Day Hike to Tatoosh Lakes and beyond


Jan 16, 2018
Taking a day hike to Tatoosh Lakes and an attempted continuation to Tatoosh Peak.

Starting at the trailhead there were maybe a dozen vehicles parked, but over the length of the trail it was pretty spread out. I was passed by a young gentleman with legs up to my chest, who probably weighed a buck fifty at most. Needless to say after passing me going up the slope I never saw him again.

Into the wild... Tatoosh Wilderness that is:

And so starts the climb. This trail is pretty relentless, it levels for a short while after about a mile but then starts climbing again.

First opening after exiting the dense forest:

From the opening you can see a far off slope that the Tatoosh Peak trail crosses. I could just make out 4 hikers, whom I ran across on their way down later, crossing the slope.

Crossing one of the slopes on the trail. Still some leftover flowers and lots of wild blueberries (came into play later)

Western Anemone (Dr. Seuss anyone?)

Trail junction to lakes

Looking up trail from sign at the saddle you have to climb up and over to get to the lakes.

View from saddle. The second photo shows someone's prime camp spot before entering the area you cannot camp in:

No camping beyond sign

Leftover snow above upper Tatoosh Lake from a distance.

The first, and smallest of the two lakes. Plenty of fish jumping and the sound of Pica across the lake on the boulders to make stopping for a break worthwhile. Also probably the more likely of the 2 lakes to be alone if it's busy.

The larger of the two lakes with leftover snow. The lake is surrounded by steep walls on three sides. Unfortunately the sun was facing me so pictures weren't the best.

Lunch break on the shore of the big lake. A little time to dry out the socks and soak the feet in ice cold water. The log was perfect for relaxing and enjoying the view.

Luckily I had bear spray on hand in case this guy decided to come after me instead of my pack:

Lot's of wildfire smoke in the air. Not sure if this is still leftover smoke from the Canadian fires or if it's from the Eastern Washington fires.

Crossing slope towards tatoosh ridge

Looking across at the trail you eventually get to hike. There are a few washouts that require scrambling up and down some loose stone and dirt, but it's easily doable.

Lefover snow near the trail that looks pretty enticing when it's hot out.

Looking up the slope of Tatoosh ridge

The view from the top of Tatoosh Ridge.

At this point I found out that I had run out of water, I managed to suck 2ltrs down on the way up. I made the decision to turn around here rather than climb the additional 500 vertical feet with full sun and no water. I was bummed but glad I did as I started to get thirsty on the way down. I ended up gorging on wild blueberries just to get my tongue unstuck from the roof of my mouth. I'm pretty sure I'd have made the summit if I hadn't hiked down to the lakes, but the walk out of the lakes was pretty steep and took a toll on my legs. I met a young lady after I left the lakes whom I hiked to the ridge with, she continued on to the summit after I turned around. She caught up to me later during the long trek down and had also run out of water. We spent our time thinking about the liquids awaiting us at our respective vehicles and wishing the trail would end.


Because I am able.
Dec 31, 2017
Totally reminds me of Dr. Seuss too!! Love it!
Never seen those colors on a buttery before. Very pretty.
Thanks for sharing!
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