You are here

Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
Loop
Distance
8.00 mi (12.87 km)
Warming hut
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Amabilis Mountain is a solitary point of prominence rising up between the Yakima River and Kachess Lake. The interesting name seems to stem from the rich forests of Pacific silver fir (Abies amabilis) that cover the land. The winding route to the summit is one of the more well-known cross-country ski and snowshoe adventures around Snoqualmie Pass because of the easy terrain and the rewarding views of the Central Cascades.

The route kicks off at the Cabin Creek Sno-Park, and the first quarter-mile covers nicely-groomed trails to the cut-off for Forest Road 4822 just beyond the Kongsberger ski cabin. Snowshoers should keep to the trail's edges up to this point to protect established ski tracks. The forest road heads to the hillside and maintains a forgiving grade through three long switchbacks up the lower northwest side of Mount Amabilis. It then makes a southeast traverse, dipping in and out of steep gulches and a thick fir forest to put you at a junction just over 2 miles in. The shorter, more popular route hooks left (north) here, but both will get you all the way to the summit area, putting a potential loop in the cards for those on skis. 

A half mile past this junction is where snowshoers get to shine by veering off-road and straight up the slopes in a direct approach to the top of the mountain. The forest thins and gives way to newer growth as you gain elevation, yielding better all-around visibility by the minute. Before you know it, the terrain evens again and you are gazing out at an endless contrast of mountain ridges and valleys. It's definitely worth a thorough exploration of the summit area to find the best viewpoints for each direction.  Particularly stunning scenery lies north to Chikamin Ridge and the Three Queens in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, east down to the lengthy blue spans of Kachess Lake, and south to the domineering presence of Mount Rainier.

Always check weather and avalanche conditions before traveling into the backcountry.

Recommended Gear

Before you head out on your next Mount Hood adventure, make sure you have the right gear! 

Here's a list of our go-to snowshoeing essentials to get you started:

Snowshoes: MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoe

Cushioned, Made in USA, Ultralight, 98.8 oz

Men's • $299.95 • MSR | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Women's • $299.95 • MSR | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Jacket/Shell: Arc'teryx Zeta AR Jacket

Waterproof, Adjustable Drawcord Hem, Pit Zips, GORE-TEX

Men's • $431-475 • Arc'teryx | Amazon | Backcountry

Women's • $475 • Arc'teryx | Amazon | Backcountry

Pack: Mammut Nirvana Pro Pack 

35L, Carry-On Size, Hip Belt, Ice Axe / Pole Loops, Hydration Compatible

Standard Fit • $189.95-199.95 • Mammut | Amazon | Backcountry

Small Fit • $199.95 • Mammut | Amazon

Insulating Layer: Moosejaw Dequindre Down Jacket

Water-resistant, Insulated, Adjustable Drawcord Hem

Men's and Women's • $179

Poles: Black Diamond Traverse Pole 

Aluminum, Adjustable with Lever Lock System, 21 oz.

$79.95 • Black Diamond | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Gloves: The North Face GORE-TEX Gloves

Waterproof, Adjustable, Insulated, GORE-TEX

Men's • $99.95-181.63 • The North Face | Amazon | Backcountry

Women's • $99.95-100.00 • The North Face | Backcountry

Boots: Vasque Snowblime UltraDry Boot

Waterproof, Cushioned, Insulated

Men's • $149.99 • Vasque | Amazon | Backcountry

Women's • $149.99 • Vasque | Amazon | Backcountry

Gaiters: Outdoor Research Verglas Gaiter 

Waterproof, Breathable, Lightweight, Abrasion-resistant

Men's • $41.32-65 • Outdoor Research | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Women's • $49.95-65 • Outdoor Research | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

Sno-Park Parking Permit (required in OR + WA 11.01 thru 04.30)

Pros

Easy route finding. Big vistas.

Cons

Multi-use land with snowmobile access.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

2,470.00 ft (752.86 m)

Net Elevation Gain

2,000.00 ft (609.60 m)

Features

Big vistas
Cross-country skiing

Typically multi-day

No

Groomed trail

No

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington
Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington
Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

Have updates, photos, alerts, or just want to leave a comment?
Sign In and share them.