Backpack - Packwood Lake


Backpack - Packwood Lake

Join me on a fabulous backpack to the Goat Rocks Wilderness! If you're into lake swimming, wildflowers, or snowy mountain views, this is your trip. Priority to Tacoma Intro to Backpack students until April 19th, then open to everyone.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 11.5 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,500 ft
  • Pace: 1.5 to 2 mph

Meet at 9:30am at the Packwood Lake Trailhead. Northwest Forest Pass required to park. Pit toilet at trailhead.

Get your backpacking legs in shape and kick the season off strong by joining me on this lovely backpack trip. You should expect to see several wildflowers along the trail and take notice of how the landscape changes as we hike into the Goat Rocks Wilderness. Enjoy  snow-capped views of Johnson Peak across Packwood Lake and Agnes Island upon arriving at the lake outlet.

We will hike to camp about halfway down the lakeshore. At camp, we will pitch our tents, offload some of our equipment, and enjoy each others company for lunch.  If time permits, there will be on an optional exploratory side trip to the south end of the lake where there have been reported views of Mt. Rainier on a clear day. The side trip will add about 2 miles round trip and 400 feet of elevation for a total distance of 11.5 miles and 1500 feet of elevation gain. We will be getting close to the longest day of the year so expect more daylight with lots of time to swim, to watch a beautiful sunset over the mountains on a good weather day, and some social time at dinner.  Small critters are an issue near the lake so bear canisters will be required for this trip.

In the morning we should have ample time to pack, eat breakfast, and break camp before hiking back to the trailhead. We may stop at Scaleburgers in Elbe for a late lunch/early dinner depending on when we leave.

Consider choosing a different trip if you enjoy solitude and tend to retreat to your tent when in camp. 

Priority for this trip will be given to Tacoma Introduction to Backpacking students until April 19th when the trip will open to all to sign up.


Packwood Lake

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

To be discussed at lecture for Introduction to Backpacking course students.

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports