Tuck Lake, Deception Pass Trailhead, Seattle: Alpine Lakes Wilderness - Snoqualmie Pass - Central Cascades, Washington

Tuck Lake - 11.6 miles

Deception Pass Trailhead

Tuck Lake

Tuck Lake

Round-Trip Length: 11.6 miles
Start-End Elevation: 3,350' – 5,207' (5,207’ max elevation)
Elevation Change: +1,857’ net elevation gain (+2,173’ total roundtrip elevation gain)
Skill Level: Strenuous
Dogs Allowed: Yes
Bikes Allowed: No
Horses Allowed: Yes
Related Trails:

Tuck Lake - 11.6 Miles Round-Trip

Tuck Lake is located 5.8 miles from Deception Pass Trailhead in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. This rugged trek begins mildly in the Cle Elum River Valley to Upper Hyas Lake before climbing steeply away toward Deception PassTrail Map | Photo Gallery

It continues on variously eroded and ill-defined segments to the steep-sided bowl holding Tuck Lake. The Robin Lakes are located 1.2 miles and over 900' above Tuck Lake on a more navigationally challenging route. Visitors will enjoy big alpine views and a deep backcountry setting on the hike to Tuck Lake:

The trail rises 100' to a stream crossing at the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Boundary (.4 miles : 3,458’), and continues through intervals of huckleberry, silver fir, hemlock and 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 Hyas Lake (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’).

Scale the lake's steep walls for an aerial view of the basin, or continue on this challenging route to Robin Lakes.

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Interactive GPS Topo Map

Key GPS Coordinates - DATUM WGS84

  • N47 32.687 W121 05.861 — 0.0 miles: Deception Pass Trailhead - 3,350'
  • N47 32.969 W121 06.201 — 0.5 miles: Trail levels 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: Follow shore past numerous campsites - 3,460'
  • N47 34.514 W121 07.624 — 3.0 miles: Continue in and out of sight of lake - 3,465'
  • N47 34.795 W121 08.018 — 3.5 miles: Gentle ascent with boardwalk crossings - 3,508'
  • N47 34.978 W121 08.058 — 4.0 miles: Steep switchbacks toward Deception Pass - 3,767'
  • N47 35.289 W121 08.180 — 4.5 miles: Tuck - Robin Lakes Trail Junction- 4,202'
  • N47 35.225 W121 07.788 — 5.0 miles: Steep climb toward Tuck Lake - 4,422'
  • N47 35.206 W121 07.524 — 5.5 miles: Continue steep climb with views - 4,870'
  • N47 35.295 W121 07.285 — 5.8 miles: Tuck Lake - 5,207

Worth Noting

  • 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 Lakes. Ignore side trails leading around Tuck’s Pot.
  • Trekking poles are recommended on the steep, rugged trails up to Tuck and Robin Lakes.
  • 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 an indistinct mess of loose, eroded tracks made more confusing by a lack of signs and cairns on multiple trails. 

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 Information

  • Fishing is allowed with a valid WA state fishing license.

  • Contact the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for more information.

  • wdfw.wa.gov/fishing/
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. 

Contact Information

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest | Cle Elum Ranger District
803 W. 2nd Street
Cle Elum, WA 98922
509.852.1100

Reference Trail #1376.1

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