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9.2 miles

Elevation Gain

1535 ft

Route Type



Added by Emily Holland

This is a beautiful walk in the woods in the backyard of Mount Rainier National Park. I would come here for a lovely, remote hike to a beautiful lake or a nice, easy trail run (still gets you to the beautiful lake).

This is a relatively tame hike through the beautiful Gifford Pinchot National Forest, winding to the Goat Rocks Wilderness. With only 600 feet of elevation gain over 4.6 miles in, I would recommend it for hiking or trail running. Keep in mind this trail is open to horses and other stock so you may come across large animals (and their poo), so keep an eye out on the trail. 

You will wind through tall trees for the first mile, weaving along the side of the ridge. There are a few small waterfalls in the trail but all easily avoidable. You continue forward and will pass a sign that says 'Goats Rocks Wilderness'. You will go forward into a sunny, rocky section. All of these rocks are ancient volcanic matter - pretty cool! 

Eventually, you will come to a down hill switchback slope and will see a few different huts as well as the very-blue lake, Packwood Lake. This area merges three different trails, including stock, backpackers and motor sport bikes (ATVs, Dirt Bikes, etc). Additionally, there is a small out house and a Ranger Guard Station. By the lake, you'll find a few rocks to sit and have lunch if you like. You can continue along the trail next to the lake for more views and a wooden bridge as well.

I didn't see too many people on this trail but that was also on a Wednesday so I would assume this is pretty packed during the weekend because it is so accessible for all levels and family and animal friendly, so I would recommend getting there early to ensure parking availability and avoid the crowds!

In order to get to this trailhead, head to Snyder Road in Packwood, WA. Continue along this road to reach Forest Road 1260 and take that road to the end(5 miles) to the trailhead for Trail #78 (Packwood Lake). There is a parking lot at this area as well as bathrooms and a few picnic tables. You will need a Forest Access Pass for this lot (I used my Annual Pass for National Parks and it works). 

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Easy Parking
Family Friendly
Picnic Area

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