Snowgrass Trail

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington

Distance5.6mi
Elevation Gain2,560ft
Trailhead Elevation4,649ft
Top6,399ft
Elevation Min/Max4543/6399ft
Elevation Start/End4649/4649ft

Snowgrass Trail

Snowgrass Trail is a hiking trail in Lewis County, Washington. It is within Gifford Pinchot National Forest and Goat Rocks Wilderness Area. It is 5.6 miles long and begins at 4,649 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 11.3 miles with a total elevation gain of 2,560 feet. This trail connects with the following: Bypass Trail, Lilly Basin Trail, Goat Ridge Trail, Pacific Crest Trail and Walupt Lake Trail.

Snowgrass Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"The gardens beneath the Goat Rocks—which are the core of an ancient volcano— rival any on Earth. This popular loop hike passes through miles of these magical gardens. Vibrant lupines and Indian paintbrush hug the sides of icy streams, and dark mountains with patchy snow hang overhead. Warning: There will be crowds."

"The trail climbs through some of the most spectacular wildflower meadows in the state, and presents some of the most wonderful views a hiker could imagine. Volcanoes loom on all sides: Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, Mount St. Helens, and on clear days, even Mount Hood can be seen far to the south. But it’s not just the big snow-capped cones that are seen.

Lesser volcanoes— perfectly formed cinder cones—can be seen scattered throughout the southern Cascades, in addition to the ancient volcanic peaks of the Goat Rocks. Actually, the peaks along the Goat Rocks Crest are the last remaining bits of an ancient volcano that formed and collapsed long before the current peaks poked up."

"The gardens beneath the Goat Rocks—which are the core of an ancient volcano— rival any other on Earth. This popular hike passes through miles of these magical gardens.

Vibrant lupines and Indian paintbrush hug the sides of icy streams, and dark mountains with patchy snow hang overhead. Warning: There will be crowds. Make sure your dog is leashed and under close control."

"One of the most gorgeous alpine meadows in the state lies south of Mount Rainier in an area still showing the effects of the Mount St. Helens blast. Children will enjoy looking for 4-inch blueberry bushes and flowers poking up through sand and ash in the Goat Rocks Wilderness.

Flowers include fields of white avalanche lilies and cream-colored spikes of bear-grass. The sheep that used to graze here are gone from this area, thank goodness, which has allowed the meadows to return—including the snowgrass, a favorite sheep snack. Have children look directly up above the meadows to the rocky summit of Old Snowy, the highest peak in the Goat Rocks, and south to glorious Mount Adams and what is left of Mount St. Helens."

"Snowgrass Flat is a spectacular 10+-acre subalpine wildflower meadow located near the headwaters of Snowgrass Creek. Its reputation for beauty has made this area one of the heaviest used in Goat Rocks, so expect company, even on weekdays.

Aside from seeing wildlife of the human variety, the wildflower show that Mother Nature displays in the summer is arguably one of the best in the state. A colorful loop near the crest allows hikers to see all sides of the exquisite displays. The wildflower season depends on snowpack and weather but often peaks by early to mid-August."

"The sloping, flower-covered meadows of Snowgrass Flat are one of the most popular hiking destinations in Washington, and with good reason, because this is without question one of the premier hikes in the Pacific Northwest. The scenery is outstanding, with plenty of views of rugged mountains both near and far, a stunning glacial lake, thousands of acres of wildflowers, numerous scenic campsites, and gorgeous alpine ridges. If you like mountain scenery, then this country is beyond compare. It is highly recommended, however, that you time your visit for a weekday to make the crowd situation more tolerable."

"Journey to Snowgrass Flats, below the rugged crest of Goat Rocks, and take in one of the best flower displays to be found. Take along a camera and plenty of film for pictures of the flowers at Snowgrass Flats."

Snowgrass Trail Reviews

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8/23/2009
Great trail. A little challenging for my 8 year old and his loaded backpack but worth the effort. It's a trail that pays its highest dividends at the top with great views. We turned off at bypass trail 97 then left up the PCT and then back down the main Snowgrass trail (96). We found a great campsite about .5 miles up the PCT with a spectacular view of Mt. Adams. It was a short hike to water but the view from the site made it worth while. The panoramic views were great but the wild flowers had just passed their peak. All-in-all a great hike. We'll be back and explore more of the side trails probably camping at least two nights.
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Snowgrass Trail Photos

Trail Information

Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Nearby City
Gifford Pinchot National Forest
Parks
Dog-friendly
Accessibility
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
Camping
Additional Use
Wildflowers
Features
Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Cowlitz Valley Ranger District; (360) 497-1100
Local Contacts
Green Trails no. 302, Packwood; no. 303, White Pass; no. 304, Blue Lake; and no. 335, Walupt Lake
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Nov 2018