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Willard Springs Loop Trail

Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge

Mt. Adams/Indian Heaven Wilderness/Goat Rocks, Washington

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Willard Springs Loop Trail

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  • Sagebrush lizard (Sceloporus graciosus).- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Walking toward the Whitcomb-Cole Hewn Log Cabin.- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Cedar waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum).- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Whitcomb-Cole Hewn Log Cabin, built in 1877.- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Whitcomb-Cole Hewn Log Cabin, built in 1877.- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Whitcomb-Cole Hewn Log Cabin, built in 1877.- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Looking out over Conboy Lake (seasonal) from the Willard Springs Loop Trail.- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Marsh/canal along the Willard Springs Loop Trail.- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Douglas's spiraea (Spiraea douglasii).- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Douglas's spiraea (Spiraea douglasii).- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Willard Springs Loop Trail.- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Praying mantis (Mantodea) along the Willard Springs Loop Trail.- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Dragonfly along the Willard Springs Loop Trail.- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Looking out over Conboy Lake (seasonal) from the Willard Springs Loop Trail.- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Forest of ponderosa and lodgepole pine, Douglas fir and grand fir along the Willard Springs Loop Trail.- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Fallen bird's nest along the Willard Springs Loop Trail.- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Forest of ponderosa and lodgepole pine, Douglas fir and grand fir along the Willard Springs Loop Trail.- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Willard Springs Loop Trail.- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Willard Springs Loop Trail.- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Forest of ponderosa and lodgepole pine, Douglas fir and grand fir along the Willard Springs Loop Trail.- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Looking out over Conboy Lake (seasonal) from the Willard Springs Loop Trail.- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Willard Springs Loop Trail viewing platform.- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Looking northeast from the Willard Springs Loop Trail viewing platform.- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Mount Adams (12,280') from the Willard Springs Loop Trail.- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa).- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Willard Springs Loop Trail.- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Forest of ponderosa and lodgepole pine, Douglas fir and grand fir along the Willard Springs Loop Trail.- Willard Springs Loop Trail
  • Vault toilet, parking and picnic area at the Willard Springs Trailhead.- Willard Springs Loop Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Bird watching. Shaded ponderosa pine forest.
Cons: 
None.
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Region:
Mt. Adams/Indian Heaven Wilderness/Goat Rocks, WA
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
No
Net Elevation Gain: 
60.00 ft (18.29 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Fall
Total Distance: 
2.00 mi (3.22 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
1,830.00 ft (557.78 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Team

Starting out at the Conboy Lake National Wildlife Refuge headquarters, the 2-mile long Willard Springs Loop Trail is the best way to experience the wonder of the 7,071-acre nature preserve by foot.

First, dive into history and explore one of the state's oldest wooden structures, the Whitcomb-Cole Hewn Log House, built in 1877.* Then, walk along the Cold Springs Ditch, where garter snakes (not dangerous) lurk in the reeds and Oregon spotted frogs bask amongst pond lilies. Finally, hike into the refuge's high desert transitional forest. Once in the forest, the Douglas firs that dominate the western portion of Washington give way to Ponderosa pines, lodgepole pines, and sagebrush that flourishes in the region's drier climate.

In total, the Willard Springs Loop Trail is roughly 2 miles round trip (1 mile out to the viewing platform), but there are also several shortcut trails that return to the refuge headquarters in less time.

* Originally located on the south side of Conboy Lake, the rustic pioneer cabin was relocated to its current, publicly accessible location in 1987 and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The cabin itself was built by Stephen S. Whitcomb, one of the first European-descendant settlers to the Camas Prairie, who served as the postmaster for the Fulda Post Office from 1877 to 1881. After moving to nearby Gilmer (the town with the namesake of his new wife), Whitcomb sold the cabin and land to John N. Cole, who then sold it again in 1911. The cabin was eventually abandoned in the 1950s.

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Field Guide

Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(11 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(47 within a 30 mile radius)

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