Located off Hwy. 12 between Randle and Packwood, Washington, Walupt Horse Camp offers miles of challenging riding, both in and out of the scenic southern Goat Rocks Wilderness.
Many of the trails involve significant elevation gain, but the trails aren’t terribly steep, and there aren’t many steep side hills. In clear weather, mountain views abound.
Distance: 40+ miles of riding
Elevation: 3,900 feet
You can ride to Chambers Lake on a pretty trail that crosses the Cispus River and winds in and out of the Goat Rocks Wilderness.
You can ride a loop to the Coleman Weedpatch, a series of grassy meadows filled with seasonal wildflowers, then return along the shore of Walupt Lake. This trail has some steep stretches, some rocky stretches, and a couple of steep side hills. But the forest, the meadows and ponds, and the views of the surrounding ridges make it a beautiful ride.
You can make a lollipop loop to Midway Meadows, a grassy expanse where both you and your horse will enjoy stopping for lunch. Nearly all the elevation gain is in the first 3.5 miles, and after that the elevation changes are minor.
You can ride a series of switchbacks to the summit of Nannie Peak, which offers panoramic views of Mt. Adams, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Rainier, and the Goat Rocks. From there, it’s a series of gentle ups and downs as you continue to Sheep Lake and its surrounding flower-filled meadows.
Walupt Horse Camp
Walupt Horse Camp offers nine sites with highline poles, fire pits, and picnic tables. A few sites have only one highline pole, so you may need to bring a tree saver so you can connect your highline to one of the many trees in your campsite. The camp has toilets, manure bins, and potable water from a hand pump. There’s a fee for overnight camping.
Getting to Walupt Horse Camp
From I-5, take Exit 68 (Yakima/White Pass) and head east on Hwy. 12. After 48.5 miles, turn right on Hwy. 131 in Randle. In 1 mile, when the road makes a Y, veer left on Road 23. Follow it for 17.7 miles, then turn left on Forest Road 21 and continue 12.7 miles. Turn right on Road 2160 and drive 3.8 miles to the campground on the right.
You’ll find more information about Walupt Horse Camp and the surrounding trails in Riding SW Washington Horse Trails, by Kim McCarrel, (Ponderosa Press, 2018), available at www.nwhorsetrails.com.