Dry Creek Trail & Smith Point Lookout Site

A strenuous, 7-mile round trip day hike with 2,965 feet of elevation gain. The trail switchbacks up through mature forest to an old lookout site with views of the Big Bottom Valley. This is a mixed use trail that is shared with the occasional motorcycle.


From Randle, drive US-12 approximately 12.5 miles east to Forest Road 20. Turn left (south) and drive 0.5 miles to the unmarked trailhead on the right side of the road. The trailhead is 1.5 miles east of the Bevin Lake Safety Rest Area on US-12.

The parking area is small with room for four cars. The nearby Bevin Lake Rest Area on US-12 can be used for additional parking and a car shuttle as needed. 

On The Trail

The trail  crosses Dry Creek shortly after the trailhead. This is the only accessible water source on the trail. Avoid the unnamed trails to the right and stay left, climbing switchbacks through the forest. After 2 miles of climbing, there is a lovely  spot with great views of Mount Rainier. After one mile, travel through a hillside meadow often frequented by elk.  Several primitive trails continue south from here. Avoid them, and stay on the main trail, which turns to the left (northeast) and climbs to the former lookout site at the top. The lookout posts and concrete foundation are all that remains of the lookout. Watch out for broken glass. The site has beautiful views of Mount Rainier, the Big Bottom Valley, and the town of Packwood. 


  • This is a mixed use trail that is shared with the occasional motorcycle
  • Watch out for glass at the lookout site.

  • Suitable Activities: Day Hiking
  • Seasons: May, June, July, August, September, October
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Strenuous
  • Length: 7.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,965 ft
  • 3,790 ft
  • Land Manager: Gifford Pinchot National Forest
    Cowlitz Valley Ranger District (GPNF)
  • Parking Permit Required: None
  • Recommended Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Party Size: 12
  • Maximum Route/Place Capacity: 12
  • Green Trails Packwood No. 302
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