Cispus Pass Loop Trail is a 12.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Packwood, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length12.4 miElevation gain2,641 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashBackpackingCampingHikingForestLakeViewswild-flowersWildlife
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Reviews (35)
Photos (146)
Recordings (29)
Completed (76)
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Rebecca Wong
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarOctober 5, 2020
Backpacking

We did it as a 1 night backpacking trip the first weekend of October. It is pretty with fall colors. We also hiked up to Nannie Peak, and we could see Mt Rainier and Mt St Helen and Mt Adams. It is worth the short trek up. We camped at Sheep Lake, which was very crowded. There were at least 7 groups of people. We thought about going further to camp since it was so crowded but some guy we met said the creeks beyond were dry. The ascend up to Sheep Lake is a climb but the second day was much easier as it was mostly flat and downhill. The road to the trailhead is gravel with washboard and potholes at places. It is totally doable in a 2wd sedan though.

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David Schelske
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 28, 2020
Hiking

We did this last month and both our gps read 15.8 at the end, NOT 12.4 started here. It’s ok, but not what we were expecting. If your looking for views of the Goat Rocks, this will disappoint

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Hiking Hamster
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2020
Hiking
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Jonny Yentch
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
HikingGreat!
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Bonnie Brumbaugh
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 24, 2020
BackpackingBlowdownBugsMuddyScrambleSnow

Absolutely beautiful loop to Old Snowy that avoids most crowds dayhiking through Snowgrass Flats. Day 1: First portion of PCT past Walupt was a beautiful climb to Sheep Lake. Campsites were all taken when we got there, but we found a small open spot on the east side of the lake. Bugs were pretty bad as there was little wind. Day 2: Hiked through Cispus Pass. Small amount of snow left, and since we were without poles and spikes, it was just about passable. Passed quite a few hikers and campers, and camp about halfway to Snowgrass Flats. Many awesome campsites with firepits and gorgeous views on this portion of the PCT! Made camp, dropped bags, and hiked up Old Snowy! The trail was quite busy and a scramble at the top, but we made friends (Caryn, you are awesome!), and followed one who shortcutted the way down by glisading. Tons of fun! Killer views of Adams, Jefferson, and Rainer. Back at camp the bugs were relentless. Day 3: Woke up to a giant windstorm (but no bugs, yay!) and made our way back to Walupt. Overall a great route, but remember the bug spray!

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Robert Hollingsworth
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 30, 2020
HikingBlowdownIcyOff trailSnow
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Russell McCord
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 25, 2020
HikingBugsIcySnow

This should be rated hard. 06/25/20, still needs two weeks to melt the snow. I slide 10-15 feet a few times on steep rock sides. Be careful on this one in late June. Extremely beautiful hike and plenty of water on the trail just wait for the snow to melt.

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Adnan Mujic
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 25, 2020
BackpackingBugsSnow

I agree that this trail should be rated hard. At the trail head you can choose clockwise (trail 98) or counterclockwise (trail 101). I wanted to go clockwise towards sheep lake but accidentally went counterclockwise. It wasn't well marked on which trail you get on. About 2.5 hours in you will take a left onto PCT 2000. First time on the PCT and it was beautiful once you start the climb. Mt Adams can be seen on this trail along with a couple other smaller peaks. By then it was 6pm so I decided to camp about 30ft from the trail. It was tough to find a flat surface so I slept on a slight incline. I specifically went on a clear night (check the night sky forecast for the nearby areas like lake trout) and the night sky was amazing. It was the first time I saw the Milky Way. In the morning I continued North on PCT towards sheep lake however in the middle of it I kept having to climb slippery hard snow (it's in a wooded part of PCT so it hasn't melted). At first it was pretty easy to keep track of the trail but then it got really bad. I was attempting to navigate over the hills of hard snow but could not find the trail moving forward. When I realized I was lost I turned around to give it another try but I lost the trail I was on! Took me about 10 min to find it again. It was a really scary moment because I thought I was going to be lost and I was alone! Hadn't seen another person the entire trip. The hard snow is no joke. This is how people get lost. This part of the trail is pretty much a field of spaced out trees on a slant and the trail winds through the trees so you're not sure when it winds again. It's hard to tell if you are on the actual trail or just walking deep into the woods. Very scary! I was thankful I found my way and decided it was best to turn around and head back the way I came from. I've done many summer hikes but I've never seen this many mosquitoes. They stayed with me 90% of the time. I used a ton of bug repellent and was wearing pants and a long sleeve shirt. My legs didn't get bitten much but I wore a tight fitting long sleeve shirt so the tiny mosquito spears got right through. I advise a loose fit long sleeve shirt with tough material. I didn't put much bug spray on my forehead and got about 12 bites on just the forehead. Got about 50+ bites total on my body. A mesh tent is a must and it allowed me to stare at the night sky and laugh at those little fuckers trying to get in.

