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Cowlitz Trail

South Cascades > White Pass/Cowlitz River Valley
46.7042, -121.4807 Map & Directions
10.0 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
2,348 feet
Highest Point
5,148 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Wildlife
  • Established campsites
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Good for kids
  • Lakes

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

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Originally a Native American travel route across the Cascade range, the Cowlitz trail now offers visitors multiple loop options and beautiful destinations in the William O. Douglas wilderness. Continue reading

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Hiking Cowlitz Trail

This trail marks a principal Native American travel route across the Cascades. It is part of the prehistoric Yakama-Cowlitz Trail, which linked people from the Cowlitz Valley with people from the Yakima River drainage. Native Americans using this trail traveled on foot, often carrying trade goods and roots. They later made the crossing on horseback.

Today, as part of the trail system in the William O. Douglas Wilderness, visitors can use this route to create many looping hikes, or out-and-back routes.  

This trail begins at Soda Springs trailhead. It winds roughly west to east, through dense forest and subalpine terrain, crosses many small streams, and passing lakes and small potholes as you wind east. The trail crosses the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) and ends near the Gifford Pinchot National Forest boundary on Tumac Mountain

WTA worked here in 2012!

Cowlitz Trail

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 46.7042, -121.4807 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

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Parking Pass/Entry Fee


WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From Packwood, travel east on Highway 12 for about 9 miles. Turn left on Forest Road 45 and follow for 0.3 miles then continue on Forest Road 4510. Follow Forest Road 4510 for about 4.2 miles then stay right on the spur road towards Soda Springs trailhead for about 0.5 mile.

More Hike Details


South Cascades > White Pass/Cowlitz River Valley

Cowlitz Trail (#44)

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Cowlitz Valley Ranger District

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Cowlitz Trail

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