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Packwood
Unincorporated community
From Packwood, Mount Rainier and Butter Creek Canyon dominate the view to the north.
From Packwood, Mount Rainier and Butter Creek Canyon dominate the view to the north.
Location of Packwood in Lewis County, WA
Location of Packwood in Lewis County, WA
Country United States
State Washington
County Lewis
Elevation 1,053 ft (321 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 1,330
  CDP-only population: 342
Time zone PST (UTC−8)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC−7)
ZIP code 98361
Area code(s) 360
GNIS feature ID 1524132

Packwood is an unincorporated community located in easternmost Lewis County, Washington.

Packwood is located at the intersection of US Highway 12 and Gifford Pinchot National Forest Road 52 (Skate Creek Road). It is located between Mount Rainier National Park to the north and Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument to the south. Tatoosh Wilderness, Goat Rocks Wilderness, and William O. Douglas Wilderness are to the north, southeast, and northeast respectively, with the Gifford Pinchot National Forest as a buffer in all directions. Packwood is located in the upper Cowlitz valley, just downstream of the confluence of the Muddy and Clear forks of the Cowlitz. The White Pass Ski Area and Cascade Crest demark the eastern edge of the Packwood area, the town of Randle the west, and large expanses of forest, wilderness, and parkland the north and south.

Packwood was established as Sulphur Springs.

Geography

Packwood is located at 46°36′14″N 121°40′40″W / 46.60389°N 121.67778°W / 46.60389; -121.67778 (46.6040008, -121.6778664). Although Packwood itself is unincorporated, the town and surrounding areas (especially the residential communities of High Valley and Timberline) have an approximate population of 1,330.

Packwood is located in the White Pass School District, which, in addition to Packwood, covers the small towns of Randle and Glenoma, Washington and the vast forested expanse in extreme eastern Lewis County, terminating at the Cascade Mountains and the county border with Yakima County, Washington. In 2004, the town's school-age population dropped to the point that the local K-6 elementary school was shuttered, although the building is still used as a county sheriff's substation, a local historical museum, and for hosting other community events.

Climate

According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Packwood has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps.

Climate data for Packwood
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 67
(19.4)
77
(25)
85
(29.4)
90
(32.2)
102
(38.9)
104
(40)
108
(42.2)
105
(40.6)
105
(40.6)
97
(36.1)
75
(23.9)
63
(17.2)
108
(42.2)
Average high °F (°C) 42.9
(6.06)
48.1
(8.94)
52.6
(11.44)
59
(15)
66.3
(19.06)
71.6
(22)
79
(26.1)
79.1
(26.17)
73.9
(23.28)
61.9
(16.61)
48.4
(9.11)
42.3
(5.72)
60.4
(15.78)
Average low °F (°C) 29.3
(-1.5)
30.5
(-0.83)
32.8
(0.44)
36.5
(2.5)
41.8
(5.44)
47.4
(8.56)
51
(10.6)
50.7
(10.39)
44.7
(7.06)
38.5
(3.61)
33.3
(0.72)
29.8
(-1.22)
38.9
(3.83)
Record low °F (°C) -9
(-22.8)
-2
(-18.9)
2
(-16.7)
20
(-6.7)
20
(-6.7)
27
(-2.8)
28
(-2.2)
29
(-1.7)
23
(-5)
17
(-8.3)
-3
(-19.4)
-8
(-22.2)
-9
(-22.8)
Precipitation inches (mm) 9.01
(228.9)
6
(152)
5.31
(134.9)
3.39
(86.1)
2.54
(64.5)
2.08
(52.8)
0.72
(18.3)
1.06
(26.9)
2.24
(56.9)
4.88
(124)
8.87
(225.3)
9.05
(229.9)
55.14
(1,400.6)
Snowfall inches (cm) 11.8
(30)
4.7
(11.9)
2.8
(7.1)
0.3
(0.8)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1.9
(4.8)
6.4
(16.3)
27.9
(70.9)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 inch) 17 14 16 14 12 10 4 5 8 13 17 17 147

History

The name Packwood, used for the town, a mountain pass, and a lake, honors William Packwood, a Virginian pioneer and explorer of Oregon and Washington. Packwood and James Longmire, were tasked by the Washington Territorial Legislature to chart a low pass over the Cascade Mountains, this necessitated by the deaths of several delegates in their journey to the first legislative session. As a mark of their successes in this venture, the charted pass - called the Packwood Saddle - is still unused by any road, trail, or other conveyance to pass between the east and west sides of the Cascades.

Transportation

Packwood is accessible year-round by private vehicle on US 12, and seasonally by SR 123 and several forest service roads. The general aviation Packwood Airport is located three blocks west of highway 12 in downtown Packwood, and L.E.W.I.S. Mountain Highway Transit provides multiple weekday public transportation to Centralia-Chehalis, including connections to Amtrak and Greyhound.

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