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Nicholas Wegener
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HikingBugs
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Tom Mitchell
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 5, 2019
BackpackingSnow

Backpacked in from Snowgrass trail 96 via Bypass 97 on a crowded 4th of July weekend but found camp sites in the basin after a scramble up the hillside. There are 2 sweet sites right near the trail but were both taken. Had to be careful for the snow bridges over the streams as they are well traveled and melting fast. Views were spectacular, wind wasn't too bad. No bugs this high. Look forward to coming back to Cispus in September without snow and a little warmer

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Christina Markin
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 30, 2018
Hiking

More like 15.8 miles and hard. I hiked counter clockwise, taking out the steep ascent first. Took walput lake trail to nannie ridge to goat lake to pct and back to walput lake trail. I was moving for 8.28hrs and on the trail for 9 hours. saw about 10 to 15 people on the trail, mostly backpackers. There is a designated parking area for the trail at walput lake with no fee charge, but I did hang up my NW forrest pass just in case. there is also camping here to for a charge. The road to get to walput lake is rough washboard with potholes and rockfall. max I was going 10mph in my Honda crv for an hour plus for 21 miles each way, if you're coming from Randal it's 33 miles to the lake. The lake road is paved although there are some parts that are damaged. There is also a horse camp at the lake. 2 bathrooms that I saw and a day use parking area at the lake front for a $5 fee. Pay at the information kiosk. On the trail lots of ridge and switchback hiking. look out for horse poo, it's all over the place. In spring time probably a ton of creek crossings with no bridges. I hiked this on 9/24/18 and almost everything was all dried up. I'd also imagine the bugs would be crazy here in the summer. Goat lake is a good place to take a breather, but not the halfway marker. Make sure you have a map to follow as there are plenty of ways to get lost. Walput lake at the parking area was nice to soak my feet in after the long hike I had completed. It's cold this time of year though and clear. You have to fill out a backcountry permit at the trailhead, but when I went there were no slips and no pencils so I didn't do this.

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Bernisa P
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 14, 2017
Hiking

Hiked yesterday. It was beautiful. I wish I had brought my bathing suit to jump into Walput lake after.

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Dawn Harper
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 20, 2017

Our family, consisting of an 11 and 14 year old, hiked from Walput Lake to Sheep Lake via Nannie Ridge. We, along with a million mosquitoes, made Sheep Lake our base camp. From there we day hiked and explored Cispus Pass and beyond; amazing! Spectacular views. Still has patches of snow, but didn't impede our travels.

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MC Hiker
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 8, 2015
Hiking

The views towards Gilbert Peak from the Cispus Pass area are amazing. Cispus Basin feels like a grand amphitheater looking up at green slopes and rocky cliffs.

