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.

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.

The hiking is easy and before we know it, we've arrived at the old guard station next to the lake - 11:45am.The water is so calm and more turquoise than I had imagined.  The little island and Mt Johnson are clearly visible.   We take a break here and then continue to the south end of the lake.  Crossing the footbridge over Lake Creek. Passing one of the many empty large campsites surrounding the lake.  Going 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. It's worth going to the end of the lake to see Mt Rainier.We take another break here enjoying the views and the warmth of the sun.Then it's back we go. Once 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.  A good view of Rainier and Little Tahoma from this trail.We'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.


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