Hike Leader: Bill Brookreson ([masked])
Departure Time: We will meet at the Pack Forest entrance at about 10:30. For those who may want to car pool, we will leave the Park and Ride at South Tacoma Way and Hwy 512 at 9:00 am.
Estimated Return Time: 2:00 pm
Hike Description: If you have the urge for a visit to some remaining old growth forest, Pack Forest’s Trail of the Giants may be just the answer for you. The Trail of the Giants is part of a 166-acre section of “old growth” located near the center of the University of Washington’s 4,300-acre Charles L. Pack Experimental Forest near Eatonville. The trail is at low altitude, 2000 feet or less, so snow is not usually a problem, even in winter.
The term “old growth” can be a bit deceptive because old growth forests contain a variety of tree sizes as trees die, fall and are replaced. Many of the trees in this area date from the 1800s with some significantly larger and older specimens – several over 500 years old. The stand contains a variety of Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii), western red cedar (Thuja plicata), western hemlock(Tsuga heterophylla),and some Sitka spruce (Picea sitchensis). This section of Pack Forest survived a fire in 1927 that destroyed much of the forest in the area, although many of the older trees show evidence of fires in the 1700s. Highlights of the trail are two trees over 800 years old, one nearly 230 feet tall.
It is also a good opportunity to view the understory plants in an old growth area. We also hope to have Dave Cass or another staff person from Pack Forest to briefly talk to us about their work prior to proceeding to the trailhead.
Because we will be able to park at the trailhead, the walk is easy. There are two “loops”, we will take the long loop of ca. 1 mile.
Special requirements: Bring a lunch, water, and sturdy walking shoes.