Lily Basin, Snowgrass Flat, Cispus Basin & Elk Pass

Backpack a circuit in the Goat Rocks Wilderness that includes the spectacular wildflowers of Snowgrass Flat, the gorgeous views of Cispus Basin, and the exposed knife-edge ridge of Pacific Crest Trail.

getting there

lily basin

Drive US-2 to 2 miles west of Packwood, turn left (south) onto Forest Road 48, and continue 10 miles to the Lily Basin Hiker Trailhead (4,200 ft).

packwood lake

From US-12 in Packwood, turn south onto Snyder Road (Forest Road 1260) and drive 5.5 miles to the road's end and the Packwood Lake Trailhead (2,800 ft).

on the trail

Hike this circuit in either direction between the Lily Basin Trailhead and the Packwood Lake Trailhead.  Campsites include Heart Lake, Snowgrass Flat, Cispus Basin, and Beaver Bill Creek.  The route follows the Lily Basin Trail to Heart Lake, through Snowgrass Flat to Cispus Basin,  north on the Pacific Crest Trail to Elk Pass, leaving the PCT toward Packwood Saddle, and down Coyote Ridge to Packwood Lake.  Consider a side trips to Hawkeye Point and Old Snowy Mountain.  


  • This is not a good trip for first time backpackers or those afraid of heights. People hiking this route can expect to cross several snowfields and miles of trail that are very steep, rocky and exposed.
  • Guidebook:  Backpacking Washington by Douglas Lorain (Wilderness Press 2007)
  • Difficulty: Very Strenuous
  • Length: 39.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 12,800 ft
  • 7,600 ft
  • Green Trails Goat Rocks William O Douglas Wilderness No. 303S
Trip Reports

There are no resources for this route/place. Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.