Robin Lakes, Deception Pass Trailhead, Seattle: Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Snoqualmie Pass - Central Cascades, Washington
Robin Lakes - 14.5 miles
Deception Pass Trailhead
|Round-Trip Length:||14.5 miles|
|Start-End Elevation:||3,350' – 6,120’ (6,200’ max elevation)|
|Elevation Change:||+2,770’ net elevation gain (+3,460’ total roundtrip elevation gain)|
Robin Lakes - 14.5 Miles Round-Trip
The Robin Lakes are located 7.25 miles from Deception Pass Trailhead in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. These adjacent lakes occupy a deep granite cirque east of Deception Pass facing the glaciated flanks of Mt. Daniel.
This challenging trek begins mildly in the Cle Elum River Valley to Upper Hyas Lake before climbing steeply away toward Deception Pass. It continues on variously eroded and ill-defined segments to Tuck Lake and Robin Lakes with exceptional views of Mt Daniel and Cathedral Rock along the way:
The trail rises 100' to a stream crossing at the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Boundary (.4 miles : 3,458’). It continues through intervals of huckleberry, silver fir, hemlock and Engelmann Spruce to a large open marsh with views of Cathedral Rock (.6 miles : 3,470’).
The trail crosses another stream (1.0 miles : 3,474’) and remains level in mixed timber and a diverse understory to Lake Hyas (2.0 miles : 3,470’). It traces the long east shore with access to multiple campsites, then rises away across numerous side streams and boardwalks to Upper Hyas Lake.
At 3.6 miles the trail turns sharply up switchbacks toward Deception Pass, gaining over 700’ in just .7 miles before moderating to the Tuck Lake – Robin Lake Trail junction (4.5 miles : 4,202’). Turn right for Tuck and Robin Lakes (#1376A | hikers only).
It drops to a stream, then begins a challenging 1100’ climb on a heavily eroded, rooted and narrow path without the aid of switchbacks. Mt Daniel and Cathedral Rock emerge once again on this rapid ascent. Travel finally eases past a loose rocky trail segment up to Tuck Lake (5.8 miles : 5207’).
Finding Robin Lake | See GPS Points #13-17
Just before the privy sign at Tuck Lake, split right toward a large boulder near the shore. A trail climbs above a small beach past this large boulder / open area, then winds up and over a granite hump. Hug the shore closely and avoid side trails leading right (south) to a small pond called Tuck’s Pot.
Cross the logjam at Tuck Lake's outlet (6.1 miles : 5207’), and follow the shore on a trail that quickly rises up a shoulder above the lake. The correct trail will remain within view of Tuck Lake for the first half of the 1290’ climb to Robin Lakes.
The Robin Lakes Trail angles E-SE up the shoulder above Tuck Lake (Tuck’s Pot is the small pond now visible to the west). Conditions deteriorate here on badly eroded and braided tracks.
You'll reach the shoulder top (6.75 miles : 5,785’) and scramble across bare granite marked by cairns. The trail crests over a low rise and drops to the isthmus between upper and lower Robin Lakes (7.25 miles : 6120’). Avoid camping on heather – many bare granite and established dirt sites can be found in the lake vicinity.
- N47 32.687 W121 05.861 — 0.0 miles: Deception Pass Trailhead - 3,350'
- N47 32.969 W121 06.201 — 0.5 miles: Trail flattens after initial climb - 3,470'
- N47 33.305 W121 06.436 — 1.0 miles: Still flat, mixed forest & open areas - 3,474'
- N47 33.640 W121 06.745 — 1.5 miles: Continue gentle terrain toward Hyas - 3,484'
- N47 33.993 W121 07.020 — 2.0 miles: Arrive Lake Hyas & parallel shore - 3,470'
- N47 34.246 W121 07.258 — 2.5 miles: Continue along shore past campsites - 3,460'
- N47 34.514 W121 07.624 — 3.0 miles: Intermittent views of lake - 3,465'
- N47 34.795 W121 08.018 — 3.5 miles: Gentle climb with boardwalk crossings - 3,508'
- N47 34.978 W121 08.058 — 4.0 miles: Scale switchbacks toward Deception Pass - 3,767'
- N47 35.289 W121 08.180 — 4.5 miles: Junction w/ Tuck & Robin Lakes Trail - 4,202'
- N47 35.225 W121 07.788 — 5.0 miles: Climbing steeply toward Tuck Lake - 4,422'
- N47 35.206 W121 07.524 — 5.5 miles: Continued steep climbing with views - 4,870'
- N47 35.295 W121 07.285 — 5.8 miles: Tuck Lake - 5,207'
- N47 35.275 W121 07.169 — 6.1 miles: Logjam on Tuck outlet creek - 5,220'
- N47 35.248 W121 07.094 — 6.2 miles: Begin climbing shoulder above Tuck - 5,300'
- N47 35.118 W121 06.728 — 6.75 miles: Reach top of shoulder on eroded trail - 5,785'
- N47 35.152 W121 06.158 — 7.25 miles: Climb granite slabs to Robin Lakes - 6,120'
- While the Deception Pass trail is well-maintained and moderate, the spur trails to Tuck and Robin Lakes are degraded and strenuous. The trail from Tuck Lake to Robin Lake in particular is a mess of loose, eroded tracks made more confusing by a lack of signs and cairns on multiple trails.
