Snowgrass Flat & Goat Lake Basin

Many believe that the Goat Rocks Wilderness is one of the top prizes of the Washington Cascades. It certainly is a view extravaganza. Hike out-and-back, hike a loop, or scramble Old Snowy Mountain or Ives Peak in the Goat Rocks Wilderness. Trips ranging from 8-16 miles and to Snowgrass Flat, Goat Lake, and Hawkeye Point are all challenging hikes that reward with wildflowers and views.

getting there

Drive US 12 to 3 miles south of Packwood. Turn east onto Forest Road 21, continue 13 miles, and turn left at the Snowgrass Trail/Chamber Lake sign. Drive 1 mile and turn left at the fork onto the unsigned Forest Road 2150. In 2 miles, turn right at the sign pointing to Snowgrass Flat Trail. This is a loop. Continue ~0.3 mile to the trailhead (4,600 ft). Or continue past the Snowgrass Flat sign 0.6 mile to the Berry Patch Trail head (4,700 ft).

on the trail

Snowgrass Flat & Goat Lake Basin

12.2 mile loop, 3.045 feet of elevation gain, 5,800 ft high point

This scenic loop hike features broad flower-filled meadows of Snowgrass Flats, constant views of Mount Adams and Old Snowy Mountain. The trail boasts of a large variety of wildlife. The pass is one of the most scenic pass crossings of the Cascades. Hike it counterclockwise to get the best views from the trail. Consider a side trip to Hawkeye Point for an added 2 miles and 1,400 feet of elevation gain.

Snowgrass Flat

10.9 miles round trip, 2,370 feet of elevation gain, 6,400 ft high point

Hike the Snowgrass Flat Trail (No. 96) to Snowgrass Flat (6,400 ft).

Goat Lake

10.6 miles round trip, 1,045 feet of elevation gain, 6,665 ft high point

Starting from the Berry Patch Trail head this hike gains gently through the woods for the first mile and a half until the gain becomes gentle as the trail follows the base of Goat Ridge. At about mile 4.5 reach a beautiful camping area called Jordan Basin with a softly flowing year round creek. From here climb up to a saddle and the junction with the Lily Basin Trail. Head right on trail through beautiful wildflowers (in season) to Goat Lake (6,665 ft).

Hawkeye Point

10.4 miles round trip, 3,315 feet of elevation gain, 7,430 ft high point

Starting from the Berry Patch Trail head this hike gains gently through the woods for the first mile and a half until the gain becomes gentle the trail follows the base of Goat Ridge. At about mile 4.5 reach a beautiful camping area called Jordan Basin with a softly flowing year round creek. From here climb up to a saddle and the junction with the Lily Basin Trail. Head left on the Lily Basin Trail up to a ridge. Leave the trail at the top of this ridge, only 0.4 miles from the junction, and head up and right. Follow the path along the base of some rock stacks and then up to the top of Hawkeye Point (7,430 ft). The steep climb to the top is well worth the views.

Snowgrass Flats, Cispus Basin, Old Snowy & Goat Lake

24 miles round trip, 3,000 feet of elevation gain, 7,600 ft high point
suggested itinerary

Day 1 - Start from the Snowgrass Flats trailhead south of Packwood, and hike 3.6 mi (Trail No. 96) to junctions with trails heading uphill to the Flats.  Stay straight, continuing about 2.5 mi, 1.0 mi on Trail No. 97 and 1.5 mi on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), to the broad flower-strewn bowl of Cispus Basin (6,200 ft) and camps with broad southward views.  You may see goats spilling over the ridge above your camp in the evening.
Day 2 - Retrace your steps back to the first junction and turn uphill, continuing north on the PCT, to steadily increasing views that get better and better as you climb.  Find a camp along this stretch, before reaching the high point under Old Snowy Mountain (~6,400 ft).  Set up camp and day hike to Goat Lake via the Lily Basin Trail (No. 86), nestled in a high basin under cliffs with enormous south facing views.
Day 3 - Do the easy scramble up Old Snowy Mountain for a fantastic 360-degree panorama before descending the way you came and back to the Snowgrass Flats trailhead.

scramble routes

Old Snowy Mountain (7,930 ft)

16 miles round trip with 3,500 feet of elevation gain
difficulty: strenuous 3, technical 3

Standard Route: Hike the Snograss Flat Trail to its intersection with the PCT (~7,100 ft). Turn left (north) onto the PCT headed for the west flank of Old Snowy Mountain. At the saddle head south on the boot path that heads to the summit on mostly Class 2 terrain.
Alternative Route: Hike the Snowgrass Flat Trail to its intersection with the PCT (~7,100 ft). Head off trail and up a scree slope in a northeasterly direction to the lowest col on the ridge between Old Snowy Mountain and Ives Peak. From the col head to summit generally staying on the ridge or just south of the ridge. Near the summit block circle eastward to find an easy route to the summit.

Old Snowy Mountain–Ives Peak Traverse

16 miles round trip with 4,400 feet of elevation gain
difficulty: strenuous 3, technical 3

approach & ascent

Hike the Snograss Flat Trail to its intersection with the PCT (~7,100 ft). Turn left (north) onto the PCT headed for the west flank of Old Snowy Mountain. At the saddle head south on the boot path that heads to the summit on mostly Class 2 terrain. Continue on to Ives Peak by staying on ridge following the boot path south until the McCall Glacier prevents passage. Traveling in the moat, on the glacier's edge, and dropping down to the south are all options depending on conditions and group skills. Scramble loose rock upward, through a natural arch, then find the Class 2-3 ledge system that leads to the summit.

Descent options
  • Descend the scramble ascent route
  • Descend into Cispus Basin, find the PCT, and hike it west to the Snograss Flat Trail.
  • Consider the beautiful side trip to Goat Lake to make the return a loop.

Photo by Susan Shih
  • Suitable Activities: Backpacking, Day Hiking, Scrambling
  • Seasons: July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Strenuous, Strenuous 3, Technical 3
  • Length: 12.2 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,045 ft
  • 5,800 ft
Map
  • Green Trails Goat Rocks William O Douglas Wilderness No. 303S
  • Green Trails White Pass No. 303
  • Green Trails Packwood No. 302
  • USGS Hamilton Buttes
  • USGS Walupt Lake
  • USGS Packwood Lake
  • USGS Old Snowy Mountain
Activities

Upcoming Activities



CHS - Mt. Rainier Campout - Snowgrass Flat, Goat Lake & Hawkeye Point

Day Hiking Field trip: Conditioning Hiking Series
CHS - Mt. Rainier Campout
Difficulty: Strenuous
Sat, Jul 25, 2020
No Prerequisites
11 participants
Registration opens Jun 24
Seattle Branch

CHS Tacoma August Hikes - Snowgrass Flat

Day Hiking Field trip: Conditioning Hiking Series
Trip will initially open to Tacoma Branch Conditioning Hiking Students. Trip will open for registration
Difficulty: Moderate
Sun, Aug 9, 2020
No Prerequisites
8 participants
Registration opens Jul 15
Tacoma Branch
Trip Reports
Titles

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Snowgrass Flat
  • Hawkeye Point
  • Goat Lake
  • Hawkeye Point & Goat Lake
  • Snowgrass Flat & Goat Lake
  • Snowgrass Flat & Goat Lake Loop
  • Snowgrass Flat & Hawkeye Point
  • Snowgrass Flat, Goat Lake & Hawkeye Point
  • Old Snowy Mountain
  • Ives Peak
  • Old Snowy Mountain–Ives Peak Traverse
Resources

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