Cathedral Rock-Deception Pass-Tuck & Robin Lakes


Backpack - Cathedral Rock-Deception Pass-Tuck & Robin Lakes

A 26 – 29 mile loop backpack with up to 7000’ total elevation gain over three days of hiking.

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  • Very Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 28.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 7,000 ft

Eastgate Park & Ride

A 26 – 29 mile loop hike with up to 7000’ total elevation gain over three days of hiking.  Hike starts and ends at Hyas Lake – Deception Pass trailhead, 12.5 miles north of Salmon la Sac.   We’ll hike the loop clockwise, starting on trail 1345, follow the PCT from Cathedral Pass to Deception Pass, and then take trail 1376 back to the trailhead.  On day one we’ll decide as a group between three camping options, two of which involve side trips.  On day two we’ll go a bit off the loop to camp in the vicinity --- and explore as desired --- Tuck & Robin lakes. 

Route difficulty level (based on elevation gain) is “Very Strenuous”.

Tuck & Robin lakes are pretty special, often offering views of mountain goats.  The loop circumnavigates Hyas Lake, and the Cathedral Rock area is beautiful, and impressive.

This trip includes quite a lot in a relatively short distance: A chunk of PCT hiking, the beautiful Cathedral Rock area, fun and adventure in a side trip (and campsite) near Tuck & Robin lakes, and all in a “loop” hike.  It also offers some options of just “how to do it”, and in particular a decision to camp the first night at one of (at least) three options: (1) Deep Lake (easy camping, but 3.5 miles out of the way and 1200’ extra elevation drop and then gain the next day). (2) Peggy’s Pond, less extra elevation, but also extra hiking, and a somewhat “exposed” route --- we won’t take this route if the entire group isn’t very comfortable. (3) Haul water 1 to 1.5 miles from Squaw Lake to dry camp in the vicinity of Cathedral Pass or Cathedral Rock.

Day 1: About 2200’ of elevation gain. Depending on our decisions, day 1 will involve up to 8.1 miles of hiking, but perhaps less.

Day 2: Again, depending on decisions, could be as much as 4500’ elevation gain, and up to 12.5 miles.  But very possibly somewhat less, and some of the elevation gain at the end of the day could be without packs (just exploring Robin Lakes area).  My inclination will be to camp in the vicinity of Tuck Lake.

Day 3: About 8 miles of hiking and only a few hundred feet of elevation gain.

According to the Foothills branch classification system, this makes it a “Very Strenuous” route difficulty and “Challenging” leader difficulty level.   Indeed, you should not sign up for this trip if you’re not in decent shape and already have some backpacking experience.

“Hazards” for the trip include a couple of water crossings on the PCT that cause some to be a little nervous, depending on time of year and water flow.  Bugs are of course possible.    Trip leader has hiked this entire loop a couple of times before, and parts of it several more times.

This trip is open to 18+ Mountaineers, but is part of the B3 Backpack course.  B3 Students will get credit for this trip.


Cathedral Rock-Deception Pass-Tuck & Robin Lakes

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports