Packwood Lake #78
May 18, 2002
- 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
Jerry, the 2 girls (dogs) & I arrived at the Packwood Lake trailhead at about 8:15 a.m. on Saturday morning. The parking lot was free of snow as was the trail #78 as far as we could see. The pipeline road below was snowfree from what we could see also. We chose to take the pipeline road in to the lake as I had been told that the trail #78 had quite a bit of snow on it. The day was overcast with sun breaks and a few sprinkles. The pipeline road/trail was snow free, no problems for about 3/4 of the way, maybe a little less. We had about 5-6 trees that we had to climb over or go around but not bad. We ended up having about 1 mile, guessing of continuous snow going in and coming out, about from 1-2' but not bad. It was compacted enough that it was not to hard to walk on. We did not use snowshoes. Bicycles, Motorcycles and ATV's cannot get in to the lake at this time because of the snow.
Arriving at the lake, there was no snow at all, the lake beautiful with Johnson Peak in full view and snow on the ridges, so beautiful. There was only one other campsite taken when we arrived, and we were able to go to our favorite spot.
We set up camp, got a nice small fire going, and just enjoyed the day, hanging out in camp and reading and taking a small hike up towards the lake inlet on the Upper Lake Creek trail, #81. That part of the trail is snowfree also, as far as I went, which was about 3/4s of the way to the end of the lake. There are 2 trees down across the trail, but you can get over them ok, they are together and someone has chopped a place out to get over. Lots of branches on the trail in places, I kicked them out of the way, and picked up some of them. Of course I had wished I had my WTA tools to do some work, but alas had to be satisfied with just looking. There is sloughing, brushing needed done on the trail, but pretty good shape.
We were able to listen and see a couple of Loons, a Bald Eagle, fish jumping, a Barrows Goldeneye, not sure on that one, but black head, white belly, with black wings with white stripes, so pretty. The sunset was beautiful!
Heading out from camp on Sunday the 19th, we discovered there were about 20 people camping around the lake, so quiet you did not know they were there. Some people had brought there rubber rafts and were fishing. We were thinking about taking the upper trail, #78 back out, but decided not to because of having snow on the trail. We could see patches up the trail, and a couple of tiny patches near the Ranger cabin.
We arrived at the car at about 11:30 a.m., loaded up our stuff and headed back to civilization. Of course we had to stop at Ma & Pa's Burgers and have one of their great Ma Bugers loaded with everything. Ok, not the best for you, but oh so good.
All in all a great weekend.