Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Hiking Hiking Guide Clear Lost Trail to Lost Lake Lookout

Clear Lost Trail to Lost Lake Lookout

South Cascades > White Pass/Cowlitz River Valley
46.6257, -121.4459 Map & Directions
Length
14.0 miles, one-way
Elevation Gain
3897 feet
Highest Point
6316 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Hard

The trail is currently closed from the Clear Fork Trail junction to the Packwood Lake junction due to the Goat Rocks Fire

The Clear Lost trail through deep woods. Photo by Howie.
  • Mountain views
  • Wildlife
  • Lakes
  • Dogs allowed on leash

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

This trek to a former lookout site ambles past lakes, up through quiet forest, and into the popular Goat Rocks Wilderness. Continue reading

Rating
2.57 out of 5

(7 votes) Log in to rate

Hiking Clear Lost Trail to Lost Lake Lookout

The trail begins with a 0.8-mile descent to the Clear Fork of the Cowlitz River. By late summer, the river should be easy to ford, though you may need to try upstream. The river is the wilderness boundary, so looking for the Goat Rocks Wilderness sign after crossing can help you find where the trail picks up on the other side.

The trail climbs for another mile to the junction of the Clear Fork Trail. There is a sign attached to a large log in the center of the intersection pointing out the directions of both trails. You’ll also find the partially collapsed Skeeter Shelter where the trails diverge.

At about 3.5 miles you’ll come to an unmarked intersection. Take the path right to Lost Hat Lake. At mile five, the trail comes to a narrow meadow where it can sometimes be lost. Follow the meadow to the right and the trail will reappear on the right-hand side as it climbs to an exposed side hill. The views during this part are excellent, as are the mountain huckleberries. At the top of this climb is Lost Hat Lake, a great place to camp and restock on water.

The trail makes a steep ascent to a former lookout site where you can see Mounts Rainier, Adams and St. Helens. Dropping back down, the trail intersects with the Packwood Lake and Bluff Lake trails.

Taking a right puts you on the Bluff Lake Trail through an old ridgetop burn boasting meadows and wildflowers. After mile 10, the trail begins a short but steep drop down to Bluff Lake then a comfortable 1.5 miles to the trailhead. Find your car shuttle here, or hike down the road to the Purcell Creek washout and meet your ride.

WTA worked here in 2019 and 2015!

Hike Description Written by
Cindy Nguyen, WTA Community

Clear Lost Trail to Lost Lake Lookout

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.6257, -121.4459 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

The trail is currently closed from the Clear Fork Trail junction to the Packwood Lake junction due to the Goat Rocks Fire

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

None

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

The trailhead is located on the side of Highway 12 about 17 miles east of Packwood. After passing the Mount Rainier-Goat Rocks observation site, you’ll pass two large pullouts on the left side of the highway. After the second pullout, a third pullout will be on the right near where the road turns.

This pullout will be marked with two black and yellow striped signs stacked on top of each other. It is the only pullout with two signs. Pull over and park here. Just down a small gravel path you will find the trailhead and wilderness permit box.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

South Cascades > White Pass/Cowlitz River Valley

Clear Lost (#76)

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Cowlitz Valley Ranger District

Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: South Cascades (Mountaineers Books - Romano)

USFS Topo: White Pass

Old Snowy

and Ohanapechosh Hot Springs

Buy the Green Trails Goat Rocks-William O Wilderness No. 303S map

Buy the Green Trails White Pass No. 303 map

Buy the Green Trails Packwood No. 302 map

You can improve or add to this guidebook entry

Clear Lost Trail to Lost Lake Lookout

25 Trip Reports

Hiked here recently?

Submit a trip report!
 
Trip Reports