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Snowgrass Flats and Goat Lake Loop Trail is a 12.1 mile heavily 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 June until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 12.1 mi Elevation gain 2,742 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Backpacking

Camping

Hiking

Forest

Lake

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Bugs

Rocky

Snow

Description
Waypoints (17)
Facilities
Contact
Tips
Getting There

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.

Gifford Pinchot National Forest Cowlitz Valley Ranger Station 10024 U.S. 12 Randle, WA 98377 Tel: 360.497.1100

Wait until midsummer for this hike as the wildflowers will be in full bloom. Go early to make sure you get a good campsite. A federal Northwest Forest Pass is required to park here. Prepare for a large amount of flies near the lake.

From the town of Randle drive 14 miles east on Highway 12 to Forest Service Road 21. Turn right onto FS 21 and drive about 20 miles on the dirt road (all wheel drive is nice here). Turn left onto Forest Service Road 2150 and go for 3.5 miles. Stay right at the Chambers Lake turnoff. Follow the signs to Berry Patch Trailhead.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (252)
Photos (718)
Recordings (193)
Completed (421)
Eric Calheim
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 11 2020
HikingBugsSnow
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Jeremy Adams
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jul 11 2020
BackpackingBugsGreat!IcyMuddySnow

Traveled on clockwise for a 2 day trek. First couple miles were a little tiring from the incline with some mosquitos at the base. There was plenty of snow and slush on the backside of Goat Ridge. A great turning point for those without spikes and poles, this time of year. Goat Ridge to Goat Lake was for experienced hikers only, with snow. You walk through the snow on a very sloped mountainside for the next mile. One slip and you could slide 100yds plus. Right before you get to Goat Lake, there are some fun glissading spots to help you travel and a reward yourself. We didn’t really see a campground where it is designated at so we kept on. Had we camped at the spot on the trail map, we would have setup camp on the snow. We happened to find a super nice spot that fit all three tents, could have fit more, located just down the mountain off of the trail. I think we were literally West of Old snowy Mountain, so look for the 86 marker on the Alltrails map on this site. I think we were just down the mountainside near there. There was some patchy land spots and I would start looking in these small “oasis’” for a site. Our oasis had 2 small fire pits and shelter from rain! The night was very cold and the wind was mild but had an awesome loud sound. The next day we had to relocate the trail and continued on for another couple miles of flatter snow. We did pass a very bitter grouse that literally chase us and followed us on the trail for 100 yards until other hikers passed us. After the snow, we ran in to many camping areas and campers, all on the descent part of the trail. Once you get to that part then it is back to normal green trails and is very easy. I backpacked this trek with two others and had a great time! Would love to do this loop again but later in the summer so the snow wont slow me down and wont be too dangerous. I just confirmed the camp area that we found. Look at the recording from Eric Calheim and you will see the movement in one area is the best spot to camp if there is snow.

Marianne Vydra
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jul 09 2020
Hiking

Check out WTA.ORG for recent reports too. I would hold off a bit longer due to snow reported this week.

Joshua Rogne
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 05 2020
Hiking

Does anyone know if you can get to goat lake?

Tyler Grobmeier
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jun 26 2020
HikingBugsIcyMuddyOff trailSnow

Trail from Snowgrass beyond is largely snow covered and will remain that way for at least another couple of weeks. We were surprised how much was still compacted. Microspikes advised if camping due to freeze over of the snowpack. We stayed one night and have crazy wind but a beautiful morning. Some camping exists as of right now on the ridge lines with beautiful views of Adams.

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Madison Byer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jun 26 2020
BackpackingSnow
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Chelsea Neilson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Jun 24 2020
HikingBugsSnow

This trail still has a lot of snow. We definitely were glad to have brought our micro spikes and trekking poles. We made it up to the high point and decided to turn around. There was a sketchy transverse we didn't want to attempt with the gear we had. Probably best to wait a few more weeks for the snow to melt. The views were incredible!

Holly C
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 13 2020
Hiking

Lots of snow. Had to turn around

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Zuzka Tichy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Oct 26 2019
Hiking

The trail is completely snow covered. At the ridge the snow depth is up to knee height. We only saw 3 other people on the trail. Not easy to navigate given there are no footsteps to follow .... Must have GPS or other orientation tools. We were totally not ready for snow and hiked it in tennis shoes which made the hike much more challenging ...

