Are you choosing the right spot for your hiking trip? Are you looking for precise information about William O Douglas Wilderness? If that’s the case, then keep reading this article!
William O. Douglas Wilderness was appointed in 1984. It has an area of 168,956 acres. Most of them belong to the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. This Wilderness is named after the late King of the US Supreme Court – William O. Douglas. He is an upright man who cares for his people. Civil rights and environmental protection are always the factors that he prioritizes throughout his career. He built Douglas’s house in Goose Prairie. This area is close to the Bumping River and adjacent to Wilderness. It makes this area famous and immortal in the famous book “Of Men and Mountains.”
- The William O. Douglas Wilderness is located in Washington’s middle Cascade Mountains and comprises roughly 169,000 acres of land.
- It was named after William O. Douglas, a former Supreme Court justice and environmental enthusiast, and was declared as a wilderness area in 1984.
- The William O. Douglas Wilderness has a diversified topography with woods, lakes, and mountains, as well as a diversity of species such as elk, deer, and black bears.
- Mount Aix and Old Snowy Mountain are two peaks in the wilderness area that are over 7,000 feet in elevation.
- The William O. Douglas Wilderness is a popular hiking, camping, and fishing location, with over 200 miles of paths for visitors to explore.
- The Pacific Crest Trail runs through the William O. Douglas Wilderness, allowing hikers to experience a portion of the historic long-distance trek.
- Winter sports such as snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are available in the wilderness region.
- The US Forest Service manages the William O. Douglas Wilderness, which has been classified as a wilderness area to preserve its natural beauty and safeguard it from development.
- Visitors are asked to follow the Leave No Trace principles in order to minimize environmental effect and maintain the wilderness region for future generations.
- The William O. Douglas Wilderness is a valuable natural and recreational resource in Washington state, providing visitors with the opportunity to enjoy the Cascade Range’s beauty and diversity.
When you hear the historical background of this Wilderness, have you started to feel interested? If you want more information on this sensible camping site, discover its beauty!
The Topography of William O. Douglas Wilderness
The essential parts of William O. Douglas Wilderness are mostly forests at high altitudes, but the overall topography is very diverse. At the western peaks, tall lakes in a forested landscape are the most prominent symbol. With the gradual drop in elevation on the eastern slopes, the area is covered with pine forests of medium elevation. Besides the high peaks and barren ridges, the exposed basalt tables and points add to the wildness and mystery. When you look to the south of William O. Douglas Wilderness, you will see a large, expansive plateau. In the deep jungle and 59 lakes are among 200 other ponds and lakes. Thanks to the dense vegetation, the wildlife here are quite plentiful, especially the large herds of elk and mule. They inhabit fishers, foxes, grouse, and mountain goats. Referring to this area, people often think of William O. Douglas Wilderness elk hunting.
The weather in this wild location is not too harsh. Each year, rainfall will fall around 120 inches in the western part of the area. But the East can only reach between 20 and 24 inches. Thereby, you can easily see the big difference between the two sides of the William O. Douglas Wilderness. November will be the time when the snow starts to fall and accumulate in patches at higher altitudes. In the middle of summer, this snow melts gradually. The trails that pass through William O. Douglas Wilderness have an altitude of 3,000 to 7,000 feet. In particular, it features the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail that runs along the 27-mile peak. This trail stretches from Mexico to Canada.
With its convenient terrain and beautiful scenery, many hikers choose the William O. Douglas Wilderness backpacking trip. Its west is adjacent to Mt. Rainier National Park. When looking north, you can see Norse Peak Wilderness. Besides, it shares a boundary with Goat Rocks Wilderness in the south. William O. Douglas Wilderness is composed of scattered and sharp peaks, so the scenery it creates is majestic and magnificent. The branches of the Naches had drained much of this Wilderness.
Guideline Map of William O. Douglas Wilderness
To make the trip more convenient, you should learn about the William O. Douglas Wilderness trail map. For those who love hiking, the William O. Douglas Wilderness heritage trail is an excellent experience. William O. Douglas himself discovered the natural, historical, and cultural sites of this wilderness. His book “Of Men and Mountains” is the story of this memorable journey.