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Kevin Coulter
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 21, 2014
Hiking
First to Review

My project for August and September was to hike The Goat Rocks and this hike completes the Cispus Pass/Basin section I hadn’t done yet. I day hiked this on September 20, 2014 from Nannie Ridge Trail 98 thru Cispus Pass/Basin to the Snowgrass Trail 96 junction and return for a 22 mile RT hike that took 10.5 hours counting stops. Aside from Nannie Ridge Trail 98, this hike follows the PCT all the way to the Snowgrass Flats Trail 96 junction. It makes for a long day with no side trips or exploring. It meant breaks weren’t any longer than they had to be. Most people do this as a loop starting from the Snowgrass Flats TH or Nannie Ridge TH and adding Trails 121A and 7A, but since I hadn't researched the navigation challenges of Trails 121A and 7A and hiked Snowgrass twice before and Nannie Ridge once, I chose Nannie Ridge for my start and return. I started from the Nannie Ridge TH at Walupt Lake. Depending on the season, parking may be available in the campground for hikers; otherwise, you may have to use the designated hiker parking just outside of the campground. Ask the camp hosts. Nannie Ridge TH is at the end of the road inside the campground. Register at the trailhead. The trail is on the left 30ft after registering and marked but not distinctively so. Climb approx. 2000ft. in 2.4 miles to the junction of Nannie Peak Trail. Nannie Peak trail is unmarked, however, you’ll see it on the left. Continue straight about a .5 mile to a small unnamed picturesque lake. A nice place for a break. Continue 1.7 miles following the more level contour of Nannie Ridge to Sheep Lake that sits at the 5710ft level. Camping is available here and can be busy or full in-season, a great place to overnight if multi-day hiking. I had the place all to myself and was startled when a couple walked by asking about water ahead. I had a short lunch to let my feet dry out and adjust my boots. Views of Gilbert and Ivy Peaks are visible as you enter Sheep Lake. Wildflowers were all but dead, however a month ago when I was here, they were in full bloom. After a short break, continue about a quarter mile to the junction of the PCT. Turn left and continue north on the PCT for 1.6 miles. You’ll head toward a beautiful peak that I haven't been able to identify and pass to the right (east) of it as you enter the Yakima Indian Reservation at the 6100ft level. You’ll hike in tribal lands for .9 miles to the noticeable Cispus Pass, a saddle on the ridge where you return to the Goat Rocks Wilderness. Look for goats in the meadows below the pass. Binoculars help. There are beautiful views down the Klickitat River Valley and the headwaters of the Klickitat River. Cispus Pass is 6473ft in elevation. Expect wind. Continue .6 miles along the contour of Cispus Basin to the Cispus River and camping. Camp here or continue a bit to around next water source and climb 400ft where you can camp on a shelf overlooking everything. It’s not noticeable and the trail not very discernible. There may be a different way up that I'm not familiar with, but tents were up there as I passed. The wind is strong in the basin. Make sure your camp is secure. The views of The Goat Rocks are amazing. They loom over you and are ever present. The Cispus River is a great water source. If continuing on the PCT, stock up here as there are no good water sources ahead until past Old Snowy or Lily Basin Trail if heading that way. As you continue heading west out of the Basin, a wonderful waterfall with a small shallow pool welcomes you. A great fill-up spot. Continue 1.6 miles to the junction of Bypass Trail 97. Before the junction, a beautiful slate wall is built from the rock slide and protecting the trail from the slide. At the junction, continue straight 1 mile on the PCT to the Snowgrass Flats Trail 96 junction. From this point on, you’re heading north and above Snowgrass Flats. More and more cairns come into view as well as Old Snowy and Goat Lake to name a few. This section is beautiful, gorgeous, breathtaking and my favorite. I had lunch at the junction taking in the view and once again drying out my feet for the 11 mile return back to the Nannie Ridge TH. If I had a shuttle car waiting, I would have headed to Snowgrass Flats TH but since I didn’t, I needed to return to the car. Time was precious. This was a long beautiful hike where time was important and hiking was quick and to the point. No meandering or hanging around and enjoying the moment. I wished I could have overnighted in Snowgrass Flats, relaxed a bit and completed the actual loop. Next time I will. All things considered, this was a great hike and I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

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Spencer Bastian
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Hiking
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Thomas Hall
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Hiking
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Bonnie Jones-Kline
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Hiking
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Peter Wilson
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Hiking
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M K
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Hiking
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