Located near Eatonville, at the foot of Mount Rainier, the Center for Sustainable Forestry at Pack Forest contains 4,300 acres of working forest land. Its goal is to discover, teach, and demonstrate the concepts of sustainable forestry.
Pack Forest is open to the public, and has an extensive dirt road and trail system for hiking, biking, and horseback riding. There's a picnic area near the entrance, and a visitor's center that's open weekdays. All the roads that access the cache location are gated. You must park in a lot or outside a gate and explore on foot, bicycle, or hoof. The center's website provides driving directions as well as a printable PDF map.
This cache is on High Point, which is – you guessed it – the highest point in the forest at 2,040 feet. In the 1920s, not long after the UW Board of Regents purchased the initial land for this demonstration forest, a 72-foot fire lookout was built here, and staffed by the Washington State Division of Forestry. The tower is gone (I couldn't find any info on its demise, although the footings are still there), but the nearby views are excellent and well worth the trip. Below, I have listed 4 routes to the cache.
Hugo Peak trail: 6.9 mile round trip, 1400' gain (hiking trail and road)
Park outside main gate to Pack Forest at N46° 50.589', W122° 19.057'. Trailhead is on the south side of the parking lot. Trail crosses La Grande Trail at 0.3 miles, road 1600 at 0.5 miles, road 1000 at 0.55 miles and road 1400 at 1 mile. The trail tops out at 1.9 miles on road 1081. Go left .2 miles to road 1080, then right .6 miles to Kirkland Pass (N46° 50.300', W122° 17.533'). Take road 2000 (sign says 2000 MILE 3.1) north 1 mile to the summit and cache.
Road 1300 route: 4.8 miles round trip, 720’ gain (road and hiking trail)
Park at N46° 50.265', W122° 15.110' off Alder Cutoff Road. Hike up gravel road 1300 (unmarked here) to the north behind the gate. Follow road 1300 1.25 miles to the intersection with road 1335 (umarked). Continue west on road 1300. At 1.6 miles from the trailhead, junction with road 1330. continue southwest on road 1300 to junction with road 2500 at 1.9 miles. Continue uphill on road 2500 to N46° 49.907', W122° 16.692'. Take the trail up the ridge to the summit and cache.
Road 1500 Route: 5.2 miles round trip, 980’ gain (all roads)
Park at N46°49.920', W122° 18.625' off highway 7 near a purple and gold gate. Follow road 1500 uphill to where it T's out on road 1000. Follow road 1000 uphill to the right to Kirkland Pass (N46° 50.300', W122° 17.533'). From here, take road 2000 (sign says 2000 MILE 3.1) north 1 mile to the summit and cache.
Road 2300 route: 5.1 miles round trip, 700 gain (all roads)
Park at N46° 49.290', W122° 15.831' near purple and gold gate off Alder Cutoff Road. Follow road 2300 (unmarked here). At 1.5 miles at junction with road 2320, continue straight on road 2300. At 1.7 miles at junction with road 2310, continue straight on road 2300. At 1.9 miles, take sharp right turn onto road 2000. Follow road 2000 to the summit and cache
Your GPSr should lead you to a granite memorial. The cache is hidden nearby. Please conceal the container well before you leave, as this site is visited by non-cachers.
Cache history: When Team Sagefox placed this cache (originally named Silver) in November 2003, they wrote: "This is our 75th cache placement on our 2nd geocaching anniversary. We chose Pack Forest because it is a special place to us. From near the hiding place, you will get a great view of Mt. Rainier - that is, sometimes, aah, depending on…well, you know, it's Washington State." In August 2008, they planned to archive it due to lack of visitation, so I (hydnsek) asked to adopt it, as it's a scenic spot, a former fire lookout site, and the reason for placing it was special. They agreed, and the cache lives on.
After moving to Kapowsin in the spring of 2006, I (legoman) and my wife hiked in Pack Forest on a regular basis and visited the cache every time we were in the area. We could hike all day and see at most only 2 to 3 people. This was our favorite place to hike during 2020 during the COVID 19 lockdown, as social distancing was easy with the wide roads and few people. We first logged this cache on April 3, 2004 and have logged a note 24 times since then. Hydnsek contacted me and asked if I would take over ownership of the cache, and I agreed. The cache lives on.