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Jessica Wenke
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Oct 05 2019
HikingSnow
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Marian M.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Sep 23 2019
HikingMuddyRockyScramble

We hiked this trail during a 100% chance of rain day and the weather forecast proved accurate! It was pretty miserable with wind and heavier rain when we reached goat lake (no goats!), which was shrouded by fog. A blast of wind came in and voila, we had a 1-minute view of Goat Lake. We decided to wait and have “lunch” once we descended into more forested tree areas, but had to move quickly since it was getting quite late and the weather wasn’t any closer to improving. Continuing on, the clouds moved away a little to give us broad views of how high we had “climbed” on the hike, but then quickly moved in again as the weather again deteriorated. I thought we were getting out of the wind as we began our “descent,” into a meadow-like area, but that proved untrue. I was unable to relate our exactly where we were along points of the trail because of the visibility, which diminished because of heavy fog for a bit as we hiked around Goat Lake to drop into the basin(?). But, at least we were able to see and stay on the trail. There were many rocky, unstable places lined with varying sizes of slab-shaped rocks and several stream crossings with large, stable rocks for footing to keep from getting boots in the streams. The trail is not wide once one starts getting to the more exposed areas of Goat Rocks. Anyone tiring out by this time should watch their footing, being careful not to slip on loose rocks and falling over the edge. The drop off is fairly steep. The trail was very muddy in several places, with areas of standing water, but overall in good condition. There seemed to be more ascents than descents, and several ascents were killers. Surprised to see many western pasque flowers, pearly everlasting remains, but this hike was mushroom heaven throughout the forested parts of the trail. If it weren’t for the excellent hike leader, mostly great, fun, and funny group of peers who were in the same boat with me on this hike, no bugs, no 85F degree weather and many unusual-looking small and large mushrooms (and of course, beautiful trees), I would have given less stars on this review. Plan is to return to hike this trail in better weather conditions to see the predicted views, wildflowers and animals.

Manon G.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Sep 12 2019
HikingRocky

What a great hike this is! It is definitely a “hard” one, since the paths are super rocky and steep. I was really content with my walking poles, both for the climbing as the descending. Definitely one of the harder ones I’ve hiked so far. But worth it! We hiked counterclockwise, starting at the Snowgrass trail. I was really glad we hiked this way because the second half (Goat Ridge trail) has way much nicer views and paths so this made the second half not that hard ;-) The Snowgrass trail is mostly forest which is nice too, but the great views start when you enter the Lily Basin trail. If you do a loop an option could be to hike Goat Ridge/Lily Basin up to the Goat Lake and go back the same way. We saw a lot of ground squirrels and marmots, however not so many goats (which I expexted because of the name “ Goat Rock Wilderness”). And of course many wild flowers. Note: the distances provided seemed to be “a little” off; all our GPS devices said we hiked 26 km instead of 19, so that’s an extra 7 km (4 miles). That was a real bummer if you think you’re almost there ;-) Took us about 8,5 hours (including many photo stops and breaks).

Marcela Coluci
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Sep 11 2019
HikingRockyScramble
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Nico Smith
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Sep 01 2019
HikingRocky

Pounded out the hike in a day. Arrived 8am Saturday, already packed with cars. Easy enough to find parking though. Tackled the most aggressive section first and appreciated going into autopilot for the remaining 6 miles. Done by 4:30pm. Needs more goats.

Carol Guan
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Sep 01 2019
HikingNo shade

Completed on Sunday 9/1. Turned left onto NF-21 from Highway 12-West, there is a 16.4 miles washboard drive to the Snowgrass Flats trailhead. It's manageable though. Got to the trailhead by 8am. Already a lot of cars, most of them are from overnight backpack campers. I hiked clockwise. So shortly after getting on Snowgrass Trail #96, I took the shortcut from trail #96A to Berry Patch trailhead, which connects to Goat Ridge Trail #95. This way the heavier elevation gain happens on the first half of the loop, when coming back, it will have more decent descendant and it saves time to go back to my car after a long hike. Also, #95 leads to trail split between Hawkeye Point and Lily Basin Trail #86 faster while you still have the strength. And I would recommend going up to the point to take a wholesome view of the Goat Lake from the top. Per map, it will add about 1.6 miles on your trip back and forth. Coming back from Hawkeye Point, get on Lily Basin Trail #86 to Goat Lake. Believe it or not, a lot of wild flowers are still blooming at this altitude. No bugs but needs a lot of sunscreen. The lake is so crystal blue, you cannot photograph out the blue but to see it in person. Spotted a pack of 8 mountain goats resting on mountain side. Continue on #86, Mt. Adams opens up from the clouds in the view almost the whole way up to Snowgrass Flats. Trail #86 is circling around Mt Adams in the far south, so it will be visible either you hike clockwise or counterclockwise. Didn't have time to get on PCT, it seems to take forever on the way back from Snowgrass Flats Trail #96. Got back to trailhead by 6:10pm. What a day! Overall, it's a great day hike; yet for an average hiker, I'd have to admit that this will be heaven for backpackers to stay overnight and enjoy the views in a bit more time and relaxing mode. Nonetheless, the view is splendidly beautiful, the lake, the alphine, the mountain range and the far view of Mt. Adams. You will not be disappointed.

Kimberly Gardner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Aug 31 2019
HikingRocky
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Kristin TW
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarWed Aug 28 2019
Hiking

amazing scenery & gentle grades. one of my favorite hikes of all time

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