In a state that’s hardly short on splendor, Goat Rocks may be the PCT’s aesthetic high point. For half of the stretch between White Pass and Walupt Lake, the path straddles a 7,000-foot ridge, affording pinup-quality panoramas of Rainier, Adams, and St. Helens. The scenery closer at hand doesn’t suck, either: You’ll cross Cispus Basin, where streams plunge off cliffs amid fireweed, lupine, and pearly everlasting; and Snowgrass Flats, carpeted in its namesake puffy white flowers. For more waterfalls and wildflowers, camp at McCall Basin, .5 mile off the PCT via the old Cascade Crest Trail. Until mid-July, you might need an ice axe and crampons for snow crossings, especially on the Packwood Glacier.