Packwood Lake Trail

MODERATE 79 reviews

Packwood Lake Trail is a 9.2 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Packwood, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
9.2 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1541 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

horseback riding

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

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.

hiking
1 month ago

Beautiful hike on a nice sunny fall day! Where the trail lacks in elevation gain, it makes up for in the length and diversity of the trail. Numerous mini streams running across the trail, so bring an extra pair of socks in case you slip on the rocks crossing them. Also, a few fallen trees across the path but easily gone over. All of it makes the trail entertaining! It is starting to get a little muddy in areas but that is to be expected for fall. You can continue for a longer hike, but must register at the posted spot to go farther than the 4.5 miles.

hiking
2 months ago

Nice day hike. Easygoing kid friendly (+5 and up) trail with little elevation gains. Great picnic hike. Took about 90 minutes to get to the lake after some quick stops for pictures along the way. Went October 6, 2017. Was raining but stopped when we got to the lake. Fall foliage was in full color.

hiking
3 months ago

A good hike. Little elevation change over the 4 mile trip to the lake so it is fairly easy. There are lots of flies if you choose to take the road back instead of the trail. It saves you some distance but there is less to see. The lake is nice and offers good views. Medium traffic on this hike and would suggest for easy going hikers. Road is well managed and trail head is well marked.

3 months ago

Amazing hike! Great view, well worth the hike. Only downside was being up that high with all the smoke was a little rough, definitely going back next year when it's not smoky.

3 months ago

just finished an out and back with our boy scouts, troop 222, had a great time good starter trail. views were great and trail in good shape. one small one over the trail but easy to get over. caught and released a couple fish. will go back and camp next time.

hiking
3 months ago

Wow this is really an amazing place. Great easy trail not much elevation. I think there is a bike trail too which looks fun. The lake is outstanding with lots of beach spots around. Blown away this was not more crowded.

hiking
4 months ago

Nice trail to a beautiful lake! Don't take the road back... Very rocky...But does save a mile on the hike length.

backpacking
5 months ago

I went to Lost Lake via Packwood Lake Trail #78 for an overnighter. It was 8.1 miles one-way and took 4.5 hrs, with an elevation gain of almost 3000 ft.

Packwood Lake Parking Lot was full Saturday morning at 11am. I took the lower trail and cruised to the Jct of Upper Lake Creek Trail #81 by 12:30pm and started UP to Lost Lake. Made it to Lost Lake at 3:40 pm. 4hr, 40min.

Lost Lake is snow free with the exception of a few shady spots. There was a report from a camper at Lost Lake on a hay hike of snow on Packwood Lake Trail #78 on the ridge headed toward the Old Lookout Site which took care to cross but doable.

There were a few campsites available. I hiked around toward the tip of the lake and couldn't find any other sites, so I took a smaller one, perfect for me. Camped in the back yard of a group of 4 near me. That said, it was pretty private and quite and I could hardly tell they were there. Nice folks! Lost was was beautiful and surrounded by high ridges, with trees, small meadows and the Old Lookout Site that couldn't be seen from our vantage but a trail could be seen leading to it.

Day 2 was great and took my time packing up to leave. Left Lost Lake at 10:50am and arrived at Packwood Lake Parking Lot at 2:30pm. 3hr, 40min total. Definitely faster coming down then going up by an hour.

For the most part, this hike is moderately difficult only for the section from Packwood Lake to Lost Lake. Still and all...definitely well worth the effort.

5 months ago

Awesome camping

hiking
5 months ago

Great Hike. Pretty much level the whole way. The bugs are awful at the lake though so remember your spray. Lots of horse crap on the trail that you need to maneuver around. Came across two unleashed dogs however and just because you say they won't bother my dog doesn't mean he feels the same way. Keep them leashed please!!

hiking
5 months ago

Its a great hike for beginners even though it is 9ish miles. The elevation is really not that bad at all and if you have a group with great conversations the hike goes by really fast. The view is great. For some reason though on my way back, I was bombarded by tons of mosquitoes which kind of sucked.

hiking
5 months ago

Great hike today!

hiking
5 months ago

Nice hike lead by my 71 year old father to the lake where we swam. I recommend the swim on a warm day to wake you.

backpacking
5 months ago

I went for an overnight on 6-24 and 6-25-17. Arrived early around 10am to find more space available at the trailhead parking lot then I thought. Talked with a couple doing the same thing but also rafting to find their spot. Talked with a nice gal with her dog and headed out. It was warm of course since it was the hottest weekend of they year.

Made it to the lake in record time on the upper trail, about an hour and a half. I had my poles out but carried them feeling energetic. Saw a boy scout group leaving and felt good about finding a campsite.

Started the walk around the lake to find a spot and realized one of my pole segments fell out somewhere. I hike back to the beginning of the lake and didn't find it. I asked multiple people to be on the look out for it and headed back to find a campsite.

