Picture by Heather Miller
Pass/Permit: Northwest Forest Pass
Length: ~10 Miles
Elevation: 600 ft gain, 3200 ft high point
Ideal for early season hikes, Packwood lake offers dense forests, high peaks, a pristine lake, and plenty of camping and fishing spots. Plus, leashed dogs are allowed! The trail begins with 4 miles of old-growth forest, then climbs slowly up to the lake. Continue across the old bridge over Lake Creek and around the north side (another 1.5 miles) of the lake to see some incredible views to the south! Although the weather may not be as nice in spring, the forest floor during the first 4 miles of the trail is covered with incredible wildflowers starting from mid-May on, and shouldn't be missed!
Directions/ Road Conditions:
From Ashford, drive Hwy 706 east for 2.4 miles. Turn south onto Skate Creek (Kernahan) Road and drive for 22.1 miles, till you hit Packwood. Continue straight onto Snyder Road, then take the right fork onto NF-1260. Keep right to stay on NF-1260 and drive for another 3.5 miles, before keeping left at another fork. Continue for another half mile, and the parking lot will be on your left.
Coordinates: 46.6084, -121.6271