Dry Creek Trail

Packwood, Washington

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Don’t let the name fool you—this is no stroll along a forest brook. You’ll dip your toes in Dry Creek within the first few minutes of this hike, then not see it again until you get back down from the long, steep climb ahead of you. This steep forest trail offers few views and not much of interest other than thick second-growth fir forest, until near the route’s end. But spectacular views await the patient and persistent. The 2800-foot elevation gain brings hikers to a vantage point that is unrivaled in the area. Once a Forest Service lookout tower stood here, but now all that is left are great views of the Cowlitz River Valley to the north and west; the high, craggy Smith Ridge to the east; and Goat Dike, a precipitous cliff, directly below on the north side of the ridge. On clear days the top of Mount Rainier can also be seen peeking up over the ridges to the north.
Day Hiking: South Cascades

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Day Hiking: South Cascades

by Dan A. Nelson (The Mountaineers Books)

Don’t let the name fool you—this is no stroll along a forest brook. You’ll dip your toes in Dry Creek within the first few minutes of this hike, then not see it again until you get back down from the long, steep climb ahead of you. This steep forest trail offers few views and not much of interest other than thick second-growth fir forest, until near the route’s end. But spectacular views await the patient and persistent.

The 2800-foot elevation gain brings hikers to a vantage point that is unrivaled in the area. Once a Forest Service lookout tower stood here, but now all that is left are great views of the Cowlitz River Valley to the north and west; the high, craggy Smith Ridge to the east; and Goat Dike, a precipitous cliff, directly below on the north side of the ridge. On clear days the top of Mount Rainier can also be seen peeking up over the ridges to the north.

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

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Packwood
Distance: 7
Elevation Gain: 2,800 feet
Trail Type: Out-and-back
Skill Level: Difficult
Season: Late June-early November
Trailhead Elevation: 1,015 feet
Top Elevation: 3,815 feet
Local Contacts: USFS Naches Ranger District
Local Maps: Green Trails No. 303 White Pass
Driving Directions: Directions to Dry Creek Trail

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Apr 2018