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Old Snowy Mountain via Snowgrass Trail

HARD 39 reviews
#1 of 11 trails in

Old Snowy Mountain via Snowgrass Trail is a 15.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Randle, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Distance: 15.2 miles Elevation Gain: 3,753 feet Route Type: Out & Back

dogs on leash

backpacking

camping

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

bird watching

forest

views

wild flowers

wildlife

snow

hiking
icy
muddy
1 month ago

hiking
2 months ago

Did this twice this year, Once in August and once in September. The view is totally worth the 15 mile hike. My hike story https://rossjames.net/blog/imac-backpacking

hiking
3 months ago

First 3 miles are pleasant on way in, annoying on way out, but terrain above is amazing.

hiking
rocky
scramble
3 months ago

Made this a good day hike the Saturday of Labor Day weekend, electing to car camp down below at Chambers Lake. If you plan on overnighting along the trail, I'd recommend starting your hike before 8am or plan on hiking over some weekdays, as there were a crazy number of hikers coming in as I was heading down. Having to pull off the trail almost every 5 minutes was thoroughly annoying, but it was Saturday so what would you expect. The trail was well maintained and very easy to follow, with dry bluebird skies trending to mostly cloudy by the evening. The view from the top was spectacular, with Rainier, Adams, and St. Helens clearly out. As it was late summer, there was very little water above Snowgrass Flats, so fill up through the switchbacks between miles 3-4 or bring extra for the top.

hiking
muddy
rocky
3 months ago

hiking
rocky
snow
5 months ago

My family and I did this last weekend and had a blast. We camped at the Lily basin Junction which was nice. There were minimal bugs and great water nearby. There were some snow crossings the next day and we did these in regular shoes without any other gear just fine. The scramble to the summit is somewhat rocky and was a little exposed for my 72 year old father and 11 year old daughter but everyone got to the summit just fine. The trip down was easy and the view of the mountains was stunning. Adams and Rainier kept dipping behind clouds but were out while we were on the summit :)

hiking
rocky
Sat Sep 08 2018

Did this over the weekend of 9/7/18, one of my favorite backpacking trips I've ever done. I'll summarize our details of what we did here as I believe this is a trip that people of many skill levels can complete: Friday: Arrived at parking lot, camped at Chambers Lake (next to car) to get an early night asleep and early start to the next day. Decent amount of bugs if the weather is nice here due to the small still water of Chambers Lake. Saturday: Got up early and drove our car over to Berry Patch parking, traversed over to the other entrance (as the map shows) and headed up to the flats. Got to Snowgrass flats by 11am so we had a lot of time to kill. Set up camp and had a quick snack, took a two hour break before heading up to Old Snowy. This is one of the more famous parts of the PCT and it is clear why, so many different colors and different terrains you progress through so quickly. Got to the top of Old Snowy around 3pm (took ~2 hours from Snowgrass flats), sadly a decent amount of cloud coverage, but we got a few glimpses of Adams to the south. Came back down to camp and the weather got really nice, but were pretty exhausted from the night and decided we wanted to get up early the next day to catch sunrise at Hawkeye Point. Sunday: Got a 4:30am start to the day (dark out for the first hour and a half of our hiking, but terrain isn't bad at all) and didn't quite make it to Hawkeye but we were able to catch sunrise from Goat Lake as the sun came up over Old Snowy, absoultely beautiful and we had a crystal clear day, got to see Adams light up pink as the sun started reaching it right as we started hiking. Got up to Hawkeye (dropped our packs near the trail) by about 7am and had the place to ourselves, it was so beautiful. 360 degree view and able to see Rainier, Adams, St. Helens, and a small peak of Hood behind Adams. Spent a good two hours up here before finally heading down and heading out the other side of the ridge back to Berry Patch parking, still got to our car around noon and made for an incredible morning. I will certainly be going back to this area, no permits needed, great campsites, minimal bugs and amazing terrains to traverse through. Really nothing bad to say about this one other than climbing Old Snowy gets a little challenging (especially if it's cold) as I was using all fours at times due to uneven terrain. Also if I were to do it again I would either reverse directions and camp at Goat Lake (very competitive) then do Old Snowy the next morning; or continue past Snowgrass Flats and camp at one of the few campsites on your way up to Old Snowy (one was at the base of this giant rock formation and looked absolutely beautiful. Best of luck to all who do this amazing hike!