I found a nice smaller campsite for one and left the larger group site for others. After camp was setup, I hiked to the other end of the lake looking for sites along the way. There are MANY campsites until just after the Goat Rocks Boundary Sign-in. From there to the end of the lake, campsites are sparatic, but there ARE campsites and one GREAT one IMO.

The end of the lake was more open, with some small water crossings. The trail continues heading south but I wanted to hit the very end of the lake which didn't happen because one water crossing was too big, deep and swift. I followed a group of kids to a fishing spot as close to the end as I could get and snapped a few pictures. Beautiful! Mt. Rainier can be seen from that end . Gorgeous! Headed back to camp.

Day 2, I day hiked towards Lost Lake and found it steeper and taking longer than I thought. In the interest of time, I turned around, headed back to camp, packed up and hiked out. When I made it to the trailhead at the lake, someone found the pole segment I lost and left it leaning against the sign pole. MANY THANKS to that person! I really appreciate it!

Day 2 was a tough hiking day for me. No energy, no stamina, and no breath. Hiking with a 35 pound pack was tough early on and was the longest return time to the car I've ever had for Packwood Lake. I'm sure the heat had something to do with it.

This was a great hike, couldn't have been a better weekend, and while there was a lot of people, it didn't really seem that way. I highly suggest camping Packwood Lake. Beautiful!!!

hiking
5 months ago

Good trail to start the week on. Lake water too cold to swim in.

5 months ago

Such a beautiful trail! It is a long hike to the lake but definitely worth it. once you get to the lake there's tons of areas to hike also. you must bring bug spray because the mosquitoes are horrible walking to the lake. I brought my dog and the mosquitoes just attacked her if we stopped for 5 seconds. didn't bother me much because I had bug spray I put on continuously. the mosquitoes at the lake are not as bad but definitely still there I would bring Netting if you plan on camping.
There are parts of the trail that are super muddy and hard to walk around so wear boots or shoes you don't mind getting super dirty. I also saw three or four waterfalls, tiny ones and one beautiful big one that make the hike twice as beautiful. Overall the trail is really nicely maintained and an easy to moderate walk at 4 1/2 miles each way.

hiking
6 months ago

BUG SPRAY!!! Take some, bathe in it before you get on the trail. Or at least after the first 2-1/2 miles.

Easy trailhead to find. A few big potholes, just need to watch the road. No snow, plenty of parking arrived at about 11ish. Trail condition is very good. Some up, some down, not steep at all. Great hike just to get out. Partially cloudy day, arrived at the lake after a couple of hours. A few spots to sit and eat lunch. Out house near the lake. Followed the trail a little ways around the lake, not too far. Loved this hike and look forward to hiking again. With BUG SPRAY.

backpacking
6 months ago

been many times, love this place

hiking
6 months ago

Love this place. I day hiked it Thursday to see the trail before taking my family on it Friday. My wife, cousin, my 3 kids(4,8,10) , and myself all hiked up Friday morning packing our gear and camped out. It's a pretty easy trail even for kids and a beautiful lake. We came out Saturday morning, which was a good thing because there were a ton of people headed up for Memorial Day weekend.

No snow to speak of on the trail. We will definitely be going back for a return camping trip.

hiking
7 months ago

Yesterday, 5-13-17, I hiked Packwood Lake for a day hike with lunch at the lake. There is still some snow on the upper trail near the lake about ¼ mile from the decent to the lake. The snow was firm, well-traveled and did not impede travel. It’s about 1.5-2 ft deep with no slipping or postholling.

It was snowing when I made it to the trailhead and I saw a group of 3 heading out an overnighter. They took the lower trail, and I took the upper trail. Once in the forest, the snow turned to rain and after an hour, stopped altogether but still wet and cloudy. As I stopped to remove warmer layers, a family of 5 passed me. After I started, I passed that family and later passed a couple with overnight gear. I was surprised to find so many people camping for the weekend. 5 in all. I made it to the lake in 1.5 hrs and talked to a young couple at the lake for a few minutes before finding a spot for lunch. As you’d expect, all campsites that I could see were available. I found a campsite with a fire ring and a log to sit on. I found a dropped One Serving Packet of Folgers coffee in the dirt/mug by the fire ring. Someone dropped it and I thought it was garbage. But it seemed good and was dry on the inside. I was only going to have a sandwich, but after finding this I got out the stove and had a nice cup of hot coffee. On a cloudy, wet and rainy day it was perfect. Many thanks to the person who dropped it. I appreciate it!

Going to back was just as quick and I took the upper trail. The snow was softer in some places but for the most part, still firm. The sun came out at time’s which was nice. I was surprised to find so many groups of people hiking to the lake without gear. Some didn’t have day packs or water. The largest family I saw was about 10-12 people who were having a good time.

It was a great hike even with the changing weather. The lake is beautiful even on a cloudy day. You can’t go wrong.

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