What: This small town on U.S. 12 makes an excellent base camp for some serious adventure. From here, you are just minutes from hikes steep and tame.
Skate Creek, Dog Lake, Leech Lake, Cowlitz Falls Park and Clear Water Fork all lure the fishermen.
ATV trails are available south of town, and Mount Rainier is a short drive away.
Getting there: Take Interstate 5 south to U.S. 12, then drive east to Packwood.
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However, the most scenic route is to take state Route 706 through Ashford and then follow Skate Creek Road south.
Of note: While Packwood draws plenty of White Pass skiers and snowboarders in the winter, it’s overshadowed by others destinations in the summer.
The locals will tell you some of the best places to explore in the summer are the Tatoosh Range and Lake Packwood.
Getting to Lake Packwood will require about nine miles of hiking round trip, while the Tatoosh Range is some of the steepest hiking in the area.
Information: Call the Cowlitz Valley Ranger District in Randle at 360-497-1100 or go to www.destinationpackwood.com.