The Dumbbell Lake Loop in the William O. Douglas Wilderness is drop-dead gorgeous. It’s a 14.5-mile loop that passes several pretty lakes as it travels through lovely woods and lush huckleberry meadows.
You can easily access it from White Pass Horse Camp, on Hwy. 12 between Packwood and Yakima.
The Wilderness was named for William O. Douglas, a Supreme Court justice who championed conservation issues and had a home nearby.
The Dumbbell Lake Loop is not only scenic, it runs through horse-friendly terrain. The north/south legs of the loop gradually gain/lose about 1,300 feet of elevation, while the east/west legs are fairly flat.
Along the way, you’ll pass 6 good-size lakes and several other small ones. You’ll even have a view of Mt. Rainier.
You can camp overnight at White Pass Horse Camp, which has a vault toilet, stock water from a nearby creek, and 6 campsites with picnic tables, fire rings, hitching rails, and trees for highlining. Several overflow campsites have hitching rails and trees for highlining but no tables or fire rings. The day-use parking area has 7 hitching rails and room for 10 trailers.
You can learn more about the Dumbbell Lake Loop and other rides in the William O. Douglas Wilderness in Riding Southwest Washington Horse Trails by Kim McCarrel, available at www.nwhorsetrails.com.