Packwood Lake


Day Hike - Packwood Lake

Experience the largest and most beautiful lake in the Goat Rocks Wilderness, with warm clear water that invites swimming at this time of the year.

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  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 9.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,500 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 3,200 ft
  • Pace: 2.0 mph

Meet at 9 AM at the Mountain Goat Coffee Shop, 105 Main St. E, in Packwood, located on SR 12 near the center of town.  They have outdoor covered seating and have a restroom and breakfast food available.  From Enumclaw head east on SR 410, turn right onto SR 123 at Cayuse Pass, right onto SR 12 at the T junction and left on E Main St. in Packwood.  From the Olympia area, head south on I-5, east on SR 12 and right on E Main St. in Packwood.

From the Mountain Goat Coffee Shop, we will caravan to the trailhead parking lot, by heading north on SR 12, right at Snyder Road and continuing several miles to its end at the trailhead parking lot.  Each car parked there must display either a Northwest Forest Pass or National Park Pass.  There is a restroom by the parking lot.

The 4.5 mile trail to Packwood Lake rises gently for the first half, gaining 1,200  feet, and then declines 300 feet in the second half.  We will stop for a rest break by a small waterfall near the halfway point.  Our lunch stop and turnaround point is at the north end of the lake, where the trail meets the lake.  Time will be allowed for a swim in the lake after lunch if the weather cooperates.  Because of its low 3,000 feet elevation,  the water in Packwood Lake is warmer during the summer than in most other alpine lakes.  We return by the same route.  

We will be under a forest canopy during most of the hike.  The only restroom facilities are at the Mountain Goat Coffee Shop and the trailhead parking lot. There will be an opportunity for bathroom breaks in the woods during the lunch break and the two rest stops in and out.

There will be an optional refreshment stop at a restaurant in Packwood after the hike, where outdoor seating  will be available. 


Packwood Lake

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials

  • Navigation
  • Headlamp
  • Sun protection
  • First aid
  • Knife
  • Fire
  • Shelter
  • Extra food
  • Extra water
  • Extra clothes
Trip Reports