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Lost Lake

South Cascades


South Cascades
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16.2 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 2400 ft.
Highest Point: 5200 ft.


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Accessible from both Packwood Lake and the Clear Fork trailhead, Lost Lake is a medium-sized, scenic little mountain lake ringed with trees and nestled in a small bowl below the former Lost Lake lookout site. 

The Packwood Lake trailhead offers a much more moderated approach, though it's still a long hike into this little oasis. Maybe the difficulty in accessing this lake contributes a bit to its name. 

From the Clear Fork trailhead, it's a challenging hike, with a climb up and over the 6000+ foot ridge that used to house Lost Lake lookout site. It makes for gorgeous views, but because much of the way is north-facing, slopes here can hold snow late into the summer. This route will clock in closer to 18 miles roundtrip with 3,600 feet in elevation gain.


Lost Lake

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 46.6017, -121.5112 Open map in new window


South Cascades

Packwood Lake (#78), Clear Fork (#61)

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Cowlitz Valley Ranger District

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Getting There

Packwood Lake approach: From I-5, north of Castle Rock, drive US-12 east 66.5 miles to Packwood; at the east end of town, turn right onto FR-1260 and drive 6 miles to the trailhead.

Clear Fork approach: From Packwood, drive east on Highway 12 for six miles, and turn right onto Forest Road 46. Follow FR 46 for 0.6 miles, then take a left to stay on Forest Road 46 and follow it for another 7.5 miles to the trailhead.


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Lost Lake

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