Although many routes are going through William O. Douglas Wilderness, you can experience the route that many people love. It is the route westbound from Yakima to Lake Rimrock. Hikers can travel along the Yakima Greenway, the Naches River, to the Cowiche Canyon, Cowiche Mountain, and finally the Jumpoff Lookout – Split Ridge.
Another option you can consider is the route that passes through the northwest – the wilderness to the ramparts of Mount Rainier. Starting at Lake Rimrock, you will pass through Russell Ridge and encounter landmarks such as Mount Tumac, River Bumping, Mount Crag, Lake Twin Sisters, Lake Cougar, and Chinook Pass.
Although Douglas himself explored this wilderness, he frequented several memorable spots along the route. Besides the William O. Douglas Wilderness camping, visitors can experience the Selah Gap mountain climb. It is where Douglas started his journey. Besides, Kloochman Rock is also a standout option. Because this challenging climb inspired Douglas about the mountains’ indomitable spirit, when you come here, you can explore the alpine grassland by climbing the ridges and peaks. Besides, Douglas was also taught by an Indian how to fish in Indian Creek. The locations here are tied to Douglas’s historical events and experiences, so they all carry profound meanings. Cowlitz Pass is where he and a shepherd camped in 1914. They share news of World War I here. Fish Lake Camp offers a romantic and romantic setting. It is where Douglas heard the cry of a leopard as he caught the wound.
If you want to explore the full part of the William O. Douglas Wilderness trail, you will have a trip that lasts two to three days. Trailhead Sand Ridge on Highway 12 would be the right starting place. Then go to Shell Rock Lake trails six miles. You will see Crest Trail Pacific (PCT) at a junction. If you continue on the northwest direction of PCT through Tuyet Ho, you will reach the touching river’s upstream at Fish Lake Camp.
From here, you’ll climb 1,500 feet across Lake Crag to reach the junction of the Laughingwater Creek Trail with the national park boundary. If you are looking for family campgrounds, head down Laughingwater Creek Trail about eight miles across the Three Lakes to a trailhead on SR 123.
Heritage Trails of William O. Douglas Wilderness
Douglas Boyhood Home, Yakima
In October 1898, in Maine, Minnesota, the boy William Orville Douglas was born. His parents are William and Julia Douglas. California was the first place Douglas ventured to. He then settled in Cleveland, Washington, in 1904. Due to complications of stomach surgery, Douglas’s father died unexpectedly. This massive shelling led Douglas’s mother to move to 111 North Fifth Avenue in Yakima with her three children. During the years when Douglas was in kindergarten, his family was among the poorest in Yakima. He and his brothers had to start working when he was only seven years old. He would do just about anything he could, from washing windows and sweeping the store to more challenging work. When he recalled his childhood in a low-income family, Douglas spoke of the difference between ten cents or fifteen cents per dinner. If they do not receive enough money, they will not be able to eat a full dinner.
Yakima (Davis) High School, Yakima
Despite their impoverished circumstances, Douglas and his brothers are always motivated by their mother to become excellent students. His years at Yakima High School in 1912 are among Douglas’s happiest memories. Douglas graduated from Yakima High School as a valedictorian in his class thanks to his exemplary achievements with an all-A transcript. Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington, awarded him a scholarship for his accomplishments. Douglas did everything he could to afford his college life, from mowing lawns, cleaning small stores to looking after kilns. Despite the busy part-time job, Douglas managed to find the right time to work on controversial teams and overalls. Furthermore, he participates in a fraternal association and leads services at churches every Sunday night. In 1920, when Douglas was 21 years old, he graduated excellently at Whitman College.
After graduating from university, Douglas taught Latish and regularly lectured at his old high school in his home country. He met Mildred Riddle – a friend at Yakima High School – here. In 1924, Douglas married this man. Thanks to the advice and encouragement of a Columbia alumni, he decided to go to New York and study at Columbia University Law School. In 1930s, Douglas became a lecturer in law at Columbia and Yale. Here, he became a financial expert of businesses when his talents were fully developed. By 1936, he was trusted by President Franklin Roosevelt and appointed to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Three years later, Roosevelt promoted William O. Douglas to the Supreme Court of the United States. He is one of the youngest people appointed here. He devoted himself to the US Supreme Court for 36 years. No Justice can pass this time. Thanks to his long service at the court, he increasingly gained valuable experience and began to seek the legal fields’ greater interest. Douglas always thinks about his people. The freedoms of the First Amendment were asserted by him to take priority. Justice William O. Douglas passed away on January 19, 1980. His legacy is enormous. Most of them are judicial opinions, along with some of his other works. After long years in court, Douglas has gathered 1200 agreeing opinions and disagreements here. Until now, no one has been able to synthesize so many numbers. He has 32 books on justice, some of them very popular and bestsellers. Most of the books he has written are often criticized for speeches and articles in magazines.
