Dewey Lake, Naches Peak Loop & Pacific Crest Trail


Backpack - Dewey Lake, Naches Peak Loop & Pacific Crest Trail

This 3-day moderate backpack is 21.6 miles with only 1400' of total elevation gain rambling between meadows and lakes with steady views of Mt Rainier (plus lots of time for exploring from camp).

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  • Moderate
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 21.6 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 1,400 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 5,800 ft
  • Pace: 2.5 mph

We will meet at the Three Lakes trailhead on 410 at 8:30AM on Friday August 17, consolidate into cars and drive the hikers back to Chinook Pass to start the hike.  At the end of the hike we'll head back to Chinook Pass to get the cars and head home (depending on how many cars we have - 4 is ideal).  Google map location of the two trailheads:

Directions to Three Lakes TH From WTA:  From Enumclaw, drive east about 47 miles on State Route 410 to the junction with SR 123 at Cayuse Pass. Stay right (straight ahead) to merge onto SR 123–Cayuse Pass Highway. Drive south about 11.5 miles to the junction with the Stevens Canyon Road. Continue south on SR 123 past the Stevens Canyon Road for 0.2 mile, and find the trailhead parking area on the right (west) side of the road. The trailhead is on the east side of the highway.

Experience ridge walking with flowery meadows and views of Mt St Helens and Mt Adams in between camps at lakes on lesser traveled areas of Mt Rainier. This is a one-way backpack with a short car shuttle, from Chinook Pass on Hwy 410 to Ohanepecosh on Hwy 123. The direction traveled loses elevation over the course of three days, though there are many ups and downs.

Planned Itinerary (may change due to conditions)

Day One: hike to Dewey Lake for lunch and maybe a dip, then continue south on the PCT to House Rock and take the trail toward American Ridge and Cougar Lakes. Camp at Cougar Lake, 8 mi from TH.

Day Two: return to the PCT, head south across rocky flower meadows on the ridge crest, reaching the high point of 5,950' as well as a couple of lakes.  Stay on the trail past Laughingwater Creek junction to drop down 700' to Crag Lake to camp (7 mi). or go down Laughingwater to Three Lakes to camp (7.9 mi) - may be buggy.

Day Three: hike back up PCT to junction with Laughingwater Creek trail and hike out past Three Lakes along the creek amid massive old growth Alaskan Yellow Cedars.  (9 miles from Crag Lake, 5.7 miles from Three Lakes).

   Find the distance-elevation profile here.

Leader permission is required.  

Check the current weather report shortly before departure: .   Rain isn't forecast but as always in the mountains you need to be prepared for wet weather just in case.  High temps in the low 70s, lows in the low 50s. The trip is subject to change or cancellation if the smoke conditions deteriorate.

Conditioning:  This trip requires goodconditioning.  We will average about 2.5mph on the trail without frequent breaks.  

Other gear notes:

1. Bear canisters are not required but it may be difficult to find trees to do a good bear hang.   I plan to bring my Ursack. 

2. You should bring some method of water purification.

3. Bugs are likely; bring bug repellant and a head-net is also advised.

4. To reduce pack weight, I will strongly encourage sharing gear, especially stoves, cooking pots, water filters, and tents. 


Dewey Lake, Naches Peak Loop & Pacific Crest Trail

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  • See full route/place details.
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, UrSack 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