Tipsoo Lake-Naches Peak Loop
Aug 21, 2011
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: Tipsoo Lake-Naches Peak Loop
- Region: Mt. Rainier -- SW - Cayuse Pass / Steven's Canyon
- Agency: Mount Rainier National Park
- Avg Rating: 4.16
- Hiking Companions
- Hiked with kids
- Why You Should Go Now
- Wildflowers blooming
- Be Aware Of
- Snow on trail
Tipsoo Lake still has large areas of snow near its SW shore but the trail around the lake is bare. You do have to hop around mud and water running over the shore trail but many people were there doing it in tennis shoes.
Some previous reports made it unclear where the trail goes up to the ridge from Tipsoo Lake. If you take the trail from the parking lot towards the lake, there's an obvious left turn before the lake that heads up the hill (NW side of lake). It's not necessary to walk around the whole lake to pick up the trail going up the hill. If you want to see the iconic view of the lake and Mt. Rainier, walk up the sidewalk along the road. It's not too far from lake to ridge.
You can also park at the lot just over the ridge to do all or part of the loop. The downside is having to walk up the hill (from the lake) to finish the loop. The lot near the PCT requires a pass; the Tipsoo Lake parking lot does not. The Lake parking lot was busy and near full until around 1 pm Sunday. Only one of the two toilets was open so there was a line. There are more at the PCT lot.
I'd say wildflowers are best on the half-mile of road heading up to Tipsoo Lake! Flowers are out at the lake--mostly white--but more are emerging. There aren't many flowers along the trail on the NE side of Naches Peak. I'm pretty sure they would have been more abundant if continuing the loop.
Bugs were not really a problem. Most of the day there was a slight breeze. You occasionally swatted at some in front of your face but they didn't seem to be biting and they were not in force.