Forest Road 52/Skate Creek Road

Area Status: Open

Forest Road (FR) 52, also known as Skate Creek Road, travels east to west, between Packwood and Elbe.  FR 52 is a paved road that has had low maintenance for a number of years.  Please watch your speed.  There are a number of slumps and potholes in the road.

Forest Road 52 travels through low elevation forest following beautiful Skate Creek.  The forest contains evergreen and deciduous trees and offers beautiful fall colors and plenty of cooler temperatures in the summer.  The area offers several dispersed camping sites and fishing in the creek.

In the winter months, FR 52 is often gated closed when the snow gets too deep to drive safely.

Tacoma Power and the WDFW will NOT be stocking Skate Creek with catchable trout in the future.  This is in order to comply with new State regulations prohibiting stocking catchable trout species in anadromous waters.  Skate Creek qualifies as “anadromous waters” because of the ongoing salmon/steelhead reintroduction program for the upper Cowlitz River.

At a Glance

Current Conditions: 05/09/2023: Skate Creek Road/Forest Road 52 is open as a through-route. 
Open Season: May - December
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Best Season: Summer and Fall
Busiest Season: Summer
Information Center: Governing District Office:   Cowlitz Valley Ranger District


Viewing Scenery

Beautiful Skate Creek winds next to the road most of the way between Packwood and Elbe.

Skate Creek offers trout fishing during fishing season as well.

There are several nice dispersed camp sites along FR 52.

Recreation Areas

Recreation Activities