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Jug Lake

South Cascades > White Pass/Cowlitz River Valley
46.7230, -121.4366 Map & Directions
7.4 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
1,485 feet
Highest Point
4,480 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Lakes
  • Established campsites
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A quiet lake surrounded by healthy forest and marshy meadows invites hikers to find a seat on its shoreline and rest the soul. Continue reading

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Hiking Jug Lake

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!

WTA worked here in 2022 and 2010!

Hike Description Written by
Tami Asars, WTA Correspondent

Jug Lake

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 46.7230, -121.4366 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

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WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From Packwood, drive northeast on US 12 just shy of 9 miles to Forest Road 45. Turn left (north) off the highway and continue 0.3 mile and take the left at a fork in the road. Continue 4.2 miles and then go right towards Soda Springs Campground. You will find the trailhead for Cowlitz Trail No. 44 on the right in 0.6 mile. Parking is just beyond the trailhead to the left.

More Hike Details


South Cascades > White Pass/Cowlitz River Valley

Jug Lake (#43)

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Naches Ranger District

Guidebooks & Maps

Green Trails No. 303 White Pass

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Jug Lake

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