From the north trailhead for Tatoosh Trail 161, climb 2.5 miles to the signed junction with Tatoosh Lakes Trail 161B. The spur trail is open to hikers only; not even horses are allowed. Head uphill on the Lakes Trail, climbing 150 feet in an eighth of a mile, then cresting over the ridge to a different view of Mount Rainier. Drop steeply down on good trail. There is just one brief section with loose rocks underfoot. A short way down, a sign reads “No camping fire or stock”. Note that this is now true of the entire Lakes basin, not just where the sign is.
Drop down into Tatoosh Lakes basin at 5150 feet, where the outflow of the chained lakes can be heard gurgling down a small ravine. The trail leads past the two Tatoosh Lakes, which are separated by only 100 feet. Admire the rugged beauty of the cirque that hosts the upper lake. Look at the steep walls due south of that larger lake, and marvel that the original trail down to Tatoosh Lakes wound its way down that slope! (Old maps labeled that path “Dangerous Section”.)
When it is time to leave, return the way you came.
- 6.6 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation Gain
- 3,400 feet
- Highest Point
- 5,750 feet
Hiking Tatoosh Lakes
Map & Directions
Co-ordinates: 46.7132, -121.7160 Open in Google Maps