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Shellrock Lake

South Cascades


South Cascades -- White Pass/Cowlitz River Valley
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10.0 miles, roundtrip


Gain: 1900 ft.
Highest Point: 5930 ft.


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Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

The trail starts off on Sand Ridge Trail, which follows a dirt road for a short distance before narrowing into an actual trail. The trail is dusty and popular with the horsey crowd, so watch your step.

At 0.7 mile after several switchbacks, pass an easy-to-miss junction with Little Buck Trail, coming in from the right (north). Stay on the Sand Ridge Trail, climbing more than 1000 feet in less than 2 miles. In 2.8 miles from the trailhead, switch trails at a junction with Shellrock Lake trail, which stays straight and takes you into a thicker forest landscape.

In just over 2 miles from where you hopped on Shellrock Lake Trail, the trail levels off, crosses under a talus field and passes a large swampy pond to the right. Look for wood ducks and mergansers as you walk quietly in this peaceful area.

The trail crosses a coniferous grove before popping you at your destination, the scenic shores of Shellrock Lake. To the north, the tippy-top of Tumac Mountain is visible. A couple shoreline campsite invite you to take-a-load-off and enjoy this park like setting before heading back.

WTA Pro Tip: In summer, you might want to make a scenic drive out of the day by following Highway 12 east to Highway 410, then turning west and returning over Chinook Pass.


Shellrock Lake

Map & Directions

Co-ordinates: 46.6438, -121.3801 Open map in new window


South Cascades -- White Pass/Cowlitz River Valley

Shellrock Lake (#1142)

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Naches Ranger District

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Guidebooks & Maps

Green Trails No. 303 White Pass

Getting There

From Packwood, drive northeast on US 12 for approximately 26 miles to Forest Road 488, signed for the Sand Ridge trailhead. Turn left (north) and find the trailhead at the west end of the parking area.

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

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Shellrock Lake

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