Sat Aug 18 2018

Beautiful hike!

hiking
Tue Jul 24 2018

Beautiful trip up to some incredible scenery. For those waiting for the big wild-flower blooms, they are starting to happen but not quite there yet. No snow on the trail until you hit the snow fields above the tree line. Lots of people in the snow grass flats area up to Old Snowy. Not the place to go if you want to get away from it all (at least on the weekend). Views are spectacular as you head toward the summit of Old Snowy. Route was clear all the way with a bit of scrambling as you reach the summit.

backpacking
Tue Jul 04 2017

Amazing overnight! The hike was intense but worth it. The weather was perfect and the views of Adams, Hellens and Rainier were very picturesque! Will be doing this again in the next season or two.

backpacking
Mon Aug 15 2016

I've backpacked this several times. The wildflowers and views are among the best. We hike in on a Friday night and camp at Snowgrass Flats. Saturday we hike up to Goat Lake and back. Sunday we summit Old Snowy and then hike out to our car. Road: The road to the trailhead tends to be slow as it is gravel and a little bumpy. Last time I did it in a Honda Civic but would recommend something that can handle all the bumps better.

hiking
Wed Jul 08 2015

Perched halfway between Rainier and Adams, this offers great views of both. Depending on the time of year, water sources are limited once you hit the PCT from the Snowgrass Flat area and not much shade either. It's a nontechnical scramble up a rocky trail to reach the summit.

hiking
Thu Sep 25 2014

This hike is a solo day hike to Old Snowy via Snowgrass Trail 96, the PCT, an alternate trail to Old Snowys summit and the horse route back to the PCT to make a small loop at the end for 16.8 miles RT that took 9.5 hrs counting stops. Max Elevation: 7930ft, Elevation Gain: Approximately 4500ft. The posted track is one way, so Elevation Gain is just a guess. I started at the Snowgrass Trail 96 TH on the Saturday after Labor Day and at 9am there was still parking. However when I got back 9hrs later the TH was packed but still some parking at the end. For the amount of traffic, the trail is in good condition and quite level for the first couple miles, climbing a bit beyond the Bypass Trail 97 junction and a bit more to the Lily Basin Trail 86 junction at Snowgrass Flats. This junction can be somewhat confusing as scramble trails to campsites intersect the junction and you’ve got a few directions to choose from. Lily Basin is clearly marked on the left. The PCT is not. If heading to the PCT continue straight, following Snowgrass Trail 96 for .8 miles. From Snowgrass on, the vistas are beautiful and don’t stop. If you plan on staying at Snowgrass Flats, some campsites are out of view. Use scramble trails to access them. Continue straight on Snowgrass Flats Trail 96 to the Jct of the PCT with vistas of Old Snowy and Ives Peak ahead and Mt. Adams and Mount St. Helens to your right and behind you. Now with vistas everywhere, turn left and follow the PCT for 1.8 miles. The trail is distinctive, however cairn’s mark the way. Bring extra water for this section as there are no good water sources. There are a number of campsites along the way to choose from if overnighting here. At one point I thought someone was whistling but later found out it was marmots. Those suckers are loud. Mt. Rainier soon comes into view behind Goat Lake/Hawkeye Point. Then you’ll cross a small snow patch near the Old Snowy junction, marked by a large cairn. The signed junction is a couple hundred feet to the right of the Cairn. If continuing on the PCT keep left at the signed junction. Turn right and follow the PCT Alternate route to Old Snowy. Aside from a small snow patch in the beginning, the route is easily discerned among the rocks. Once on a ridge take in the view, not quite 360 degrees yet since Old Snowy is in the way and choose to scramble up Old Snowy or turn left to take the alternate route back to the PCT. Follow the scramble trail to the summit. The scramble trail is easily discerned in the beginning and can get confusing later on. Trekking poles become more difficult to use after this and nearing the top requires both hands. Trekking poles are best put away so they don’t get dropped. The path disappears near the top and a few small routes can be picked. Choose the right side and pay attention to loose rocks with each step until you reach the top. Now a 360 degree view, there is room enough for about 6 people plus a small bivy spot. The view is stunning! Everything can be seen. Mt. Rainier, Mount St. Helens, Mt. Adams, Goat Lake/Hawkeye Point, Tieton Peak, Packwood Lake and The PCT/The Knife to name a few. Have a snack, take pictures and return to the ridge and go back to the PCT the way you came or continue straight for .4 miles on the Alternate PCT trail down toward The Knife , then turn left on the Horse Route for .4 miles back to the PCT. Head back the way you came. This makes for a long day hike but well worth the time and effort! Bring extra water and snacks for the day. Extend this hike one day and overnight at Snowgrass Flats or on the PCT and take your time, relax and enjoy.

hiking
Tue Aug 19 2014

Backpacked to the Alpine camp off the Snowgrass flats trail and day hiked to old snowy. Good patch of snow just below the saddle, and had to glissade down. I really found the trail trail very easy. However, I hike every weekend. Load up on water . Not too many opportunities for water once you hit the PCT. So load up.

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
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hiking
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