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Packwood Lake

Mount Rainier Area, Washington

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Packwood Lake

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  • A waterfall runs over the trail.- Packwood Lake
  • There is still some snow along the trail.- Packwood Lake
  • Hiking along the trail between campsites.- Packwood Lake
  • View of the island and Johnson Peak.- Packwood Lake
  • The first view of Packwood Lake.- Packwood Lake
  • A dead stump on the shore.- Packwood Lake
  • A backcountry campsite.- Packwood Lake
  • The hydraulic dam.- Packwood Lake
  • The hydraulic dam with a view of the walking bridge.- Packwood Lake
  • Packwood Lake at sunset.- Packwood Lake
  • Walking the bridge at sunset.- Packwood Lake
Overview + Weather
Pros: 
Easy hike. Great views. Early snowmelt. Lots of backcountry campsites.
Cons: 
Big crowds. Dirt bike road can get noisy. Old resort/hydraulic dam.
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Region:
Mount Rainier Area, WA
Congestion: 
High
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Day-Use/Parking Pass Required:
NW Forest Pass
Total Distance: 
10.00 mi (16.09 km)
Trailhead Elev.: 
2,650 ft (808 m)
Net Elev. Gain: 
600 ft (183 m)
Trail Uses:
Hiking, Horseback
Trail type: 
There-and-back
Dogs allowed: 
Yes
Current Local Weather:
Powered by Dark Sky

Today

Partly cloudy throughout the day.
60°F
41°

Sun

Partly cloudy throughout the day.
63°F
40°

Mon

Drizzle in the afternoon.
57°F
45°

Tue

Partly cloudy throughout the day.
72°F
47°

Wed

Partly cloudy in the morning.
75°F
49°

Thu

Clear throughout the day.
76°F
48°

Fri

Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
73°F
49°
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Hike Description

Hike Description

Pro Contributor

Packwood Lake is a great low-level lake to start off the summer hiking season. Sitting at only 3,200 feet, Packwood Lake has an early season snowmelt, making it a popular destination for spring backpackers. The lake offers amazing views of Johnson Peak and the Goat Rocks area, and on a calm day, there is a magnificent reflection of Johnson Peak.

The trail starts out with a moderate slope and has occasional views of Mount Rainier. The trail soon starts to slope up and down for the rest of the way, only gaining about 600 feet total. The trail is mostly dry except for the occasional water crossing. When arriving at the lake, there are a few initial campgrounds, but they continue all the way around to the north side of the lake. A few feet into the trail, there is the old historic guard station. There is also a dirt bike trail with the parking lot and the dam at the start of Lake Creek near this area.

The trail wraps around the lake and can continue off to the left to Mosquito Lake and Lost Lake, but trail navigation is difficult in early spring due to the amount of snow still covering the trails.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide

Field Guide

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Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(21 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(63 within a 30 mile radius)

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
3 Members
Who's Done It
2 Members
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Pro Contributor
22 Adventures Explored
22 Adventures Published

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