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.