Best Trails in Gifford Pinchot National Forest

806 reviews

#2 of 16 Forests in Washington

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on Lava Canyon Trail
4 days ago

The loop is fairly easy and most people can do it. On the loop there is a 125ft suspension bridge-very cool and very high(don't look down if your afraid of heights), but spectacular. From the suspension bridge there is a much more difficult trail that is marked by expert hikers only sign. I took it and ran into an old lady huffing up it lol. But use extreme caution on it as there are parts that drop off into the canyon 100 plus feet (especially hiking down it) it eventually comes to a 50 ft metal ladder hooked into a cliff that you take down to continue the hike. Loved this hike !

on Cora Lake Trail
4 days ago

fishing

Nice easy incline all the way up. Tadpoles were in full bloom...fun to watch. Fished for a few hours to no avail, but that's why it's called fishing, not catching. A few folks came and went, but pretty quiet day.

on Packwood Lake Trail
5 days ago

backpacking

We had a good hike in. Started at noon on a Saturday. My son and I took about 2-1/2 hours from the trailhead to the lake. Then about another 1/2 hour to hike until we found a campsite.

The amount and size of the groups seems to be impacted by the availability of ATV access. This led to a large ATV crowd by the ATV trail end. There was also a large group of maybe 30 people that had set up a tent city not far from the old cabins.

We hiked in about another mile to find the first available spot on the lake. We could barely hear the other groups.

Very light mosquitos a few flies. Neighbors were quiet. We found plenty of deadfall and used branches for a cooking fire.

Off trail areas were heavily impacted by inadequate latrine protocol. If I come back here, I will plan on bringing a folding shovel to clean up some of the worst offenses.

We had to leave Sunday morning but will consider coming back again when we have more time and maybe taking some day hikes around the area.

We hiked on the ATV trail out and we're glad we had a map, as there were a couple of times we could have taken a turn that may have extended our hike a bit. This did give us a few better views of Rainer on the way out and made it a little easier on my son who was not feeling well.

on Lava Canyon Trail
6 days ago

hiking

on Lily Basin Trail
9 days ago

Great Ridgeline trail with views to the north of Packwood Lake with Rainier in the background at about mile 4.5 from the trailhead. Agree with most recent post re: great road 48 a few ruts& potholes. Do stop at the first trailhead sign"Lily Basin Trail No. 86 to your right---- past that, the road is very treacherous.

on Cape Horn Loop Trail
9 days ago

The upper part is beautiful! The lower not so much!

on Hummocks Trail
9 days ago

good loop on the original mt st helens summit.. well where it ended up after the eruption. ..

on Silver Star Mountain via ...
9 days ago

backpacking

gorgeous views

on Lava Canyon Trail
10 days ago

I loved this trail! it loops around from easy to difficult and they have a swing bridge. loved the scenery- saw snakes and chipmunk and the waterfalls are fantastic. great afternoon!

on Lower Falls Recreation Ar...
10 days ago

excellent campground with beautiful trails camp host is never there though to sell fire wood but there is a store with all the campers needs up the road showers gas ice wood ect

on Old Man Pass Loop
11 days ago

backpacking

I hiked this trail on foot this past weekend. Most of the trail is rutted by mountain bikes. It's not a good trail for hiking on foot. It would be GREAT for bikes in the summer or snowshoeing in the winter.

on Siouxon Trail
11 days ago

backpacking

Gorgeous. .. plenty of huckleberries to snack on... beautiful waterfalls .. one of my favorite trails for sure.

on Cape Horn Loop Trail
11 days ago

Very pretty, green and lots to look at. I really enjoyed this hike.

on Lower Falls Creek Trail
11 days ago

Incredible pay off for such a short hike.

on Packwood Lake Trail
11 days ago

backpacking

Trail was well maintained and relatively easy for the distance. We started out a little late and the lake was very crowded by the time we arrived. We ended up camping at the far end of the lake. The weather was perfect. The water was relatively warm and the views of the mountain were spectacular.

on Falls Creek Trail
12 days ago

The waterfall is beautiful. There are a couple of places not he trail that are very narrow due to erosion. It was (for over 65) crowd a challenging hike.

on Lewis River Falls Trail
12 days ago

hiking

Beautiful trail through the woods and along the river. Spectacular waterfall views! The trail from lower falls to the middle falls parking lot is moderate, with the end a bit doggy as you hike up a loose rock pile. The stretch from there to Middle Falls is steeper and slower. We didn't make it to Upper Falls because the trail was muddy or covered by debris in places. The entire experience was gorgeous and I'll definitely return. My biggest regret: I didn't pack a bathing suit. You must go swimming at Lower Falls!

on Cape Horn Loop Trail
12 days ago

hiking

Beautiful view of the Columbia River Gorge at the top. Up hill most of the way but the trail was good. Might be slippery in wet weather.

on Placid Lake Trail
12 days ago

hiking

Very short hike when coming from cougar side. Beautiful- small lake caught a couple 8 in cutthroat trout. If fishing bring an inflatable to fish from. Trail doesn't go around entire lake.