- Trekking poles are recommended on the steep, rugged trails up to Tuck and Robin Lakes.
- The key to reaching Robin Lakes is finding the correct trail from Tuck Lake. Remember to stick close to the shore of Tuck Lake and cross a log jam to access the correct trail up to Robin Lake. Ignore side trails leading to Tuck’s Pot.
Camping and Backpacking Information
- There are no fewer than 8 established campgrounds between Roslyn and the Deception Pass Trailhead.
- From Roslyn to the road split at Salmon La Sac, find: Wish Poosh CG at 7.6 miles from the second circle (903 N.); Cle Elum River CG at 12.8 miles; Red Mountain CG at 14 miles; Cayuse Horse Camp at 16.5 miles; Salmon La Sac CG at 16.85 miles.
- From the road split at Salmon La Sac to Deception Pass TH (on FR 4330), find: Scatter Creek CG at 9.3 miles; Tucquala Lake CG at 9.5 miles; Fish Lake CG at 10.5 miles.
- It's especially important to camp only at established sites and away from the lake shore at Tuck and Robin Lakes, as crowds have had a tremendous impact on these fragile environments.
- An overnight Wilderness permit must be filled out at the TH and carried to camp at Tuck and Robin Lakes. Max group size is 12.
- Campfires are not permitted above 5,000’ east of the crest, or at Tuck and Robin Lakes.
- Fishing is allowed with a valid WA state fishing license.
- Contact the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for more information.
Email: [email protected]
Sport/Commercial Licenses: 360.902.2434
Disability Licenses: 360.902.2460
Rules and Regulations
- A Northwest Forest Pass or $5 fee is required at this trailhead.
- A free day use or overnight Wilderness Permit must be filled out at the TH and carried for the duration of your trip in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
- Dogs must be leashed at all times in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
Directions to Trailhead
The Deception Pass Trailhead is located 32 miles north of Exit 80 on I-90, 30 miles east of Snoqualmie Pass.
From I-90, exit 80 (Roslyn / Salmon La Sac) and turn left off the ramp. Drive 2.1 miles to a traffic circle, continue toward Roslyn and pass a sign for Suncadia resort before another circle at 2.8 miles.
Take 903 north, soon passing through the town of Roslyn where the road doglegs twice, followed by the tiny hamlet of Ronald. Around 8 miles from the second circle, 903 approaches the shore of Cle Elum Lake (reservoir). A number of campgrounds are available along this stretch of road before Salmon La Sac CG – see the Camping section, above.
At 16.5 miles, pass Cayuse Horse Camp where the road narrows and, a hundred yards beyond, splits. Go left at the split and continue another quarter mile for Salmon La Sac campground. Go right at the split (signed for Tucquala Lake) onto a steeply climbing dirt road (FR 4330) for Hyas Lake / Deception Pass. Continue on 4330 for 12.4 miles until the road ends at Deception Pass trailhead and parking area (just past Cathedral Pass TH).
The parking lot holds 25 cars, with overflow parking in the Cathedral Pass lot, which also has bathrooms.
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest | Cle Elum Ranger District
803 W. 2nd Street
Cle Elum, WA 98922
Reference Trail #1376.1