Forest Operations

Planned Timber Sale August 2024. Sale Information & Bid Pack HERE.


Pack Forest is open to hikers. Limited parking is available in the lot by the administration building and the Arboretum lot until dusk. All vehicles still in that lot after dusk will be towed at the owner’s expense.

The health and safety of our staff, students and surrounding community are our top priority at Pack Forest. Please pay attention to the following:


  1. Keep your pet on a leash, and always clean up after your pet. Pack out pet waste.
  2. No unauthorized motorized vehicles of any kind are allowed.
  3. Park in designated, hard surfaced, parking areas only. If the parking lot is full, we suggest you postpone your hike.
  4. Pack Forest hiking hours coincide with daylight hours.
  5. There is one portable toilet near the trailhead in the upper lot. It is serviced weekly. Please be considerate of all other hikers.
  6. Pack it in, pack it out. Do not leave litter on the trails, trailheads, or parking lots. Please take your garbage home including pet waste.
  7. Stay on designated trails only!


Headed to Mashel Falls?  Read this first


Learning from the Forest

Pack Forest is located in the rolling foothills of Mount Rainier in the heart of the Nisqually watershed.  Most of the 4,300 acres is dominated by second growth Douglas Fir and Western Red Cedar and includes 300 plus acres of lowland old growth forest known as the Newton Creek Reserve. Management of Pack Forest’s natural resources is guided three broad objectives: Demonstration, education, and research.


Pack Forest strives to demonstrate the best forestry management practices appropriate to the lowland Douglas-fir region. Management includes timber, wildlife, recreation, water, forage, soil, mineral and other forest related resources. Demonstrations are target towards other forest resource managers, practitioners, owners, educators and the general public.


Forest infrastructure is also designed to include elements that enable and encourage education of the general public and students of the University of Washington’s School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. Simultaneously, forest management activities seek to enhance opportunities for research related to forests and forest management.


Pack Forest management is ultimately aimed at maintaining both economic and social viability. This requires a delicate balance between the fiscal needs of Pack Forest operations and providing a “fair share” of commodity production with the societal need of protecting biodiversity, forest health, water quality and soil productivity, recreation opportunities, and mitigating climate change through forest carbon sequestration.