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Glacier Lake

South Cascades


South Cascades
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6.0 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 1634 ft.
Highest Point: 2905 ft.


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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

Glacier Lake is a peaceful lake surrounded by steep hills that rise steeply from its shores. The trail, while relatively short, is steep in sections. For families with kids who are up for the challenge of uphill hiking, it’s a good introduction to backpacking.

The road to the trailhead is washed out, adding a bit of distance to the overall trip. Parking is limited — be sure to park safely and choose another hike if there’s not room to do so.

Begin hiking up the road. You’ll soon pass a washed out area that makes it very clear why this road is closed. Veer right when the road forks and you’ll soon reach the actual trailhead.

From the actual trailhead, the trail soon dips down before reaching a lovely creek, which makes an excellent spot to stop for a snack.

The trail then continues to climb up — steeply at times — and the trail is sometimes rough or crumbly. The mossy forest is beautiful, however, and you can hear the sounds of Glacier Creek for much of the hike.

When the landscape begins to change from forest to boulders, you are getting close to the lake. Head left for a few campsites and access to the lake. There is a rough trail that leads off around edge of the lake, but it peters out quickly.


Glacier Lake

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 46.5457, -121.6222 Open map in new window


South Cascades

Glacier Lake (#89)

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Cowlitz Valley Ranger District

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Guidebooks & Maps

Day Hiking: South Cascades (Nelson - Mountaineers Books)

Day Hiking: Mount Adams and Goat Rocks (Asars - Mountaineers Books)

Buy the Green Trails Packwood No. 302 map

Getting There

From Packwood, head south on U.S. 12 for 2.7 miles. Turn left (east) on Forest Road 21. At the first fork, keep right to stay on Forest Road 21. After about 5 miles, take a left on Forest Road 2110. There is limited parking on this road. The official trailhead is inaccessible due to a washout. 

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

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Glacier Lake

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