Snowgrass Flats and Goat Lake Loop Trail

MODERATE 47 reviews

Snowgrass Flats and Goat Lake Loop Trail is a 12.2 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Packwood, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
12.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
3126 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

backpacking

birding

camping

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

A long hike into some very beautiful country and awesome NW vistas. If you love pristine wilderness and beautiful views of major mountains and broad green meadows, this hike is for you. Take 96 through Snowgrass Flats up to the PCT, then along the PCT until you can see Goat Lake. Hiking along the PCT beneath the Goat Rocks peaks is a real treat. Mt. Adams dominates the view to the south.

hiking
2 days ago

hiking
9 days ago

Did a day hike to Snowgrass Flats and almost to Goat Lake before having to return. The road is in good shape except for some washboard areas. Trail in good condition, but a fair amount of traffic for a Wednesday. Wildflowers are in full bloom.

hiking
10 days ago

hiking
14 days ago

hiking
15 days ago

25 days ago

this was a amazing hike, makes you feel on top of the world, nice & clean little camp spots. its a must backpacking trip.

backpacking
29 days ago

This was a great hike!! Loved the views they where amazing!! Will definitely do this hike again!!

camping
1 month ago

While you must cross a few snow patches, they are not a problem if you walk where others have walked. This is a gorgeous hike. I camped at Goat Lake (still frozen), where there are 5-6 very nice flat campsites nearby that have no snow. I also hiked on the Lily Flats trail up to the ridge above Goat Lake. Spectacular view from there of Mount Rainier, as well as views of St. Helens, Adams, and even the tip of Hood. One nice thing is, that though there are mosquitos at the trailhead, once you get about 1000 feet higher, there are none!

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

backpacking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike!!! We did there full goat lake loop + Old snowy. There are still many snow patches that was difficult to pass.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

backpacking
4 months ago

backpacking
7 months ago

11 months ago

backpacking
11 months ago

I hiked the Snowgrass Flats loop in two days from 8-20-16 to 8-21-16.

I started from Snowgrass Flats Trailhead #96 and ended at Berry Patch trailhead #95, then took the connecting trail #96a back to the car. This is the typical hike and the first time I’ve done it as an overnight. It can be done in one day but it’d be along day.

As you’d expect, the parking at Snowgrass was about full for a Saturday morning at 9am. I like to count the number of people I see on the trail, and always loose track around 20. I was surprised by the number of people ending their hike on Saturday morning. Must have been around 10 or so before Snowgrass. That was encouraging since it meant the possibility of more sites.

Most campsites were taken even by Noon and it took a bit of searching to find one. I found one but it was very close to other sites. I didn’t want to camp in their backyard and opted to look elsewhere. After talking to a couple on Lily Basin Trail #86, I found on a site about half way to Goat Lake. That Saturday was 95 degrees and while there were trees, most were small providing minimal shading. The flies were out in force in the shade and made sitting annoying. Nothing some mosquito repellent couldn’t fix though. I was lucky enough to be close to a creek, so getting water was easy. The evening as warm and with no chance of rain didn’t use the rainfly.

The next morning was clear and cool (mid 70s), a nice change from the high 90’s we’ve had the days before. Luckily, the wild flowers were out and made an already stunningly gorgeous even better. Goat Lake had a quite a few tents setup and many people were leaving. That weekend was blue sky’s and clear and I was awestruck by the view from Goat Lake.

I was glad to see the most stunning field of wild flowers on Lily Basin Trail #86 between Goat Lake and the Junction of Goat Ridge Trail #95. Every color you could imagine. Blue, Red, Purple, Yellow, White. Jordan Basin was beautiful and there were no campers that I could see. Water is plentiful here as is most of Lily Basin Trial #86 from Snowgrass to Jordan Basin.

I was surprised to see a few campsites on Goat Ridge Trail #95 near Jordan Basin. I’ve never noticed them before. Goat Ridge Trail was different and nicer trail than I remember. Very nice with elevation gain, or decent in this case not too bad. I opted not to hike Goat Ridge Lookout trail and take to group who was considering it.

I made it back to the car about 2pm and talked to a family almost ready to start their 3 day hike. All and all, you can’t go wrong with this hike. Expect people and good views, even it if’s cloudy.

backpacking
Tuesday, July 26, 2016

hiking
Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Saturday, 7-16-16, I hiked to Goat Lake on Snowgrass Flats trail #96 and Lily Basin Trail #86. I have never hiked this so early in the year and was concerned about the snow level. Previous reviews indicated a snow free trail so I decided to go.

As you’d expect, there were about 40 cars parked at the trailhead with room for more. The weather was partly sunny and warm, in the mid 70s and perfect for hiking. I only packed my day pack because I wasn’t able to get my backpack and gear ready in time. 30 minutes into the hike, I was sorry I didn’t have it.

I’d arrived at the trailhead late and most people were already on the trail. I talked with a small group at the TH and we leapfrogged a few times on the way up. Some people were coming down from overnights on Friday. Having such a light pack, about 20 lbs, I managed to pass a couple more groups with much heavier packs.

As the reviews stated, Snowgrass trail #96 was snow free and easy to travel. There were 5 blowdowns to cross over or around but easy to navigate. Despite all the cars, there really wasn’t that many people on the trail. I stopped at Snowgrass Flats for a small break before heading to Goat Lake. All the people I passed on the trail came up shortly after me and started scouting places for their tent. Most of the closer spots were taken and they spent a good long time finding somewhere. After the break, I headed up Lily Basin Trail #86 and noticed there were a lot of tents in Alpine camp and wondered where I would go if I had my tent. Wildflowers were out. Not as many as next month, but still a lot and pretty colors.

That’s about where I saw the first random snow crossing on the trail. A small creek with packed snow on it. Nothing to cross, just a few steps plus it was pretty well tracked out. However, these snow crossings became closer together and longer the closer you go to Goat Lake. Some of the creeks were fairly big with lots of packed snow. I found myself walking on snow bridges as water was melting the snow below. Care should be used on the snow bridges as they were getting softer with each crossing and soon will melt altogether.

Goat Lake area was covered in snow. More snow than not. About a 1/8th of a mile before the lake, the trail was on tracked out snow and easy to follow. Places were slippery as you’d expect. Goat Lake itself is frozen over but starting to melt on the south edges near it’s outlet. The trail from the outlet up to and towards Jordan Basin is covered with snow also. However, some people said it’s not that bad.

I had lunch at Goat Lake and could only spend about 45 minutes there before I had to go back. Despite the snow and the cars at the trailhead, it was a great hike!!! I would do it again and I’m sure I will before the summer is out.

Sunday, July 10, 2016