The small town of Packwood is a very cool little community stuck way up in the Cascade Mountains, very near to both Mt. Rainier and the White Pass Ski Area. When you visit there you’ll be treated to some fun activities, beautiful scenery, and some nice places to get a bite to eat too. You’ll also get the chance to see some great examples of wildlife walking right through town. One of Packsood’s great assets too is that it is conveniently located very near to several other great attractions.
Here are five great attractions within an easy drive of Packwood, Washington.
Paradise at Mt. Rainier
The absolute top draw for anyone staying in or visiting Packwood is of course Mt. Rainier National Park. When you drive up into the park, make sure you drive about as far as you can go and make it all the way up to Paradise where the Paradise Inn, Paradise Ranger Station, and Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Center are. Once there, check out all that you can learn in the visitor center, take some photos of the mountain in all its glory, and take the time to walk the 15 minutes up to Myrtle Falls. On the way back down the mountain, don’t forget to stop at Narada Falls, Reflection Lake, and the Box Canyon of the Cowlitz.
On the other side of the Cascade Mountains from Packwood is Rimrock Lake. Rimrock Lake is home to some great mountain boating and fishing opportunities. There are several campgrounds and places where you can get down to the water and splash around too. There are even some lakeside eating out opportunities too. The drive over to Rimrock Lake can be a fun outing when you’re staying in Packwood or the surrounding area.
Windy Ridge Viewpoint
One of the more popular attractions in the Cascade Mountains in Washington is Mt. St. Helens. When you visit or stay in Packwood, you’re less than a couple of hours from one of the best places to view the mountain’s volcanic crater from, Windy Ridge Viewpoint. After you wind through the local forest and pass by a couple of other fun stops you’ll come to the viewpoint. From there, you’ll look right into the impressive crater. For an even better view, hike up the hundreds of steps that lead you to a higher place to view the mountain from. This is another of the many places around Packwood that you want to remember to bring your camera to.
Grove of the Patriarchs
Located near the Ohanapecosh visitor center in Mt. Rainier National Park is a short hiking destination known as the Grove of the Patriarchs. When you walk along these level and easily accessible trails you’ll be among some of the biggest and oldest trees in Washington’s Cascade Mountains. Take your camera because there are a lot of fun photo opportunities, including some really huge trees just waiting for you to pose in front of them. The suspension bridge is a nice bonus that everyone loves.
Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad
Drive west and then north from Packwood and you’ll reach the tiny town of Elbe. This area is a fun little part of the Cascades to explore, but the top thing to do there is to take a ride on the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad. When you take this ride, you’ll be able to see the same scenic beauty that rail passengers saw long ago. You’ll also be treated to views you can’t get from riding in an automobile. Top that with a first class railroad museum and it’s easy to see why this experience is loved by people year after year.