COVID-19 Updates

Friends of Pack Forest,

The health and safety of our staff, students and surrounding community will always be our top priority at Pack Forest. In observance of Governor Inslee’s “stay at home order” Pack Forest will be closed to all visitors until the order is lifted. The gate at the entrance will be locked and we are asking people to comply with this closure.

Since the school closures and the welcome onset of the lovely spring weather, there has been a significant increase in Pack Forest hikers. We are grateful Pack Forest can provide a place for calm, exercise, and tranquility during this crisis, and hope we can open our gates soon. Until then



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.