Explore the most popular fishing trails in Gifford Pinchot National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Road in and trail are in good shape. Other than 1 rotten tree down near the lake it’s a hike just about anyone can do. Can see why it’s one of the most used trails in the area. Lots of campsites and a few facilities once you get to the lake. Definitely is the flattest 1500 feet of elevation I’ve ever climbed lol. For the middle of October it was some great weather. Low 60s and lots of sun.

This was by far my favorite hike of 2018. Challenging, beautiful, fun and plenty to see. Went of trail to get behind and underneath some waterfalls, but nothing too crazy!

As long as you don't expect grand views of the neighboring sites the walk to Lake Packwood was very nice.

We took our kids Labor Day weekend. The water was low enough that the kids could cross without getting their shoes all wet. It was relatively short hike, the lake was beautiful, and the kids loved all the little frogs.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked to Lost Lake via Packwood Lake Trail #78 Sunday of Labor Day Weekend for an overnighter. 20 miles RT (counting a 4 mile RT to the Old Lookout above Lost Lake), with 4216ft elevation gain including Old Lookout that took 5hrs to Lost Lake.

As expected, the parking lot was packed and started a second parking row. Arrived and on the trail by 9am. Arrived at the Packwood Lake in 1.5 hrs, had a snack and continued on Packwood Lake Trail #78 UP 4 miles to Lost Lake. This section is step climbing approx. 2500 ft. Mosquito Lake is overgrown by brush and not really suitable to stay, however there is a nice campsite next to it. Afterward there is a nice meadow with the first views of the Goat Rocks. From there the Junction of Coyote Trail #79 is just ½ mile and Lost Lake is another ½ mile after that. I arrived at Lost Lake at 2:15pm.

I made camp, had lunch and left for a 2 mile side trip up to the Old Lookout site above Lost Lake. Left at 3:30 and arrived at 5pm. Beautiful. There is a 360 degree view including Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, The Goat Rocks, Old Snowy and the White Pass ski lifts. Spent 30 minutes up there and headed back. Made it back by 6:30pm.

From the Old Lookout, down to Lost Lake and to the Junction of Coyote Trail #79 is part of the detour of the PCT around the Miriam Fire near White Pass.

Lost Lake had a lot of people, and some sites were open. There are at least 6 sites with lake access, maybe more. 2 were open. The water level at Lost Lake was VERY LOW, about 12-15 ft below years past. There are more camp sites available, however they don’t have lake access, but a seasonal stream is nearby. They are about ½ mile past the lake.

Going down the next day was quick and took 3.5 hrs vs 5 hrs going in. Tough hike after Packwood Lake but easy starting and finishing. Lost Lake is beautiful and a peaceful place to camp with no bugs this trip anyway. Well worth the effort!

7/22/18 - Trail is well groomed, road is good except for a small gravel portion, which was not bad. Expect for people to drive really slow specially if it's a small vehicle or minivan. A bit of advice - Never go on a Sunday, specially if it's a hot day. Lower Lewis was packed cars parked on both sides of the road with more behind us. We decided to skip Lower and went to Middle then went up to Upper, there was no more then 20 people at either. Happy travels!

backpacking
1 month ago

Great 2 night trip. Bugs were not a problem. Lots of other people around but there are plenty of campsites if you dont insist on being at the lake. Roads have a lot of washboard but if you drive a reasonable speed any car can handle them without issue.

I've been in the lower falls..
no words can describe how beautiful it is... Amazing...

backpacking
1 month ago

Trail is maintained well and we found lots of spots near the lake. Bugs weren’t much of a problem (August 19). Total burn ban is in effect so no camp fires. Great for a 1-night backpack.

backpacking
1 month ago

Great hike! Awesome payoff! Went in using the actual hiking trail, easy and clear except for a few horse pies!

great hike. Wife is a beginner but had great time. Lush wood made for cool hiking

Beautiful!

Beautiful place

Went off hours, late afternoon on a weekday, and had the place almost to myself. Can get packed on weekends.

The drive there was very bumpy. Take a suv or truck. The way down to the waterfall is a bit tricky. We went on a Saturday afternoon and it almost looked like we were at a water park FULL of people, everyone was nice and minded their own business, so we didn’t really mind that. Great swimming spot for kids. We took our 2 year old and she LOVED it.

