Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
Loop
Distance
7.00 mi (11.27 km)
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.

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.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Spring
Summer

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Not Required

Pros

Amazing views. Quiet. Wildflowers. Different landscapes.

Cons

Secluded parking lot.

Trailhead Elevation

3,376.00 ft (1,029.00 m)

Net Elevation Gain

1,140.00 ft (347.47 m)

Features

Historically significant
Big vistas
Old-growth forest
Wildflowers
Shelters
Geologically significant

Suitable for

Biking
Horseback

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Adventures

Mt. Adams/Indian Heaven Wilderness/Goat Rocks, Washington
Eastern North Cascades + Lake Chelan, Washington
Eastern North Cascades + Lake Chelan, Washington

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Eastern North Cascades + Lake Chelan, Washington
Eastern North Cascades + Lake Chelan, Washington

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