Mountains and wilderness are an extraordinary passion of Justice William O. Douglas. With unstable health and a thin appearance, he is always confident in front of other boys of the same age and thinks that he is not strong enough to compete. A friend of Douglas suggested some good gymnastics for him, and he opted to go hiking. He improved and built up his strength through this discipline. The majestic hills in the west were the sites of his choice. Douglas began his hikes in the Yakima’s hills. After that, he began to venture further and went deeper into the foothills of the lower Cascade. On one occasion, Douglas traveled two miles to Selah Gap while maintaining his speed. In his youth and abundance, Mount Adams, Goat Rock, Chinook Pass, and Goose Meadow, were frequent places that he came.
Douglas spent much of his life organizing hiking trips to undeveloped or dilapidated areas for conservation. He is leading rallies for wildlife protection in many places.
During his early years, The Goat Rocks-Tieton Basin adventure influenced Douglas a lot. Douglas began his memorable trek up an enormous basalt rock east of Rimrock Reservoir – Kloochman Rock in 1913. At an altitude of about 2,000 feet, this giant massif is about one in length mile.
On untested streets, Douglas and his friend embarked on their journey. Although the two successfully reached the top of the mountain, he is not satisfied enough because there are not too many fear challenges. Douglas and his friends can overcome dangers even though they are not prepared for this adventure. Later, Douglas shared thoughts in his journey book as a 15-year-old boy on Kloochman Rock.
The starting point for William O. Douglas’s early hike is the confluence of the Indian Creek and Tieton Rivers. The Yakama Indians regularly fish, pick berries, and flour in the Tieton basin. When Douglas was a teenager, the Yakama organized their activities in this area frequently.
Cowlitz Pass Trail
Between Puget Sound and the Yakima Valley, there is a mountain range called the Cascade. It is also the same site that the Taidnapam and Yakama Indians have traveled to trade some essentials, fruits or food for over 6,000 years. The Yakima-Cowlitz Trail splits into a branch going north to Naches Gorge and a branch to Cowlitz Pass. Several other Native American travel routes such as the Cowlitz and Nisqually River Trail through Skate Creek, the Klickitat Trail through Cispus Pass, and the Cowlitz Trail to Carbonado.
During the early 1900s, grazing predominated in the White Pass corridor when people used terrestrial forest land. In 1914, when William O. Douglas was only 15 years old, he often went to the Cowlitz Pass to visit shepherds and share the World War I news.
Douglas met a shepherd near the Cowlitz Pass. He reminded Douglas of Walt Whitman. While Douglas read aloud the newsletter to him, the shepherd started his dinner. After eating and drinking, the man feared that this backlight would not light enough for Douglas to read more news. Little Douglas and the shepherd shared a lot of information. As the light became more apparent thanks to the fire, the shepherd continued to hear more information from the Supreme Court Judge in the future. At the end of a hearty breakfast, Douglas walked out of the wild house and continued his trek on the trail.
If you’re looking for a great camping and hiking experience near the Cowlitz Pass Trail, check out our Gifford Pinchot National Forest guide . This stunning forest is known for its diverse terrain, spectacular views, and vibrant wildlife, making it an ideal destination for outdoor enthusiasts of all levels.
Fish Lake Camp
The government created William O. Douglas Wilderness in 1984. This protected area consists of mountains, lakes, and meadows that Douglas loved in the southern Cascades.
Twin Sisters Lakes
With a total area of 166,000 acres, this wilderness includes the forested peak between Chinook Pass and White Pass. The William O. Douglas Wilderness hiking trails are a total of 250 miles long. North and south, a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail runs along the wilderness’s 27-mile backbone. High peaks and exposed mountains with 59 lakes and ponds have made this place majestic. Besides, wild animals are numerous. Many people have caught orange-bellied salmon up to 14 inches long.
