area to the south.