Packwood Lake


Backpack - Packwood Lake

Experience one of the largest and most magnificent lakes in the Cascades, nestled in the less crowded Goat Rocks Wilderness, with views of Mt. Rainier and excellent swimming opportunities on a warm day.

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  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 8.2 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,125 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 3,200 ft
  • Pace: 2.0 mph

Meet at 9 AM Saturday at the Mountain Goat Coffee Shop, 105 Main St, Packwood, at SR 12, reached from Enumclaw via SR 410, SR 123 and SR 12, and from Olympia via I-5 and SR 12.

From the meeting place in Packwood we will caravan several miles to the trailhead, involving heading north on SR 12, turning right on Snyder Road and continuing to the trailhead parking lot at the end of the road.  A Norhwest Forest Pass of Discover Pass must by displayed by each car at the trailhead parking lot.

The hike to Packwood Lake is on a good trail that gradually rises from 2000 feet to 3200 feet and then drops to 2900 feet at the lake.  The trail arrives at the north end of the lake.  We usually camp on the east side of the lake, which involves another half mile of hiking, depending on where we decide to camp.

After setting up camp, we'll have our trail lunch and then have an optional one hour level day hike to the south end of  the lake, where there is a nice view of Mt. Rainier.  If the weather is nice, swimming in the lake during Saturday afternoon will be a popular activity, because the low elevation of this lake causes the water to be warmer than at higher elevation lakes.

Saturday evening we'll have a camp dinner, followed by smores around the campfire.  Sunday morning we'll have a camp breakfast, pack up camp and hike out.  After hiking out, we customarily stop at a restaurant in Packwood for refreshments.





Packwood Lake

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

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 or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports