“A loop traveling through expansive flowering meadows to some of the best views in the Goat Rocks Wilderness.”
— Sarah Baker
Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
This loop takes you to the best of the Goat Rocks Wilderness. The route can be done as either a long day trip or nice 2-night backpack. The trail passes through dense forest before reaching treeline, follows panoramic ridgelines, and passing through flowering meadows. The views on this trail are not to be missed. The loop rounds the Jordan Creek drainage before dropping into the Goat Creek drainage and passing through Snowgrass Flats. This route is very popular especially during peak wildflower season, and is well worth a trip.
Need to Know
The Snowgrass, Goat Lake, and Old Snowy areas are the most crowded areas in the Goat Rocks Wilderness. Expect parking lots and camp spots to fill early, even on the weekdays. Help preserve the fragile meadows by following Wilderness Regulations and Leave No Trace principles.
The loop starts at the Berry Patch trailhead, but could also be started at the Snowgrass Flats hikers-only trailhead. The trailhead area fills up early, especially on the weekends, so make sure to get an early start or be prepared to do some road travel before even reaching the trailhead.
The route starts by climbing Goat Ridge Trail #95
. The route ascends steeply to a saddle and follows Goat Ridge through flowering meadows and scree fields towards Jordan Creek Basin. Jordan Creek Basin has a couple of campsites and is a popular stop.
Continue climbing to the junction with the Lily Basin Trail #86
. Take a right and descend through fields of wildflowers and small creeks. The route passes Goat Lake (another camping option), which remains frozen through most of the year. The route continues south, passing through fields of lupines framing awesome views of Mt. Adams.
The route then intersects the Snowgrass Trail #96
. You can take a right to descend back to the trailhead, or continue left towards Snowgrass Flats. The route climbs to the 10-plus acre subalpine meadow known as Snowgrass Flats. Due to its openness, the meadow is another popular place to camp. Many people continue up the PCT towards Old Snowy Mountain for expansive views of the Goat Rocks and Cascade volcanoes.
After visiting Snowgrass Flats, continue down the Bypass Trail #97
before reconnecting with the Snowgrass Trail #96
. Enjoy the descent through lush conifer forest before reaching the trailhead.
Note: There are many variations of this route that can also be taken. You can set up a base camp (e.g. Jordan Creek Basin, Goat Lake, Snowgrass Flats) and take day trips from there. Some popular destinations include Old Snowy Mountain, Hawkeye Point Access Trail
, and Snowgrass Flats.
History & Background
This trail is part of the Klickitat Trail System used by Native Americans traveling over Cispus Pass.