The nearly 17-mile-long segment of NF-21 is the last trail in portion 1 of the Cascade Overland Route. Starting out near Walupt Lake, your elevation is 3,296 feet, before reaching 4,082 feet after approximately 3 miles. From there it’s all downhill until you reach 1,074 feet. Located at the northern end of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, the route travels along the Goat Rocks Wilderness to the east, before reaching the end of the forest at the arrival of Highway 12.
At the intersection of NF-1250, it’s a 3.5-mile drive to Chambers Lake and its campground. Hiking trailheads, like Berry Patch Snowgrass, and Goat Ridge are also nearby. Another nearby hiking trail can be found at Waypoint 11, at the intersection of NF-2120. After about a half a mile, you’ll reach the trailhead for Angry Mountain; an 8-mile hiking trail that passes by Angry Mountain about 5.5 miles in, and will have you climb over 3,000 feet before intersecting with the Lily Basin Trail. At Waypoint 9, you’ll cross over Mission Creek. Throughout many portions of the trail, there will be many scenic views to be had on the left side, and near the end, water runoff may produce small waterfalls on the right side of the trail.
At the end of the trail, there is a small switchback before arriving at Highway 12. From there, you’ll want to turn right where the town of Packwood is less than 3 miles away, with full services. Though NF-21 is the last trail of this portion, and it will be another 40 miles until the next trailhead, the drive between waypoints is quite pleasant, traveling through White Pass and along Rimrock Lake.
This trail is part of the Washington Cascade Overland Route. Visit Overlanding Across Washington
for more information, including which trails to take next.