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Heart Lake via Lily Basin Trail

South Cascades


South Cascades
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13.0 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 1900 ft.
Highest Point: 6148 ft.


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WTA worked here: 2010

Parking Pass/Entry Fee


The Lily Basin trail climbs gently through corridors of huckleberry, mountain azalea and patches of bear grass. At half a mile, the trail meets up with Lily Basin Stock Trail.

Continue for one mile and you begin to top the ridge. About four miles in, the trees clear and you can see Packwood Lake in the bottom of the basin with Mount Rainier looming in the background.

Soak up the views before switching over to the Lily Basin side of the ridge. Lily Basin offers mountain streams and open ridge hiking. As you reach the apex of the basin at mile five, use caution as you scale your way into and out of a major washout.

At the junction with the Angry Mountain Trail, it’s only one more mile to your destination as you begin to drop in elevation. In a half mile, a trail drops off to the right, leading you down into the basin to Heart Lake, but staying left will lead you on a trail that circles the basin, offering spectacular views of Angry Mountain and the ridges you just traversed.

After cooling down at the lake, make the climb up and out of the basin. The views are equally lovely on the return trip.


Heart Lake via Lily Basin Trail

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 46.5643, -121.6001 Open map in new window


South Cascades

Lily Basin (#86)

Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Cowlitz Valley Ranger District

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Getting There

From Highway 12 west of Packwood, the entrance to FR 48 is directly across from the Crest Trail Lodge. FR 48 passes through clear-cut private land before crossing the national forest boundary.

Stay on FR 48. 6.0 miles from Highway 12, pass the entrance to a rock quarry on the right. At 8.5 miles, stay to the right at the fork. And at 9.5 miles, take the left fork. The road narrows to a brushy single lane. At 10.7 miles, the trailhead sign is on the right. The trailhead has limited road-side parking and can be easy to miss. There is shoulder parking for about a dozen vehicles.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee


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Heart Lake via Lily Basin Trail

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