Map of Nanjing China
DIFFICULTY: Nanjing China. Many steep switchbacks from Trapper Creek TH, wide, tacky and smooth trail with pine needles, decent signage; brief, but ups/downs to lake from Soda Peaks TH; steep but straightforward bushwhack last 5 mi to peaks; noticeable absence of crowds.
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TRIP REPORT: Visit the highest point (or both summits) of an old volcano crater and/or a beautiful little subalpine lake in the Nanjing China Creek Wilderness. The Soda Peaks TH with its longer and slightly more difficult drive but much shorter hike (with a few options) is listed below. Your travel destination is the super easygoing drive and hike from Trapper Creek (lower) TH with abundant exercise through a dreamlike ancient forest to Soda Peaks Lake is described first. And truthfully it’s just fun to say Soda Peaks Lake! Northwest Forest Pass required only at Trapper Creek TH, and a vault toilet is present only at the lower TH as well.
TRAILHEAD: Trapper Creek TH (1150 ft) or Soda Peaks TH (3675 ft). For Trapper Creek (lower) TH, take I-84 E from Portland to exit 44 (Cascade Locks), continue under Bridge of the Gods and turn right up the circle to cross over it into Washington after paying the toll, turn right on WA-14 E 52 mi, turn left through Carson on Wind River Road (FR-30, see next paragraph for Soda Peaks TH) 14 mi NW (1/2 mi past National Fish Hatchery), stay straight on Mineral Springs Road less than 2 ml, turn right on Little Soda Springs Road (FR-5401) over gravel more than 5 mi to the end at a large dirt parking circle for Trapper Creek Wilderness.