Trip Report    

Day Hike - Packwood Lake

Lovely lake, easy hike with many large campsites around the lake, but such a long drive from the Seattle area.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
  • The road is paved all the way to this fairly large parking area at the trailhead.  A very clean privy available.  NW Forest Pass required for parking.20191105_094256_001.jpg

I posted this because it is one of the hikes mentioned in the 100 Classic Hikes of Washington book.  We had an incredibly beautiful day, definitely not what I had expected when I posted it to happen in November.

Most of us met at the S Renton P&R at 6:45am.  Due to a logistical delay, the last car reached the TH around 9:40am.  By 10am we were hiking down trail #78.1105190957_HDR.jpg

1105191046_HDR.jpgThe hiking is easy and before we know it, we've arrived at the old guard station next to the lake - 11:45am.20191105_141702.jpgThe water is so calm and more turquoise than I had imagined.  The little island and Mt Johnson are clearly visible.   20191105_141629.jpgWe take a break here and then continue to the south end of the lake.  Crossing the footbridge over Lake Creek. 20191105_120906.jpgPassing one of the many empty large campsites surrounding the lake.  20191105_141125.jpgGoing to the end of the lake will add about 4 more miles (RT) to our day.  One needs to register when passing the Wilderness Boundary.  On our return, a packer rides by with his many horses hauling large plastic boxes.  He tells me it's elk season.20191105_135652.jpg It's worth going to the end of the lake to see Mt Rainier.20191105_130403.jpgWe take another break here enjoying the views and the warmth of the sun.1105191315_HDR (1).jpgThen it's back we go. 20191105_134335.jpgOnce we're back at the footbridge, we follow trail #74 back to our cars, making this hike a loop.  This is a multi-use trail also used by cyclists, horses and even high clearance vehicles, but on this  weekday, no one else is on it while we are.  20191105_143527.jpgA good view of Rainier and Little Tahoma from this trail.20191105_153555.jpgWe're back at our car around 4:30pm.  Some decide to stop at Blue Spruce Saloon and Diner in Packwood for dinner.  By the time we walk out, it's dark and foggy.  It's a long drive back to the Renton P&R.

Everyone's track readings were different, but the average was 12.5 miles/1000' gain.

Beautiful, chill day with a very friendly group.

Thanks to Yoon H. for the use of her many lovely photos.