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Snowgrass Flat Day Hike

This is an 8.2 mile hike with 1,600 feet of elevation gain. Reports say that the trail is fairly devoid of snow and bugs. It is about an hour and 45 minutes drive each way. Please remember to bring the 10 essentials and $10-15 for gas, depending on the number of drivers and passengers.  NW Forest Pass required (I have 1, we may need another). You hike at your own risk, I am not a guide. I hike at a slow to moderate pace, so no land speed records will be set. You can read the WTA description (www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/snowgrass) below:

The trail climbs through some of the most spectacular wildflower meadows in the state, and presents some of the most wonderful views a hiker could imagine. Volcanoes loom on all sides: Mount Rainier, Mount Adams, Mount St. Helens, and on clear days, even Mount Hood can be seen far to the south. But it's not just the big snow-capped cones that are seen. Lesser volcanoes-perfectly formed cinder cones-can be seen scattered throughout the southern Cascades, in addition to the ancient volcanic peaks of the Goat Rocks. Actually, the peaks along the Goat Rocks Crest are the last remaining bits of an ancient volcano that formed and collapsed long before the current peaks poked up.

A short spur trail leads west from the trailhead, and in less than 0.25 mile it joins the Snowgrass Flat Trail (No. 96). Starting out in heavy forest cover, the trail crosses Goat Creek near the 2-mile mark and swings into a cedar swamp.

This swamp is one of the reasons I recommend early autumn as the prime hiking season. By waiting until September to enjoy this hike, you'll find the high pass snow-free and the swamp will be mostly bug-free. Hike in August, and there will likely be snowfields at the pass, and swarms of blood-hungry mosquitoes in the swamp. Of course, the marsh is a mere quarter mile long, so if you do come here in the summer months, a bit of bug dope and a fast pace will protect you from the worst of the bugs.

Once past the wetlands, the trail climbs 1100 feet in the next 2 miles to reach the lower meadows of Snowgrass Flat at 4.1 miles. From Packwood, drive west on U.S. Highway 12 for 2 miles and turn left (south) onto Forest Road 21 (Johnson Creek Road). Continue about 15.5 miles on the sometimes-rough gravel road before turning left (east) onto FR 2150, signed Chambers Lake Campground. In 3 miles, turn right onto Spur Road[masked] and, shortly, right again on Spur 2150-405. Drive to the trailhead (signed Berry Patch) at the road's end, about 20 miles from Highway 12.

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  • Richard G

    Teresa, I will be at Safeway at 8:40 am, see you there. [masked] Rich

    July 15, 2014

  • Richard G

    Robert, I was wondering what route we will take from the Martin P&R, I will be coming from Yelm and was wondering if you will be driving this way in which case I could met you at the Safeway in Yelm which is on the way. Rich #[masked]

    July 14, 2014

    • Richard G

      OK, I will meet you at 9:10 am at the Safeway, I have a red Camry sedan. We are meeting Robert in Morton at 10:20 and it only takes an hour to get there. We will pick Lisa up at Packwood forest. See you tomorrow.

      July 14, 2014

    • Richard G

      Teresa, Robert called to say they will leave at 8:30 from Lacey so is it alright with you to meet at 8:40 am at Safeway? Sorry for the late notice, he just called me.

      July 14, 2014

  • Richard G

    Robert, Is meeting in Morton the best place for you? It looks like it will take you about 1 hr 15 mins to get there and we from Yelm about an hour. If you are leaving at 9 am you would get there about 10:15 so we could meet somewhere in Morton, I have your phone #ending in 1755. Let me know your timing or if you can leave at maybe 8:30 but I'll leave that up to you.

    July 14, 2014

  • Richard G

    Robert, I will meet Teresa in Yelm and Lisa along the way too (before Elbe at the Packwood Forest) and then on through Morton. It will take almost 2hrs and 20 mins from Yelm to the trailhead so we will not start hiking until after noon time. Not sure if you could get started a bit earlier or not? Rich

    July 14, 2014

  • Richard G

    I am in Yelm and wondering about carpooling from there depending on best route considerations and number of people.

    July 14, 2014

  • Teresa

    I am also in Yelm, and was wondering which route we are taking.

    July 14, 2014

  • Robert

    Still looking for an Olympia driver!

    July 14, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    We would like to meet you in Morton at about 10 AM or whenever you get there. Lisa and I, that is I have a pass.

    July 13, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I would prefer to be a passenger.

    July 13, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Dang, this looks like fun...and my pace. Wish I could join you. Maybe another time. Thanks for posting.

    July 13, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I would prefer not to drive, but will if no one else can. I need to have my car serviced before I can do a long drive.

    July 13, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have a NW Forest Pass also; I will bring it.

    July 13, 2014

  • Robert

    If possible I am hoping to find 1 or 2 people willing to drive their vehicles. If not I can drive. Please post a message on whether you can drive or need a ride. Thanks!!!

    July 13, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Alas, I cannot make it.

    July 13, 2014

5 went

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