Tuck and Robin Lakes

The Hoods did it again. They took me on a fantastic adventure in the mountains where memories will live forever. It only seemed fitting that this trip was just around the same time that we met 6 years ago in the mountains at Marmot Pass. After years of failed attempts for permits into The Enchantments, we trekked into Tuck and Robin Lakes (often referred to as the “mini enchantments”). It was also a hike Jamie had always wanted to do since she grew up taking family trips to this area. Her grandparents actually used to have a cabin in the nearby fields, but it has since been demolished.

We started our trip on a Friday morning, heading out to the Snoqualmie Salmon La Sac region. I have spent many times camping along Salmon La Sac and the Teanaway over the years, but never went this far northeast to Fish Lake, a popular car camping spot just before the Deception Pass Trail on the Tucquala Meadows Trailhead.

We spent a beautiful day relaxing and floating down the little river. A much needed getaway from the city! Views of cathedral rock from our campsite and a meadow of wildflowers was just what our souls needed.

To mix it up a little we hiked into Hyas Lake and enjoyed some more sunshine and hooping!

After stuffing our faces with Jamie’s homemade blue cheese meatballs and spaghetti (with tomatoes from her garden of course!), we were reluctant to pack up camp and head into the mountains. Kevin suggested that we make a day trip of it (16 miles out and back), but I knew that once we were at the top I would never want to leave. Plus these is nothing more satisfying that watching the sunrise from the top of a mountain.

We were alarmed with the amount of cars parked at the trailhead (heavy overflow into the roadway), and wondered if we would be able to keep the peace and quiet at the top or if it would be party central. We tried to hit the trail first thing in the morning, but didn’t really head out until closer to 8 or so. But off we went!

The first 3-4 miles of the trail is fairly flat, with very little elevation gain. They save all 3,000 feet of elevation gain for the last 3 miles! Lucky us! I took zero photos during this part as I was just trying not to die in the heat with a heavy pack (I was tenting solo this time so I had a heavier pack than normal). The flies were also pretty relentless, we were eaten alive anytime we stopped for too long, so that kept us moving. I blame the horse dung on the first part of the trail. 🙂

Getting to Tuck Lake, we were immediately greeted with beautiful rock islands in the lake. We decided to make Tuck lake home for the night and make a day trip into Robin Lakes the next day. Lucky for us Kevin scouted some camping spots for us so when we arrived we didn’t have to wander around too much. Once upon arriving at Tuck Lake, it’s a bit of a cluster trying to find any kind of trail. With mostly rocks to climb upon, you really just have to guess on where to go. We saw several groups of people who seemed a little lost trying to get to Robin Lakes from our camp spot. One poor guy even hid his pack while he went pack free to Robin Lakes and had a bit of trouble trying to find his pack again (he found it eventually).

I would not have been happier with our camp spots. My tent was on a rock ledge overlooking Tuck Lake, with the perfect platform for jumping in! And you bet we went swimming.

Kevin and Jamie had a camp spot just over the ridge behind my tent so we got to enjoy some beautiful mountain views from their site.

We spent the day swimming, relaxing, exploring, and of course, hooping. Pure bliss.

Sunset love.

This photo doesn’t do the sunset glow on the alpine trees justice. Since the flies were unforgiving, we quickly called it an evening and spent some time watching the glow of the sunset dip behind the trees and reading. I decided to sleep without a rain fly for the first time ever, and that night was the best star gazing I have ever witnessed from my tent. The only thing that could have made it better was if there had been someone to cuddle with! 🙂 But oh well.

Jamie came and woke up up for the sunrise and we cozied up and watched the sunrise from her tent (the poor bugs wouldn’t leave us alone outside). There are not many feelings I love more than the stillness of morning, the smell of fresh dew, and watching the warmth of a sun rise over the mountains. We hardly saw any other campers the entire time we were here. Maybe 3 or 4 other groups. But with the trees and running water around us, we felt like we were the only ones there!

After an amazing breakfast, we made our way to Robin Lakes! Lucky for us someone left some nice carins that helped mark the trail, but it was still a little difficult to find our way. I can’t really imagine trying to make the climb and scramble with a huge pack on. there were some steps that required pulling myself up and squeezing between boulders.

On the way up, we ran into several groups of folks who had camped at Robin Lakes. Apparently it was quite the party at the top. One group in particular was really loud, so I think we were glad we decided to stay at Tuck Lake. We pushed on with the remaining mile and a half to Robin Lakes. But when we got to the top, oh my how glorious was the view:

Right away, I saw my very first mountain goats!! It took everything in me not to squeal and run up and hug them. Instead I spent the next 15-20 minutes observing and taking photos.

Sandy Lam Photography

It wasn’t until they traveled past me, that I even NOTICED Robin Lakes. And they’re pretty hard to miss. This is the actual view once I just turned my head left (the goats were on the right).

Some unknown girls had a close encounter with the herd after I turned away. I tried to see if anyone knew these girls from the PNW Outdoor Women group, but to no avail. If you recognize yourself, contact me! I am happy to send you these photos to keep. It was an amazing moment!

We didn’t spend too much time exploring. We were in such wonder and awe. All I wanted was to hoop in this magical oasis of nature.

The best part of having a best friend who is an amazing artist herself, is that she knows how to create the perfect vision you had for yourself. Jamie snapped this amazing photo, even though a group of goats were right behind her! It was alarming because as you can see form the photo above, there is no where to go but into the water once you are at the edge. So in order to capture the photo below, she had to be brave! She even snapped the next couple of goat photos before sneaking away!

Our time at Robin Lakes felt so fleeting. We could have spent forever there. I can only imagine what the sunset/sunrise looks like from there. But we did our best to enjoy the time we had there. We found two Rainiers in the lake someone left behind, so that was great to enjoy while admiring Mt. Rainier from afar.

  

My favorite lovebirds.

Friendsies for life. I love these two with all my heart. Words will never be enough how much these two mean to me.

    

We reluctantly made our way back down….the afternoon heat made for a slow walk home, even if it was downhill. But after we finally reached the car, we celebrated with Kevin’s homemade kombucha and Jamie’s muffins. 🙂 Another great adventure in the books!

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