This was a wonderful backpack to Tuck & Robin Lakes and Cathedral Pass.
- Drivers need high road clearance vehicles to drive the last 12.4 miles to the trailhead. This section of road is comparable to the Middle Fork Snoqualmie – I think it is currently in worse shape. Northwest Forest Service passes are required to be displayed at the TH.
- The route up to Robin Lakes is an easy rock scramble. It was pretty clear to follow. After you cross the log jam between Tuck Lake and Tuck’s Pot, stay out of the gully and scramble the ridge to the right of the gully. There are numerous cairns marking the route up to Robin Lakes.
- We camped the first night (Saturday) at Robin Lakes. This is a very popular destination. There were enough places to pitch our tents, but there were also numerous parties at the lakes. There is no permit system in place here yet, but like the Enchantment Lakes, if we don’t take care of this area, access could someday be limited.
- Goats are numerous at Robin Lakes. We heard rumors of an aggressive male goat in the area but never had any incidents with the goats.
- Our second night camp was a high camp at Cathedral Pass. We packed water from a nearby small lake nearby to the ridge for cooking.
- On our second day, we crossed Daniel Creek. This stream is fast moving yet fordable. Water came up to our knees. Everyone brought water shoes and poles to ford the creek.
- Bugs were out and biting, especially at Cathedral Pass. I recommend DEET and a hat with a mosquito net to keep the bugs off of your head, especially at camp. The bugs are especially fierce from about 4:00pm to sunset around shallow sources of water, which were prevalent along our route.
Participants include Nicole Hansen (leader), Linda Kuramoto (co-leader), Jo Brown, Eija Narvanen, Mitchell Pico, Bobbie Laue, and Jane Warren.
- Green Trails Stevens Pass No. 176
- Backpacking Washington: Overnight and Multiday Routes, by Craig Romano, Trip No. 36 Tuck and Robin Lakes. See pages 161-164
- Best Loop Hikes, Washington, by Dan A Nelson and Alan Bauer, Trip No. 45 Cathedral/Rock Deception Pass Loop
- Backpacking Washington’s Alpine Lakes Wilderness – The Longer Trails, by Jeff Smoot, Trip No. 12 Deception Pass Loop, and Trip No. 13. Tuck and Robin Lakes
Set in a granite wonderland high in the Wenatchee Mountains, a handful of lakes rival the Enchantments when it comes to stunning scenery and pure alpine rapture. But unlike the Enchantments, there are no complicated permits or quotas for visiting Tuck and Robin Lakes. Consequently, they can be mobbed – to this is not a place to seek solitude. The trail is difficult too – never officially built, it clambers up and around ledges and shelves and rocky gullies and is not for the inexperienced. But views of the blinding glaciers of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness’ highest peak, Mount Danial, rising behind shimmering cobalt waters, themselves surrounded by polished granite – that’ll forever be etched in your mind.
To get there, take I-90 to Roslyn/Salmon la Sac exit 80. From the exit, drive north 2.8 miles to the State Route 903 junction. Turn left and follow SR 903 through Roslyn and Ronald and along Cle Elum Lake, 16.5 miles to the pavement’s end. The road forks here; take the right fork and continue another 12.4 miles on FR 4330 to the Deception Pass trailhead at road’s end. The road crosses two streams, which run high in early season. If you don’t have a high-clearance vehicle, consider parking and fording the creeks on your walk or bike ride up the road to the trailhead. Trailhead GPS coordinates (47.5444,-121.0976) Northwest Forest Pass required.
20.28 miles, 5358 ft. gain, 2 days 1 hrs 24 min.