Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Hiking Hiking Guide Cow Creek Meadows

Cow Creek Meadows

Central Cascades > Entiat Mountains/Lake Chelan
48.0246, -120.6504 Map & Directions
Length
11.25 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
3500 feet
Highest Point
5000 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Hard
Photo by Rachel Wendling Full-size image
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Wildlife
  • Lakes
  • Established campsites
  • Rivers

Hike through an old burn zone to reach an idyllic meadow high in the Entiat Mountains. Continue reading

Rating
4.14 out of 5

(7 votes) Log in to rate

Hiking Cow Creek Meadows

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.

WTA worked here in 2021!

Hike Description Written by
Rachel Wendling, WTA Staff

Cow Creek Meadows

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 48.0246, -120.6504 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

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

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.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Central Cascades > Entiat Mountains/Lake Chelan

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

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Entiat Ranger District

You can improve or add to this guidebook entry

Cow Creek Meadows

18 Trip Reports

Hiked here recently?

Submit a trip report!
 
Trip Reports