Back in early March my family and I hiked up Hugo Peak at the Charles Lathrop Pack Experimental and Demonstration Forest in Eatonville, Wa. The hike was easy (about 5 miles round trip) and the trail climbed gradually up through some clear cuts and older growth forests. All in all, it was a nice outing, though there wasn’t much in the way of a view except for about halfway when the trail traverses a clear cut and you can see northwards fairly well. The plusses: you don’t need to pay to access Pack Forest. The minuses: the facilities at the trailhead of the Hugo Peak Trail are in rough shape. The bathroom was out of order (because of vandalism) the last few times I visited.
Disclaimer: The following review was based off my first-ever visit to the Charles Lathrop Pack Experimental and Demonstration Forest. During my trip, I explored only a mile or two of trails (Nelder Trail, SFI, and Gessel Memorial Arboretum) until coming across a map that gave me some idea of the much larger trail system there. Up until then, I was utterly confused by the trails. If you do go, either download the Pack Forest trail map beforehand or see a large print version of the map at the Forest’s entrance station. The most accessible trail, the Hugo Peak Trail, begins right at the entrance station and goes for more than two miles while also connecting with other trails.