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  • Writer's pictureTina McLain

Chain of Lakes

Updated: Jun 18

A grouping of small lakes in Gifford Pinchot National Forest.

Chain of Lakes is a secluded group of lakes near Mt Adams in Gifford Pinchot National Forest. There is a designated dispersed camping area near the largest of the five lakes that make up Chain of Lakes. Two of the lakes are accessible by driving, one by designated trail, and the last two require bushwhacking to access. There is a trail that goes through the area that is open to pedestrians, horses, & OHVs.

Permits/Fees: No fees for dispersed camping or parking at trailhead

Location: Near FS __ in Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Washington, U.S.A.

Administration: Gifford Pinchot National Forest

Ranger District: Cowlitz Valley Ranger District

Note: The lake grouping is named Chain of Lakes, each lake doesn't have an individual name. I denote them by their coordinates and list them 1-5 based on the order I bagged them in. There could be more than the five I list below that make up Chain of Lakes, but based on looking at multiple maps and aerial views of the lakes, I counted five. Also, all the pictures from 8-20-23 are hazy due to wildfire smoke.





Chain of Lakes 1

46.29362, -121.59687


Drive up

Chain of Lakes 2

46.29485, -121.59552


Drive up

Chain of Lakes 3

46.29426, -121.59365



Chain of Lakes 4

46.29786, -121.59996



Chain of Lakes 5

46.29709, -121.60286



Chain of Lakes 1

Lake Name: Chain of Lakes (46.29362, -121.59687)

Lake Coordinates: 46.29362, -121.59687

Lake Elevation: 4367'

Access: Drive up

Note: This lake would be best explored by water.

Date Accessed: August 20, 2023

This lake was visible on the drive down FS 022 and was the first lake I went to. The dispersed campground is right next to this lake and you can pretty much drive right up to the edge of it. This lake was a unique shape and the whole lake wasn't visible from the edge I took pictures from. It would be so fun to kayak this lake and explore all its inlets. This lake is the largest in the Chain of Lakes. At the water's edge I saw a big frog, lots of dragonflies, some mosquitoes, and even a few yellow jackets.


  • Chain of Lakes Dispersed Campground (no fee): 46.29302, -121.59636

  • Lake edge: 46.29327, -121.59648

Chain of Lakes 2

Chain of Lakes 3

Chain of Lakes 4

Chain of Lakes 5


I was able to find a trip report from a person who dirt biked the High Lakes Trail. So if you're interested in riding trails, I have it linked below. This trail is only open to motorcycles, not ATVs from what I gather.

How to get there (from Trout Lake, WA)


My Wild Adventure is not responsible for your safety, any possible injury, or anything that happens if you choose to follow anything on this website. Maps are not intended to be used for navigational purposes, but to give an overview of the route taken. By going outdoors you are solely responsible to know your strengths and limitations, be aware of current conditions and proceed with the appropriate caution. My Wild Adventure is not responsible for your choices and the outcome. Reference my disclaimer for more information on being responsible outdoors.

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