Packwood Lake #78
Jun 19, 2004
- 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
Packwood Lake in the Goat Rocks Wilderness 6/19/04 ------------------------------------------------
We had a great hike to Packwood Lake on saturday. My small Mountaineers Club group traveled a long way, well to the south of Mt. Rainier to the trailhead a few miles outside the town of Packwood. We had fine clear weather most of the day. A thunderstorm threatened in late afternoon but only dumped rain on Cayuse Pass. This is an easy 9 mile hike over a trail in near perfect condition. It's all in forest, most of it beautiful virgin old growth. Douglas fir, hemlock, cedar and a little silver fir. The forest is loaded with flowers. We saw large numbers of beargrass and white anemone and at least 25 other identifiable species. Of note, quite a few candy stripes ( ) just starting up.
The trail starts up gently, levels off, and then descends slightly to the lake. Just before two hours of walking and flower gawking was over, we saw the marvelous turquise waters of Packwood lake appearing below us through the trees. We explored the outlet stream area and then proceeded a little way around the shoreline of this large lake to a fine lunch spot, on the beach with cedars for shade and logs to sit on. No bugs, some parties with children hooting and hollering in the water, and a few ducks set off the superb view of Johnson Peak towering over the south end of the lake.
We came back on the ORV/Service road route which had a few other hikers but no vehicles of any kind today. This gave some different views and lots more flowers. There are several Mt. Rainier views too.
Solitude , no, but only a few other parties on the trails either way. The massive trailhead parking lot was about 80% empty. This was a great start for my summer hiking season.