Packwood Lake #78,Upper Lake Creek #81,Coyote #79
Aug 23, 2008
- 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
The hike in to Packwood Lake is as easy a four miles as you'll find anywhere, and at the lake the trail continues flat all the way round to the inlet. Upper Lake Creek is also remarkably flat and goes on like that for miles, but once it finally starts heading up it gets mercilessly steep, but that's elevation for you. There are no camps at all past the lake until just below Packwood Saddle, a nice spot by a babbling stream, and another right at the saddle. Either would make an excellent base camp for exploring south into the high country of the Goat Rocks.
The loop back to Packwood Lake along Coyote Ridge climbs through some spectacular country thick with wildflowers and some awesome views of Mt. Johnson across the valley. Eventually Mt. St. Helens comes into view, then Mt. Rainier. A short jog past the intersection with the Packwood Lake trail #78 brought me to Lost Lake and just past it a great little camp by a meadow complete with its own priv. The next day the long drop back to Packwood Lake completed a most excellent circuit.
Thanks to Lewis Mountain Highway Transit for getting me to Packwood. Seattle to Tacoma on Sound Transit cost $3, transferring to Spanaway on the #1 was free, then Mt Hwy Tr to Morton and Packwood for another $2. Total cost: $5. Beat that!