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American Lake

Mount Rainier Area > Chinook Pass - Hwy 410
46.8694, -121.5196 Map & Directions
Length
15.5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
2759 feet
Highest Point
5858 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Hard
American Lake. Photo by Cruiznbye.
  • Wildflowers/Meadows
  • Mountain views
  • Dogs allowed on leash
  • Established campsites
  • Ridges/passes
  • Lakes

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

Hike a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail through meadows of wildflowers and past sparkling lakes with views of Nelson Ridge, Mount Aix and Mount Rainier. This outing makes for a great day hike or backpacking trip. Continue reading

Rating
3.30 out of 5

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Hiking American Lake

Hike a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail through meadows of wildflowers and past sparkling lakes with views of Nelson Ridge, Mount Aix and Mount Rainier.

From Chinook Pass, head south on the Pacific Crest Trail, crossing the highway on the wooden overpass, then traversing the east slopes of Naches Peak, first in forest, then in glorious flower fields.

Pass a tarn and climb moderately to a nice overlook of Dewey Lakes, and in 2 miles come to the junction of the PCT and the Naches Peak Loop Trail.

Turn left here and descend 700 feet in a little over a half-mile to Dewey Lakes, set amid forest and meadows under the cliffs of Seymour Peak. At 2.5 miles, this is a good destination for families and those who want a shorter trip.

Continuing on from Dewey Lakes, the trail climbs moderately past a large marshy meadow with meandering streams, then rounds a shoulder of a high point (known by peakbaggers as Point 6473), and at 5.5 miles comes to little Anderson Lake, nestled in the trees. The trail then climbs a few steeper switchbacks and traverses around another point (this one Point 5982) and the headwaters of Deer Creek with views of Mount Rainier.

At 7 miles in, you reach the junction with the American Ridge Trail. Turn left here and follow the trail a half-mile or so to pretty American Lake below the cliffs of House Rock. Once you’ve arrived, find one of the campsites scattered about the lake and settle in for a well-earned rest.

Seasonal Tip: In early August the wildflower fields are some of the best around, and the fall color is spectacular in late September and October.

Hike Description Written by
David Hagen, WTA Correspondent

American Lake

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 46.8694, -121.5196 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

Parking Pass/Entry Fee

Northwest Forest Pass

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From either the east or the west, take Highway 410 to Chinook Pass and park at the trailhead just east of the pass.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Mount Rainier Area > Chinook Pass - Hwy 410

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Naches Ranger District

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American Lake

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