Backpack the Snowgrass Flats, Cispus Basin, Nannie Ridge Loop

Washington Snowgrass Flats Trailhead

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Take a short backpacking trip on a beautiful section of the PCT through the Goat Rocks Wilderness.

Take three or four nights and check out some of the most epic views in the Pacific Northwest. Though you can do a shorter or faster route, I highly recommend you consider the 19-mile loop from the Snowgrass trailhead through Cispus Basin and Cispus Pass (6400'), and then back down Nannie Ridge. Don't miss the side trip to climb to Old Snowy (7,930'). Along the way you'll be treated to views of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helens.

This loop allows you to section hike the Pacific Crest Trail through an area often considered one of the loveliest. Look for the large, foldable Green Trails map that covers this area for full trail, mileage, campsite, and elevation information.

An absolute must for mountain views, high alpine scenery and miles of wildflowers! This hike is only viable for a fews weeks in the summer, and it will become one of the star achievements of your year.

To get started, head clockwise and go 2 miles gradually uphill to Goat Creek and continue for another 2 miles (4 total) until you reach the Bypass Trail (Trail #97). Take a few minutes to get some water and take a look around. Then, head into Cispus Basin. You'll be glad you made it here to set up camp as it should be much less crowded than Snowgrass Flats.

If you decide you'd rather keep pushing on the trail or you need a campground for the next night, there are a couple options to set up camp. As you pass a waterfall, there is a camp a little rock scramble above it. There's also another camp in the trees as you near the creek crossing.

When you head up the pass, the trail continues to climb a few hundred feet, but opens up views of Nannie Creek and Walput Lake. Once you hit the saddle of the pass at 6400 feet, you'll head south on the PCT for about 2 miles until you reach Nannie Ridge. As you continue on Nannie Ridge, you'll see Sheep Lake, which offers a few good spots to set up camp if need be. Nannie Ridge takes you for over 2 miles up to Nannie Peak, then continues for about 2 miles down to Walput Lake (~6.5 miles from the saddle).

Once you hit Walput Lake, it's about another 6 miles to Snowgrass Flats. The trail is not well signed, so it's best if you have a compass. You'll head on trail 7A back to Snowgrass and while on the trail, you'll have a 2-3 foot deep river which you'll have to ford. Continue on 7A until you make it back to your car.

Pack List

  • Northwest Forest Pass
  • Compass
  • Backpack
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Hiking Boots
  • Stove
  • Cookware
  • Utensils
  • Food
  • Water
  • Water Filter
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Activities:

Backpacking

Skill Level:

Intermediate

Season:

Summer

Trail Type:

Loop

Distance:

19.6 Miles

Elev. Gain:

3000 Feet

Rating:

Features:

Forest
Lake
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

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almost 2 years ago

The scenery is absolutely spectacular! Easily one of the my favorite places I've been backpacking.

almost 2 years ago

over 2 years ago

over 2 years ago

One of my favorite areas of the state. This an absolutely gorgeous hike, especially at peak wildflower season. Goats, elk, marmots, amazing views. Well worth the effort.

over 2 years ago

Added by Eva Rees

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