OverviewOld Snowy and Ives Peak are a short jaunt from the highest point of the Pacific Crest Trail in Washington State. Nothing technical is required of the ascent of either peak, which are located in the Goat Rocks area of the Cascade Mountains. A Class II scramble to the summit blocks provide a clear view of Rainier, Adams, and Mt. St. Helens.
Getting ThereFrom Yakima I-82: Take US 12 west to Packwood. A couple miles out of town, go left at Johnson Creek rd. (FS 21). Continue for appx. 18 miles to turnoff signed Chambers Lake (FS 2150). Look for Berry Patch Trailhead sign and park (FS 2150-405) (4660 ft.). Take Snowgrass Flats Trail 96 to PCT(appx. 10 miles RT).
Red TapeA Northwest Forest Pass is required to park at the trailhead. Day use is now monitored. Self-register station for overnight trips was free, but you may want to check with the Ranger Station in Packwood. New limited-use policies for fragile alpine meadows at Snowgrass Flats may be pending. See phone number below.
When To ClimbThis area averages 25-40 feet of snow each winter, and may take until mid-July to melt out. Winter access would at least require chains and 4x4, but would be a decent XC-ski/snowshoe route. Call for current conditions.
CampingUse established campsites above treeline to avoid compromising fragile alpine vegetation. This area is known for blooming wildflower meadows in summer. There are spotty sites and a larger alpine camp near the PCT. There is additional no-fee camping permitted at Chambers Lake Campground near the Berry Patch Trailhead, complete with compost latrine.
Mountain ConditionsGifford Pinchot National Forest. Packwood Ranger District, HWY 12, Packwood, WA 98361
Miscellaneous InfoThis is a great hike/scramble to initiate interest in beginners (although it didn't work for my ex). My girl wouldn't leave camp with me after that day on any climb. However, for someone who isn't a world class athlete, the vistas you get for a minimal physical cost will make you feel like a "real" mountaineer. Of course that doesn't mean you should undertake this easy climb if you are completely out of shape. You'll huff and puff alright, but it's nothing like Yokum ridge. Think: Mt.Si; albeit a tad lengthier.