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Cow Creek Meadows

Central Cascades

Location

Central Cascades -- Entiat Mountains/Lake Chelan
View map below

Length

11.25 miles, roundtrip

Elevation

Gain: 3500 ft.
Highest Point: 5000 ft.

Rating

4.14 out of 5

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WTA worked here: 2021
 
 
 
Cow Creek Meadows is a quiet, idyllic meadow nestled in the Entiat Mountains. The majority of the trail was hit by the 2015 Wolverine Fire, which has led to frequent maintenance needs as charred trees fall across the path — but has also led to an abundance of wildflowers and wide-open river valley views.
 
To reach Cow Creek Meadows, hikers begin at the Entiat River Trailhead and follow the charred Entiat River Trail for a relatively flat 3.6 miles before diverting to the left at the second junction.
 
Shortly after turning, hikers will cross an impressive bridge over the Entiat and ford a quiet stream before reaching Myrtle Lake. The lake has established campsite along the south side for anyone who wants to call it a night here, otherwise there is nice shore access and a bit of shade on the northside for a quick lunchbreak.
 
The final stretch of trail up to the meadows is rough — a lot of gain (about 1300' in a mile), a lot of dust, and a lot of sun exposure. But it will be worth it for the endpoint. Just make sure to stock up with water before starting the ascent, as you won't have river access again until just before the meadows.
 
There are a few established campsites within the trees just before he meadow for folks spending the night.
 
The official Cow Creek Trail continues onward and upward past the meadows, eventually connecting with the Garland Mountain Trail and providing long loop opportunities with Larch Lakes, Pomas Creek and others.
 

Cow Creek Meadows

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.0246, -120.6504 Open map in new window

Trailhead

Central Cascades -- Entiat Mountains/Lake Chelan

Cow Creek Meadows (#1404), Entiat River Trail (#1400)

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Entiat Ranger District

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Getting There

The Entiat River Road (FR 51) is just south of the town of Entiat on SR 2/US-97 N.  The trailhead is a little over 38 miles up the valley a short distance past where the road (FR 5100) turns to gravel at the Cottonwood campground.  There is a vault toilet at the campground junction and at the trailhead.

 

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Cow Creek Meadows

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