Key: 2011-09-17:     2011-09-17:     2011-09-18:    

Tuck Lake

A wet 2 day trip to Tuck Lake in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness

Begin Date:

End Date:

2011-09-17: 2.22 mi
2011-09-17: 3.73 mi
2011-09-18: 5.63 mi

Total: 11.59 mi

Maximum Elevation*:
5366.08ft (1636.911m)

Minimum Elevation*:
3358.72ft (1024.929m)

Gallery for this adventure:
Click here

* This is derived from GPS data and can have major discrepancies due to poor GPS reception.

Trip Report:

Friday 9.16.11 - Deception Pass TH to Hyas Lake:

We had a rather typical start to the weekend, trying desperately to get out of town and to the trailhead before nightfall. As it were, we arrived at around 6PM. That was enough time to get out to Hyas Lake but not much further without hiking in the dark.

Our original hopes were to get all the way up to Tuck Lake and then Robin the following night but a compromise had to be made. Also the spot we happened upon at Hyas was shockingly nice considering that it was the USFS's annual high buck hunt weekend and the trailhead parking lot was almost filled to capacity.

The trail to Hyas was in expectedly good shape being such a heavily trodd path. There isn't any blow down and the brush is still reasonably cut back for a late summer hike.

Our campsite was also in great shape being one of the many that live on Hyas's shores. It had a nice private beach with easy access and a well used fire ring complete with comfortable log benches. The iconic Catherdral Rock also stood high above reflecting off Hyas's mirrored surface making for a wonderful photo op.

Saturday 9.17.11 - Hyas Lake to Tuck Lake:

The day greeted us with chilly temps and a very short rain shower which gave way to high clouds and even some occasional sun breaks. That's obviously not ideal, but we were excited to still have views of the surrounding peaks. In our opinion the views are the main appeal of our destination. Unfortunately Mt Daniel could only hold off the impending heavy rain clouds for so long and as we began on the way trail to Tuck, showers began to fall.

For a way trail, the trail to Tuck is a good one, reminiscent of sections of Mailbox Peak's popular trail only far shorter. There isn't any semblence of switchbacks but the grade is managable provided a few quick breaks are taken on the way. Blowdown also isn't typically cleared but doesn't provide much trouble to negotiate.

Despite the showers on the way up the trail we arrived at Tuck just afternoon and were treated to an almost perfectly timed parting of the clouds. Daniel and Cathedral Rock came into full view across the valley as warm sunlight helped to dry off or packs and jackets.

Seeing ominous clouds swirling beyond Daniel let us know that the break would be short lived. It aslo helped us decide that Tuck would be as far as we would go due to the fact Robin Lakes would almost certainly be socked in for the rest of the day.

Tuck has plenty of good spots and we took the one directly across the connector between Tuck Pot and the lake proper. We spent the rest of the day listening to college football on AM and chatting with passng hikers mostly about the assumed weather up at Robin Lakes. Based on what most were reporting, it would seem we made good choice, though there were plenty who continued on, so perhaps it was still worth the climb.

Sunday 9.18.11 - Tuck Lake to Deception Pass TH:

As the weather forecast predicted there was plenty of rainfall. It was off and on during the night and like clockwork became heaviest as we struggled to pack up our tents and hit the trail. There's nothing like a good soggy hike back to the car to make us remember how much we love Washington weather, just in case we had forgotten.

Even with the neverending rain and the mud, we made it back to the car without incident. Sure we were wet, and maybe a bit cold, but its hard not to be in good spirits coming back from a good hike in beautiful country. After all, any hike where you make it back will be remembered as a good one.