|September 1, 2008 I realized when I left the Deception
Pass trailhead at 10:30 a.m. for a 16 mile roundtrip hike to Robin Lakes
that it was unlikely I would reach my destination before my turn-around
time. But the sun was shinning and I was happy just to be heading into
the Alpine Lakes Wilderness to the area known as the little
Enchantments. The trail gains little elevation over the first few miles
as it travels through open woods typical of the eastern slopes of the
Cascades. I stopped for a minute at marshy Hyas Lake to admire the
views of Cathedral Rock then hurried past the lake to where the trail
suddenly starts to switchback steeply for a long half mile. The grade
eases for the next half mile until it reaches the junction of Tuck &
The Tuck & Robin Lakes trail is a fun trail to hike, despite all the horror stories about how hard it is. The trail dips and climbs, charges up rock slabs and provides amazing views as it weaves in and out of the woods. The payoff for the steep climb comes at the first sight of beautiful Tuck Lake, a deep blue lake surrounded by granite cliffs. The guide books warn about the many side trails that dead-end at cliffs and pools of water, but I still lost precious time wandering around before I finally found the main trail that leads to Robin Lakes. The trail is marked by cairns, and it gains elevation rapidly as you scramble up the rocks. Once again, it is a fun trail with spectacular views. The wind was cold and I stopped to add a layer of clothing even though I was still hiking uphill. The brisk wind was a bonus, though, as it meant there was a complete lack of bugs.
I was still about 300í below Robin Lakes at my turn around time, and I decided that if I pushed on to reach Robin Lakes, there would be no time to enjoy the scenery. I reluctantly turned around and was amazed by the views that had been accumulating at my back. Mount Daniel dominates the landscape here and provides a stunning backdrop for Tuck Lake. Who knew? It is hidden out of sight from the lake shore.
Iíll save Robin Lakes for another day, but I was more than satisfied with this hike to Tuck Lake.