Snow Mountain Ranch is a 6.2 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Cowiche, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until November. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length6.2 miElevation gain1,266 ftRoute typeLoop
Dogs on leashHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingRunningViewswild-flowersWildlifeMuddyNo shade
Description
Waypoints (0)

Managed by the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy, this hiking loop offers spectacular views of the Yakima Valley and Washington's central Cascades. Starting out at the Snow Mountain Ranch Trailhead (0.0 miles), take a picture of the map at the kiosk and then set out on the Cowiche Mountain Loop by heading towards Cowiche Creek and crossing the bridge. Then follow signs for Cowiche Mountain Trail West. This combination double-and singletrack trail will take you up through a ravine above Cowiche Creek on a moderate slope onto a shrub-steppe landscape where your views will be expansive and you'll get a view of Cowiche Mountain above. The moderate angle will increase as you gain more elevation until about 0.5 mile from the summit, where you'll bear east on a gentle rise towards the summit tower. Along the way, much of the singletrack trail is lined with wildflowers: grass widows and desert-parsleys early in the season followed by balsamroot, lupine, phlox and fields of big-headed clover. Look out West into the Cowiche Basin and you'll spot elk herds in the distance. Once you reach the top (3.0 miles), take a break at the bench near the junction of Cowiche Mountain East & Cowiche Mountain West trails, and soak in the views of Mt Adams, Cleman Ridge, and the Ahtanum Valley. Experienced trail runners may want to continue east past the tower on the Connector trail and explore the nearby Rocky Top Trail system, which adds a 4 to 10 mile loop option with return to the same bench here at the Summit . To return to the Snow Mountain Ranch trailhead, follow the Cowiche Mountain East trail back towards Cowiche Creek and turn west onto the Riparian Trail (5.2 miles) for a shady retreat along the creek.

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Reviews (88)
Photos (201)
Recordings (85)
Completed (141)
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Ryan Swedelius
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Hiking
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Terra W
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RunningGreat!No shade

Nicely well maintained trail system. Took the loop going counter clockwise. Logged ~1,300ft elevation gain in 3 miles. Took the trail to the a bit further to the point out on the east side with the rock pile just for the view. With that little detour attached I logged exactly 7 miles. There’s no shade but very nice right now with the colder weather on a sunny day. Bit windy at the top since you’re basically fully exposed but not too bad just Bring an extra layer. Plenty of room to maintain social distancing along the entire route. Happy holidays everyone:)

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Chris Reed
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Hiking
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Lisa O'Connor
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Hiking
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Douglas Kilpatrick
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Hiking
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Mike Dow
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HikingNo shade
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Greg Gray
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HikingNo shade

Another nice local hike

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Jake N Kristin Pool
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Hiking

A few ticks. Some wildflowers blooming still. Great sunrise!

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Gshock j Leth
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Hiking

Great ...summer watch out Snake

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K Hudson
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HikingNo shadeRocky

A beautiful hike in the Cowiche Canyon Conservancy lands. This time of year there were beautiful wildflowers abounding! Purples, pinks, orange and yellow all bursting into life!

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Mark Michael
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Hiking

Great place to wander for miles with great views

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Emma Nieforth
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HikingNo shadeRocky

Pretty good hike, steep in some areas to get to the top and down. Poles may help but over all great 7 miles hike!

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Ashton McDaniel
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Hiking

Awesome hike, went up cowiche mountain trail west and stopped for a snack at the top while enjoying the view of the mountain. Pack a light jacket or sweater, the wind at the top was chilling. Headed back down the loop on cowiche mountain trail East. Overall, a great time.

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Isabella Sanders
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HikingNo shadeRocky

This is a fun hike. Nice weather. Went with the family and dog friendly.

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Kip Freeman
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HikingNo shade
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Clayton Watkins
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HikingNo shade
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wu yi
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Hiking

Good

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DavidG _
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Hiking

great walk, full sun no trees, enjoyed the view

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Richard Swearingen
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Hiking

This was a nice trail and there are some short, add-on trails that can be done as well. The trail has been re-engineered, so the majority of the east side of the loop is inaccurate in the All Trails app. The trail is well marked, so this shouldn’t matter.

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Tracy Schroder
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HikingMuddy

We did this hike January 4th and it was a little muddy in a couple places , but certainly not impassable. Probably 2/3 - 3/4 of the way up the wind picked up and it was arctic, but this January in the PNW so that’s not unexpected and the beautiful skies made up for it!! The views from maybe the 1 mile point on are fantastic. The best part of doing this trail in the dead of winter (for me anyway) NO SNAKES!

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Douglas Kilpatrick
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Hiking

They moved the trail, and the map isn't accurate on the east side. Nothing changed of significance though. Good views, nice easy walk.

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Karin Banks
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HikingNo shade

4 of us hiked up to the top of snow mountain today. It was perfect weather about 50゚ and blue sky. It's a slow incline. At the top you can see The Valley on both sides. Take a walking stick if you have bad knees because it's steep going down. The trail is well used and easy to see. It's a great family trail and can give you a good 3 hours of exercise for the day.

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Michael Pommer
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Hiking

when I went there were plenty of wildflowers still growing. Lots of quail down by the creek. Hiked to the top of Cowiche Mountain trail hoping for a spectacular view, but wasn't too impressed... it was just overlooking farms and orchards.

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Yueli Yueli Yang
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HikingNo shade

comfortable,great view

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susan nash
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Hiking

Was actually a little over 6 miles. I turned my tracker off

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Erik Mickelson
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Hiking

Much nicer than expected. All the wildflowers were still out. Saw two owls. Great family Mother’s Day hike. Couldn’t have asked for a better hike. Will probably trail run out here another day this summer.

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