If you are coming from southern washington the road to get there will say closed about 3-4 miles from the trailhead. We drove past the road closed signs and came to a giant pothole in the road that no cars could get around (jeeps or trucks could make it) so we had to park and walk about 2 miles to the trail, being chased by bees the whole way. Not fun. But the lower waterfall was gorgeous and good for swimming, and I will be going back! Next time we will go around to enter from the north side to avoid the potholes and bees.

The waterfalls are worth the drive and hike!

hiking
2 months ago

Good hike. not a lot of switch backs, so elevation gain was a little steep for the last 1.5 miles, and we slide a little going up some slopes. Trail ends at a saddle with not a lot of shade but good views. Best part was a nice swim in the river at the end of the hike :) We went on a very hot day. There was lots of shade in the forest, and not too many bugs. Also saw a very large buck!

So glad I got to see it BUT the road to get there washed out and we were detoured thru hood river Oregon to get home! Literally took us an additional four hours to get back to I-5.

fishing
2 months ago

Trail was steep as avertised but very short. The road was kind of sketchy so i had to park 3 miles from the trailhead. The walk was not bad though with some great views. I caught 5 very small trout. The only draw back was that many had left their garbage behind. I packed it out for them as much as I could. In all a great hike with not a lot of traffic.

backpacking
2 months ago

the trails and campsites are enjoyable, and the lake is beautiful.

The mosquitoes are out in full force right now, so be prepared for that. the minute you stop walking, they start to swarm.

if you go during the week you'll have your pick of the sites and plenty of solitude.

There's lots of trash at the campsites, though, so please remember to pack out whatever you bring, and any trash other people left behind.

Beautiful upper and lower falls and the middle the falls isn't too bad either. It was in the 90s but felt cool in all the trees.

Great hike through the trees. Lake is beautiful. Plenty of places up around the lake to be secluded from others. My husband and son caught 4 trout. Hike is not strenuous, little elevation gain. Took about an hour and a half for our family of 4 to get there. Bugs weren't terrible, but we had bug spray. Would definitely hike again if in the area.

so worth it very good for photos

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked to Packwood Lake today with my son and grandson. Beautiful day. Sunny and warm with cool breeze every now and then.

The parking lot was full as you'd expect on a nice weekend day. We left in about 12:30pm. Round trip counting the time spent at the lake was 5hrs. The trail is mostly flat with one way elevation gain of 900ft. Easy. There were lots of people at the lake. Lots of tents and people overnighting. We found a nice spot by the water had snacks and had fun. The return trip always seems longer on the trail for some reason and saw about 5 horses total and a small group packing up their ATV's to come back.

This is a great hike and one for he whole family.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked 7/17: NFRD 90 is full of dips that u won’t see but will hear the bottom of your car scraping the pavement- 30 mph max! Hike: need a NW Forest Pass....well marked trail with Lewis River right next to you almost the entire way up to Upper Falls. No bugs and only saw 2 people on the way in. Great hike for a hot day!

Forgot to clock out of my recording so it recorded a bit of the drive out!
It was a beautiful clear day and we ended up dipping into the water. We arrived at lower Lewis and didn’t realize we could hike up to see middle Falls and upper Lewis. I highly suggest doing so, middle Falls was one of my favorite stops just because it wasn’t nearly as crowded as the lower Falls!
Great hike and would do it again!

I was here on 7/15/2018.
Gorgeous trail, well worth the drive.
Because I hiked this with a dog, I showed up at about 9:30am to beat the heat. It was pretty cool on arrival. I hiked from Lower Falls to Upper Falls and was back to my car by 1pm. I stopped at all three Falls to take in the view, so the hike could have been much shorter if I didn’t stop for breaks.
Not buggy at all, I even forgot to put on bug spray and didn’t get any mosquito bites.
The trail is well maintained and easy enough for beginners, but fun enough for experienced hikers.

These falls really are a must see. Just go. It’s an easy hike with decent mileage and views you won’t forget.

The road to get here is packed full of pothole-like dips, so take it slow. Also, a part of the road is all gravel. I drove a Prius and it did just fine, but I did need to take it slow.

My favorite falls of the trio is the lower falls because they are spectacular and offer great swimming options. The middle falls were very beautiful. I especially liked how the water ran over the top of a rock outcropping that was only an inch or so deep. Very beautiful!

hiking
3 months ago

Love this place!

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