Packwood Saddle Loop from Packwood Lake

Packwood, Washington

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1 Review
3 out of 5
Hike the lightly used Upper Lake Creek Trail up a heavily forested valley and then climb to Packwood Saddle high on Coyote Ridge. From Packwood Saddle, traverse along the open alpine slopes of the ridge, with its magnificent views, before descending through the old-growth forest back to Packwood Lake. The trail forks a few yards from the trailhead. Bear right here, as the left fork goes a short distance to a rest room. Before long the course passes along the upper side of an old clear-cut.The opening in the timber allows a view to the north. The route then continues east through the old-growth forest and crosses several small streams. You will enter Goat Rocks Wilderness 2 miles from the trailhead, at 3,080 elevation. The timber opens up for a short distance 0.7 mile farther along as you cross the debris left by an ancient landslide.
Hiking Washington's Goat Rocks Country

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Hiking Washington's Goat Rocks Country

by Fred Barstad (Falcon Guides)

Hike the lightly used Upper Lake Creek Trail up a heavily forested valley and then climb to Packwood Saddle high on Coyote Ridge. From Packwood Saddle, traverse along the open alpine slopes of the ridge, with its magnificent views, before descending through the old-growth forest back to Packwood Lake.

The trail forks a few yards from the trailhead. Bear right here, as the left fork goes a short distance to a rest room. Before long the course passes along the upper side of an old clear-cut.The opening in the timber allows a view to the north. The route then continues east through the old-growth forest and crosses several small streams. You will enter Goat Rocks Wilderness 2 miles from the trailhead, at 3,080 elevation. The timber opens up for a short distance 0.7 mile farther along as you cross the debris left by an ancient landslide.

© 2005 Fred Barstad/Falcon Guides. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Packwood
Distance: 26.2
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Difficult
Duration: 2 to 4-day backpack
Season: August and September
Trailhead Elevation: 2,800 feet
Top Elevation: 6,100 feet
Local Contacts: Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Goat Rocks Wilderness
Local Maps: USGS Packwood Lake, Old Snowy Mountain
Driving Directions: Directions to Packwood Saddle Loop from Packwood Lake

Recent Trail Reviews

7/8/2009
0

We wanted to summit Old Snowy, but the road to Snowgrass Flats was closed, so we decided to approach it from the North, from the Packwood Lake trailhead. The first four miles to the N. end of Packwood Lake was quite flat and a bit buggy, but not too bad. The N. end of Packwood Lake has an access road for ATV's, which isn't too bad during the week (we went in August), but it's pretty crowded on the weekend. Campsites are along the eastern shore and on the S. end of the lake. Leaving the lake, you follow the stream for about 3.5 miles. The trail can be a bit sketchy b/c of washouts, but is reasonably well maintained. After 3.5 miles, it begins a long ascent to gain Packwood Saddle. Make sure you get all your water containers filled on the ascent, as there's little water up high on the ridge. The climb up to the saddle is brutal - few switchbacks, and relentless. At the Saddle, there's a campsite - if you continue on toward Elk Pass, you take the left fork and proceed about 1/4 mile. There is a small spring-fed stream which is a trickle of water, but usable with some patience. We didn't do the rest of the loop on our way back from Old Snowy because of bad weather, but wanted to finish it off - we returned via the valley.



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Apr 2018