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Trip Report

Tuck and Robin Lakes — Monday, Sep. 28, 2020

Snoqualmie Region
Robins Lakes

     I arrived at the Deception Pass Th at 10:15 and 32 cars were spread out in the 3 parking areas. The drive takes about 45 minutes once you leave the pavement at Salmon La Sac and drive the 12 miles to Tucquala Meadows in a none jeep type vehicle.  There were lots of pot holes, wash board and two big water crossings to drive thru. The pit toilet was clean and stocked with TP. It was sunny, the temperature was 45, but warming quickly. I was on the trail & walking at 10:30.  My destination was Tuck & Robin lakes. Thanks to the trail work party crews who have recently put in 3 new plank foot bridges north of Hayas Lake.

With the recent heavy rains there is no more eating dust on this trail. The trail duff was squishy where the trail is not down to roots and rocks. I crossed 13 creeks / streams before turning off on the Tuck / Robin Lakes trail.  Some of these streams became the trail. Trail traffic was very light and I only encountered 6 hikers on the trail. As mentioned in WTA trip reports and in guide books the going gets tough in the last 1.3 miles to Tuck Lakes. This was my days destination as I arrived at the lakes at 3:15 and did not want to push my waning energy.  It took me 1 hour 15 minutes to navigate this steep rocked and rooted uphill section. The campsite area on the north end of the lake is very soggy. I snagged a spot that did not collect water, all others were way too soggy for me. Poking around in the granite boulder field above the outlet stream I noticed a tent perched high in the  granite boulders. My idea of the perfect campsite.

  Day 2 of my adventure started out great as I was down to minimal gear for the days trek up to Robin Lakes. My fanny pack held water, food, basic first aid gear and an outer layer - wool sweater.  It was sunny and in the 50’s. That left me carrying poles that I frequently had to stow on the many rock climbing sections above Tuck Pot.  At several points on this section rock climbing is required on granite faces up to 15’ tall with loose roots on the sides. Rocks cairns mark the path and often conflicting routes. Once above tree line you start climbing a huge granite rock face that has cairns littered everywhere. I was fortunate to talk to 3 groups descending, all of whom told about the route they took. I went up one way making switchbacks on the granite and came down a steeper route. The Robins Lakes area does remind you of the Enchantments on a much smaller scale. I was disappointed to see a lot of gear left behind from previous hikers including chest high fishing waders, items of clothing and a water filter. With lots of time on my hands I followed a path upward above the last lake to about 6,400’.  What a perfect day with crystal clear blue skies.  Amazing views looking down into the lakes dotted with red and yellow blueberry foliage and in the distance Mt Rainier, Mt Adams and close up Cathedral Rock, Mt Daniel and  Lynch Glacier.  Today I encountered 9 hikers on the trail and poking around the lakes. The perfect campsite in the granite boulders above Tuck Lake was unoccupied when I arrived back at the lake.  I made a split second decision to take down my camp and move to this location.  Previously scouting the route it only took me 5 minutes to relocate.  Watching new hikers arrive at the lake it would take them upwards of 20 minutes to find a safe path down to the log jam you need to cross to continue on to Robin Lakes.

Spectacular star / planet gazing in this location and a new full moon rose just before 9:00 PM.

    Day 3 I broke camp and was on my descent back to the trailhead at 9:00AM.  My descent was quicker, but not by much in the 1.3 miles back down to the connecting trail back to the TH.  I made one pit stop, to shed a clothes layer and grab a couple bites of food and made it back to my car at 12:15.  I passed 13 hikers and 2 dogs all ascending toward Deception Pass or Tuck Lake and 1 descending.  It surprised me how soaked the foliage was in the valley floor along Hyas lake and Cle Elum River.  The pit toilet looked worse for the wear but still had TP. This turned out to be a great late fall backpack trip taking advantage of a good weather window.  Skies this morning already hinted at the high layer of smoke in the sky as it was all white with a pinkish sun. A shout out to Anthony who was eager to stop and chat with any hikers along the trail.

Lower Robin Lake
Hip before Granite Face going up to Robin Lakes
Tuck Pot / Tuck Lake


kmeechan on Tuck and Robin Lakes

how did it look for finding campsites at the upper Robin lake?

Posted by:

kmeechan on Oct 01, 2020 01:15 PM

Outside Nancy on Tuck and Robin Lakes

When I at the Robin Lakes Basin this past Monday I only saw one tent between the two main lakes overlooking both lakes. In my mind the best campsite I could see. A second choice would be on the granite boulders to the left of the stream leading into lower Robin Lake. Reading WTA trip reports from Labor Day weekend it said 35 tents were dotted in this lake basin. I find that hard to imagine as there were not that many near level spots. Enjoy your adventure! Sorry for not responding sooner, I down to Mt. Rainier for another last season day hike today.

Posted by:

Outside Nancy on Oct 01, 2020 09:11 PM