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Cowiche Mountain Trail

Snow Mountain Ranch

Walla Walla Area, Washington

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Cowiche Mountain Trail

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  • The Cowiche Mountain Trail starts from the parking lot.- Cowiche Mountain Trail
  • Cowiche Mountain Trail to the east.- Cowiche Mountain Trail
  • Gary Oak Trail, Snow Mountain Ranch.- Cowiche Mountain Trail
  • Cowiche Creek at the footsteps of the trailhead.- Cowiche Mountain Trail
  • Old Ranch Boundary.- Cowiche Mountain Trail
  • Fall colors at Snow Mountain Ranch.- Cowiche Mountain Trail
  • Sage bush on the Bench Trail.- Cowiche Mountain Trail
  • The trails are well marked.- Cowiche Mountain Trail
  • Views from Snow Mountain Ranch.- Cowiche Mountain Trail
  • Enjoying the views from the Bench Trail.- Cowiche Mountain Trail
  • Old ranch boundary.- Cowiche Mountain Trail
  • Bathtub and former watering trough.- Cowiche Mountain Trail
  • Orchards in the valley below.- Cowiche Mountain Trail
  • - Cowiche Mountain Trail
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Amazing views. Quiet. Wildflowers. Different landscapes.
Cons: 
Secluded parking lot.
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Region:
Walla Walla Area, WA
Congestion: 
Low
Pets allowed: 
Yes
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,140.00 ft (347.47 m)
Parking Pass: 
Not Required
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer
Suitable for:
Hiking, Biking, Horseback
Total Distance: 
7.00 mi (11.27 km)
Trail type: 
Loop
Trailhead Elevation: 
3,376.00 ft (1,029.00 m)
Current Local Weather:
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Contributor

Situated in Eastern Washington's beautiful Yakima region and maintained by Cowiche Canyon Conservancy, Snow Mountain Ranch is a combination of several small and big trails, each with its own distinct features. The trails in this network are very well maintained, and you can do either a loop or there-and-back hike for each of these trails. The Snow Mountain Ranch is approximately 1,800 acres and was historically a cattle ranch, and fences and ranching equipment are a part of the scenery of this hike. The hike starts at the footsteps of the parking lot, where you can grab the trail map from the kiosk. Note that authorities ask that hikers be responsible for their valuables.

The beautiful vista of diverse colors and textures begins right at the trailhead. You'll cross Cowiche Creek and reach a junction where you can decide to either go left for the Cowiche Mountain Trail East or turn right for Cowiche Mountain Trail West. Both of these trails are part of the longest of the Snow Mountain Ranch trail systems. As you hike along Snow Mountain Ranch, you will come across flowering meadows, sage bush, basalt cliffs, wildflowers, old and broken wooden fences and orchards spread across the canyon region. Make sure you take your binoculars to spot some wildlife.

Additional trails at Snow Mountain Ranch include:

  1. Gary Oak Trail: This is the smallest loop trail of the lot and adjoins the parking lot fence.
  2. Riparian Trail: With east and west legs, this is a loop trail that starts right past Cowiche Creek. The west leg leads to an Overlook Trail.
  3. Balanced Rock Trail: This trail is accessible via the east or the west side, and it is a relatively smaller loop trail that peaks as a flat plateau on top of massive basalt rocks.
  4. Wildflower Trail: This trail runs parallel to Cowiche Mountain Trail West and connects Bench Trail with the trails at the starting junction. As the name suggests, it is full of wildflowers and is a must-do trail hike during spring.
  5. Bench Trail: Further up from the junction, this trail intersects Cowiche Mountain East and Cowiche Mountain West trails. A bench awaits hikers who reach the top, along with a few decrepit bathtubs/watering troughs.
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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(2 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(5 within a 30 mile radius)

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