Mount Rainier National Park – Pacific Crest Trail
Mount Rainier and the Cascades are two areas that William O. Douglas especially loves. He has expressed interest in these locations many times. Douglas was fascinated by the majestic beauty of Mount Rainier when he first visited Mount Yakima. At that time, the storm suddenly struck him, the torrential rain and splashing everywhere in the valley. Sharp blades of lightning across the sky shot down the mountains facing Douglas. After a while, the rain subsided, and the sky was clear again. Mount Rainier gradually emerged with a powerful beauty. It’s like a powerful king. The area east of Rainier (which is now named after him) and the Dewey Lakes, American Ridge, and Chinook Pass were placed Douglas frequented.
In 1949, when summer was about to end, Justice William O. Douglas was destined to test Mount Rainier’s fate. Before returning to Washington for the new term of the U.S. Supreme Court, Douglas spent several weeks at Goose Prairie. “Of Men and Mountains” has been he started the first lines here. His obsession with childhood stories was shared thoroughly in this book. In the end, Douglas decided to postpone his flight to Washington to satisfy his desires – making his last horseback ride in the Chinook Pass area.
Lake Tipsoo, when he reunited, they ran into old friend Willie McGuffie again. They began their ride on the Pacific Crest Trail towards the Sourdough Gap. On the side of Mount Crystal, the two decided to turn their horses and take a shortcut. The horse accompanying him on this journey was Kendall. But something unexpected happened. When Gilbert was riding in front of Douglas, Kendall suddenly jumped (for no reason). It caused Douglas fall to the ground. Luckily he rolled down the slope for another 30 yards without getting hurt. Douglas looked up at Kendall and thought his horse was sick.
Later, when they went to the hospital to take X-rays, they said that Douglas had broken 13 ribs. But in fact, that number must be up to 23 and lung perforation!
But Douglas is physically remarkable compared to men of the same age. Bruce Allen Murphy insists on his biography. Within 72 hours, Douglas’s life was rebalanced. With all his courage, Douglas suffered terrible pain in a semi-conscious state because he could not take any tranquilizers. Thanks to his courage to fight death, Douglas survived a dangerous accident and was able to kill anyone else.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are The Activities that I Can Experience at William O. Douglas Wilderness?
There are many health enhancement activities you can experience here. Typical activities will be hunting elk, camping with family, taking pictures, exploring the beautiful scenery. Especially, William O. Douglas Wilderness hikes is also an experience that many people choose.
What Time of Day Should I Hunt for Elk?
You should set aside the morning for this activity. The elk will be very active in the morning and at night. While mid-day hunting will make the time more flexible and increase efficiency, you should hunt in the morning.
What Should I Do If I Get Rain While Hunting for Elk?
According to professional elk hunters, hunting elk in the rain can be of great help. Your scent is not lost. Furthermore, you can still hear the bulls chirping.
How many trails are in William O. Douglas Wilderness?
William O. Douglas Wilderness contains over 200 miles of trails, including sections of the Pacific Crest Trail.
Which trail has the most elevation gain in William O. Douglas Wilderness?
The Snowgrass Trail in William O. Douglas Wilderness has the largest elevation rise, climbing over 3,000 feet from the trailhead to the top of Old Snowy Mountain.
What was William O. Douglas known for?
William O. Douglas was a former Supreme Court justice recognized for his progressive ideas and environmental conservation efforts. He sat on the Supreme Court from 1939 to 1975, making him the court’s longest-serving justice.
How did William Douglas’ fear of water start?
After nearly drowning as a child, William Douglas developed a lifelong phobia of water. He fell into a river while fishing and was washed downstream, but his father saved him. The encounter left him with a lifelong fear of drowning and intolerance to water.
Are dogs on leash allowed on trails in William O Douglas Wilderness?
Dogs are permitted on trails in the William O. Douglas Wilderness, but they must be kept on a leash at all times in order to protect wildlife and other visitors.
If you are looking for a suitable location for a family picnic or a long hike, William O. Douglas Wilderness is a suitable choice. Not only the majestic scenery, but this wild area also has pleasant weather and countless wild animals. In particular, those who love to hunt elk should try this animation here. With fascinating locations tied to historical stories, William O. Douglas is a famous preserved area worth a visit. Hopefully, through this article, you are ready to dedicate your trip to this beautiful area.