Packwood Lake Trail is a 9.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Packwood, WA that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.
dogs on leash
From Randle, east 16 miles to Packwood. Turn right on Forest Service Road 1260 (near the ranger station) and drive south 5 miles to the trailhead at the end of the road.
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.
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.
Great hike to a beautiful lake.
Being from North of Houston I found this trail with a lot more hills or inclines than I thought it would have. It was a great hike though. When we arrived at the lake though it rained and that put a damper on our little picnic. Also another rookie mistake, didn't bring TP with me. Needed for the outhouse
Great, fairly easy trail and very well maintained! No blowdowns or obstructions but the trail is shared by horses so there were a few muddy places. The lake is beautiful and it was a great easy backpacking trip. A few mosquitoes, but not too bad.
Great trail, beautiful lake. Stayed two nights with friends and kids, plenty of room.
great hike, no snow on trail at all. only saw a handful of other people the whole time.
Beautiful hike and the lake is amazing!
I hiked this yesterday. It is an awesome trail which I've done 3-4 times. Very popular all year around even at this early date. This is the earliest in the year I've gone and expected some snow based on the heavier snow year this year compared to last year. However, the trail was 90% free of snow except for a section near the end that was about 1/2 mile long. But the last 1/4 mile to the lake was free of snow, as was the lake. It was a beautifully great sunny day with about 5 groups of overnighters and 3 groups of day hikers, you still felt like you had the lake to yourself. Overall a wonderful day hike and a great place to hike!
This is a great trail! the scenery is beautiful as you hike to Packwood Lake. The trail the takes a turn on the steep side if you head up to Mosquito Lake and the further to lost lake, which in my book is one of the most amazing places I have ever seen. There is also exceptional fishing at lost lake. I would recommend carrying a high caliber firearm because of the abundance of bears.
The map on the Alltrails.com preview is not accurate - we used the National Geographic Goat Rocks Wilderness map, which shows the trail better. It is only 4.5 miles from the trailhead to the lake. We went there Aug. 1-3, 2015 for a backpacking trip. It is a very heavily used area. There are about 10 campsites that have been established on the north side of the lake, on the shores of the lake. Those sites were all taken by the time we got there on Saturday afternoon. Those sites are also not 200' from the water, so they violate the "leave no trace" policy of camping. At the east end of the lake there is a nice flat area with 2 or 3 good campsites that are 200' from the water. There's also a gorgeous view of the lake with Mt Rainier behind it from that angle. We hiked up Upper Lake Creek on day 2 and there are also several campsites up that way. If you wanted to hike in to the center of Goat Rocks that would be a good way to go, because the trail stays close to the creek almost all the way. The hike out from Packwood Lake to the trailhead is a little steeper than the hike in. But overall it is a pretty easy hike and good scenery.
Uploaded two pics of a helicopter dipping water from the lake while I was out fishing. Pretty cool to watch. He made about 10 trips and waved a bunch as he did a great job of keeping me out of his blade wash.
I work at this lake 1 or 2 days a week for Energy Northwest's Packwood Lake Hydro Electric Project down in Packwood. Love this lake. Good fishing for Rainbow and a leader up into other trail heads and lakes.
I would recommend coming out on the Bench Trail that exits North of our Intake Building and Spill Way. This trail offers mountain views of Rainier, Box Canyon and the Tatoosh Range on the way back to the parking lot. Stay right at the first Y in the trail as the trail to the left is nicknamed Dyson Pass and climbs in elevation with tons of rocks and no views only to meet back up with the lower/right trail in roughly 1 mile. It's 4.5 miles no matter how you slice it back to the parking lot. The lower trail follows Lower Lake Creek for a while too.
I've uploaded some fun pictures of this lake at times of the year when most wouldn't be able to see it. The zoom photo of Johnson's Peak is when it was loaded with just over 160 inches of snow. Enjoy...
Stop in and say hi if you see me working up there!
Easy walk in and out there also several waterfalls to see and occasionally you'll see deer elk and maybe even a cougar. Nice walk for a day or a weekend
My wife and I walked it yesterday at noon. It was a great hike and the bugs were almost non existent. Beautiful hike and the Lake was nice and peaceful.
I love this hike! 4.5 miles each way over moderate terrain and elevation gains. Don't let the first little bit of the trail get you down! It will ease up as you go! Remember to take a ton of bug spray with you. We fished with Powerbait for a few hours and caught nothing. Still, an amazing hike and a great place to camp!
I spent the 21st and 22nd at Packwood Lake. Absolutely beautiful. on he way out I found a camera in the parking lot that someone had dropped. If you are missing one email me at email@example.com
I've done this hike several times and every time I do it, it refreshes my soul! It is so quiet and desolate that its the perfect place to go if you want to get away from crowds of people. The first 100 feet or so of the trail is steep but from then on out is fairly flat, even runnable. It's about 4 miles there and 4 miles back through wooded forests. I've done this hike in the summer and the winter and it's beautiful during both seasons.