“A route through old-growth forest to a large alpine lake with views of beautiful Johnson Peak.”
— Sarah Baker
Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife
The Packwood Lake Trail
offers easily accessible views into the Goat Rocks Wilderness. The trail is mostly flat, passing through dense old-growth forest before opening up to views of Packwood Lake and the surrounding peaks. Packwood Lake is a popular destination for runners, backpackers, and fisherman, especially in the early season when the high peaks and other alpine lakes are still snow-covered.
The trail starts at the end of FS Road 1260 and climbs gently through old-growth forest. The trail passes through two small harvest areas within the first 3/4 mile, offering views of Mt. Rainier. The trail then enters Wilderness and continues toward Packwood Lake.
Within a short distance of the lake, the trail leaves the wilderness and descends to the lake. The trail contours along the lake where it passes many campsites along the lakeshore. If you are just there for the day, take in the views of Johnson Peak and the forested islands across Packwood Lake before returning the way you came.
History & Background
Packwood Lake Trail
was constructed in 1910 by the Valley
Development Company who had plans for a hydroelectric project. The lake was used by the Taidnapam people as a fishing and camping site long before the lake was explored for its hydroelectric potential.
The 452-acre lake is located at the headwaters of Lake Creek and was formed when a large mass of soil and rock slid off Snyder Mountain and dammed Lake Creek 1,200 years ago.