Clear Lost Trail

Packwood, Washington

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A steep descent and a cold-water ford in the first mile of the hike discourage a lot of hikers from pursuing the rewards offered by this trail. But if you wait until late July, when the snowmelt runoff has declined a bit and the water level in the creek has dropped, the ford isn’t too difficult. By late August, wading the Clear Fork is relatively easy and even refreshing—especially on the return trip when the cool waters soothe trail-tired feet. Past the ford, the trail climbs relentlessly, leading hikers into high alpine country where both the trailside scenery and the expansive views increase in beauty with each step forward. The path leads past a pair of pretty mountain lakes and offers some fine camping for those who want more than a single day of exploring.
Day Hiking: South Cascades

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Day Hiking: South Cascades

by Dan A. Nelson (The Mountaineers Books)

A steep descent and a cold-water ford in the first mile of the hike discourage a lot of hikers from pursuing the rewards offered by this trail. But if you wait until late July, when the snowmelt runoff has declined a bit and the water level in the creek has dropped, the ford isn’t too difficult. By late August, wading the Clear Fork is relatively easy and even refreshing—especially on the return trip when the cool waters soothe trail-tired feet.

Past the ford, the trail climbs relentlessly, leading hikers into high alpine country where both the trailside scenery and the expansive views increase in beauty with each step forward. The path leads past a pair of pretty mountain lakes and offers some fine camping for those who want more than a single day of exploring.

© 2007 Dan A. Nelson /The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Packwood
Distance: 13
Elevation Gain: 2,600 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Season: July–early October
Trailhead Elevation: 3,600 feet
Top Elevation: 6,376 feet
Accessibility: Dog-friendly
Local Contacts: USFS Naches Ranger District
Local Maps: Green Trails No. 303 White Pass
Driving Directions: Directions to Clear Lost Trail

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