Packwood Lake #78
Apr 28, 2001
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: Packwood Lake
- Region: South Cascades -- Goat Rocks
- Agency: USFS Cowlitz Valley Ranger District, Packwood Office
- Trails: Packwood Lake (#78), (#)
- Avg Rating: 3.57
- Be Aware Of
- Snow on trail
Packwood Lake is just south of Packwood Washington. It's over a mile long and half a mile or so wide... At about 2900 ft., it is amongst those few mountain lakes in this state between 1500 and 3500 feet in elevation.... (most probably haven't thought about this, but Washington State has over 10,000 lakes virtually all of which are lowland lakes, e.g. lower than 1500 feet, or highland lakes, e.g. higher than 3500 feet... very, very few sit between these two elevation boundaries).
Packwood Lake also has very unique access and regulations...... This lake is one of only two I know of that sport both motorized and non-motorized trails (the other being Blue Lake along the south fork of the cispus river). The non-motorized trail is about 4.5 miles and the motorized one is half a mile or so shorter due to it's more direct path and lack of switchbacks.
The hiking trail still has snow patches at it's highest point. Nothing too difficult to negotiate, but a bit inconvenient.
This lake sees a lot of pressure during the summer from sport fishers who take rubber rafts and camping gear up on the back of their 4 wheel atv's. The lake is ""selective fishery"" and opens on the 4th saturday in April so this was ""opening day"".... These rules are very unique for a ""mountain lake""... all other mountain lakes I know of have a year round season..... Anyways, I wasn't fishing, just getting a little excercise and hoping for some nice weather so I could enjoy some of the lake's incredible scenery... I got the excercise, but the windy rainy weather spoiled the views..... There were probably half a dozen atv's parked at the ""atv parking area"" at the end of the motorized trail (atv's aren't allowed past this point) and 4 or 5 anglers casting along the shoreline and one out trolling from his rubber raft.... I saw no evidence of anybody catching anything........ If motoring up to a lake on a 4 wheeler and flopping into a rubber raft is the kind of fishing you like, this lake may be of interest... be ready for company though.... I showed up here in June a couple of years ago and the place was packed. Lots of campers, lots of atv's, lots of rubber rafts and float tubes on the lake, lots and lots of everything (including mosquitos)....
The ""sparse"" human presence there today was simply a function of it being a bit too early in the season for most of this lake's regulars................................