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Cowiche Mountain Trail

Intermediate/Difficult
 3.8 (4) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

This is definitely the best route in Snow Mountain Ranch area. Amazing views and wildflowers.


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Map Key

6.0

Miles

9.6

KM

Loop

2,954' 900 m

High

1,845' 562 m

Low

1,149' 350 m

Up

1,151' 351 m

Down

7%

Avg Grade (4°)

20%

Max Grade (11°)

Dogs Leashed

Features Birding · Fall Colors · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

No motorized vehicles or bikes.

Overview

The views just get better and better as you climb the mountain. The Cascade Mountains and Yakima Valley are laid out for your enjoyment. A wide variety of wildflowers bloom in riotous color in the spring, and numerous species of butterflies can be seen along the way.

Description

The route is well-defined and signed, with "you are here map" signs at important junctions. Great for snowshoeing or skiing in the winter with enough snow. There is lots of wildlife in the spring and summer, and also a few rattlesnakes in the heat of the summer.

Start from the trailhead on the Snow Mountain Ranch Entry Trail to trailhead kiosk. From this short connector, you'll join the Lower Cowiche Mountain West trail. This trail travels through an interesting Shrub-Steppe landscape offering better views of the surrounding valley and Cascade Mountains as the altitude changes.

From Lower Cowiche Mountain West, you'll connect onto Upper Cowiche Mountain West. This is the upper segment connecting the Lower Cowiche Mountain West trail to the summit of Cowiche Mountain. After taking the doubletrack trail of the Lower portion, hikers will transition to a singletrack-type trail as they continue on to the summit. You'll need to be a bit more careful with your footing, but the surrounding wilderness makes up for it.

Once you take a moment to appreciate the beautiful vistas provided by the peak, head back down the Upper Cowiche Mountain West trail to it's junction with Lower Cowiche Mountain West and Wildflower Trail. Take a right onto Wildflower Trail to continue your descent. This trail heads through a meadow that is being restored with wild grasses. Along the way, you'll pass through areas of abundant wildflowers with wonderful views of the Cascades and Yakima Valley.

Once at the bottom of Wildflower Trail, retrace your steps back to the parking lot to finish out the hike.

Flora & Fauna

Deer, elk, coyotes, and raptors of various kinds in addition to the wide variety of Shrub-Steppe plants.

Contacts

Shared By:

Thoralf Gamlem

Trail Ratings

  3.8 from 4 votes

#4053

Overall
  3.8 from 4 votes
5 Star
25%
4 Star
25%
3 Star
50%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Recommended Route Rankings

#210

in Washington

#4,053

Overall
24 Views Last Month
1,252 Since Oct 26, 2015
Intermediate/Difficult

0%
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67%
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33%
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Photos

Spectacular wildflowers going up Cowiche Mountain.
Nov 13, 2015 near Tieton, WA
View of hikers travelling through the native grasses of our Shrub-Steppe.
Nov 13, 2015 near Tieton, WA
A winter view toward the Cascade Mountains.
Nov 13, 2015 near Tieton, WA
The abundant wildflowers share the stage with Cowiche Mountain.
Nov 13, 2015 near Tieton, WA
Looking at Rainier from the west trail.
Nov 28, 2016 near Tieton, WA
Crossing the riparian meadow which is under restoration with native grasses.
Nov 13, 2015 near Tieton, WA

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Check-Ins

Sep 28, 2018
Greg Anderson
Feb 10, 2018
Katie Ashmore
Beautiful scrubby hike, nice views of Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainer as you get higher up and of the Yakima Valley. I bet there are great wildflowers. 6mi
May 17, 2017
wayne broadt
Apr 21, 2017
Christina McDaniels
Gorgeous day!! Found a cookoo wasp. They are a vivid iridescent green. Half way up I realized I left my water in the kitchen. Went to the top anyw... 7.4mi — 3h 29m