Prepare for two things on this hike—jaw-dropping beauty and having to work for it. The trail begins at the rippling waters of North Fork Tieton and gains approximately 4,000 feet in 13 miles on its journey to the windswept summit of Old Snowy Mountain. If the distance or elevation seems daunting, there is an alternative approach from the much more popular southern route through Snowgrass Flats (cutting the distance in half). That said, the extra energy it takes to do the hike from this approach dramatically cuts the amount of traffic, and the trail leading to Old Snowy from the north will take your breath away.
The trail begins by immediately crossing North Fork Tieton River, more of a small creek than a raging river by late summer or fall. On the other side of the bridge, you enter Goat Rocks Wilderness, in which you will remain for the duration of the hike. In less than 0.25 miles, you reach a junction. Take the right branch on Trail 1118 toward Tieton Pass. The other trail travels southeast on its long climb to Bear Creek Mountain.
© 2010 Adrienne Schaefer/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.