Backpack - Snowgrass Flats, Cispus Basin, Old Snowy & Goat Lake

A moderate 4-day, 22-mile midweek B3 backpack (total elevation gain: 2,830 ft) with optional side-trips through the Goat Rocks Wilderness within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The route traverses wildflower meadows and high ridges, affording panoramic views of high alpine country and some of the state’s highest peaks, including Mt Rainier, Mt Adams, and Mt St. Helens. This trip is dog-friendly, and the leader will bring his dog.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Moderate/Strenuous
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 16.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,830 ft


Leader Permission Required: Please contact the leader if you would like to bring a dog. The leader will bring his dog.

Although open to all club members over age 18, this trip is also part of the B3 Backpacking Building Blocks series and is eligible for B3 course credit. Additionally, this trip will have a natural history focus with time allocated to identifying wildflowers and other flora. It also will offer experience in proper gear use and camp set-up techniques.


On Monday, August 7, we’ll backpack about 6 miles, gaining 1,750 feet of elevation, up the Snowgrass Trail to the Snowgrass Flats, then along Snowgrass Trail 96 to our camp on a high bench above the Snowgrass Flats. There, we’ll enjoy territorial views across the Snowgrass Flats to high peaks and ridges beyond. On Tuesday, August 8, we’ll hike with light daypacks northward along the Pacific Crest Trail to its high point below Old Snowy Mountain, then return to camp for the night (total mileage for this dayhike: about 6 miles out and back, with about 1,200 feet elevation gain). On Wednesday, August 9, we’ll break camp, then backpack along Snowgrass Trail 96, then along the Lily Basin Trail past Goat Lake, continuing northward along the Lily Basin Trail to a high bench below Hawkeye Point, where we’ll set up camp for the night (total mileage for this day: 5.6 miles, with about 1,080 ft elevation gain). We’ll then take an optional dayhike with light packs up Hawkeye Point. On Thursday, August 10, we’ll break camp, then hike back down the Lily Basin Trail to the Goat Ridge Trail, which will take us southward along scenic Goat Ridge back downhill to our trailhead (total mileage for this day: 5.6 miles).


We`ll arrange carpools after the trip roster is set.  Expect a 1.5 mph pace with time for pack adjustments and snack breaks.  Bring warm layers and raingear; also consider bringing a wildflower field guide and magnifying loupe.  Assistance with gear selection, food planning, and gear sharing will be included in leader emails prior to the trip. This trip may be moved or canceled if weather or trail conditions are unsafe on the trip dates.


Snowgrass Flats, Cispus Basin, Old Snowy & Goat Lake

  • Green Trails Packwood No. 302

    Green Trails Walupt Lake No. 335

    Green Trails White Pass No. 303

    Green Trails Goat Rocks William O Douglas Wilderness No. 303S
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports