The route to Jug Lake starts off on Cowlitz Trail No. 44, meandering through Douglas firs on a gentle grade near Summit Creek. In 0.5 mile, Trail No. 44A, a horse trail, meets up with the main trail. In roughly 2 miles from the trailhead, arrive at a very rocky creek crossing, an outlet from Jug Lake above.
This creek can by tricky in early season, so proceed with caution by rock hopping or look for a downed log to balance your way across. In late season, the creek is but a trickle. In 0.2 miles beyond the crossing, arrive at Jug Lake Trail No. 43. Turn left (northeast) on it and begin climbing more steeply now, switching up as you go.
In 1.2 miles from the Jug Lake trail junction arrive at a junction with Judkin Trail No. 47, which is also signed for Jug Lake with an arrow pointing in the same direction. Oddly, the Jug Lake Trail ends here before the lake and hikers use the Judkin Trail to access the lake.
Proceed on the Judkin Trail for 0.3 mile to find the beautiful shores of Jug Lake to the trail’s left. A huge meadow lies just beyond Jug Lake, home to wildflowers and plenty of elk. Older maps show trails through the meadows, leading to other lakes and ridges, but lack of maintenance over the years has made them extremely hard to find and follow. Only attempt to go beyond this point if you are a skilled navigator.
WTA Pro Tip: Don’t miss the delicious burgers and milkshakes at Cliff Dropper’s restaurant in Packwood, which hit the spot after a fun trail day!
- 7.4 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 1,485 feet
- Highest Point
- 4,480 feet
Hiking Jug Lake
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 46.7230, -121.4366 Open in Google Maps