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Trip Report    

Backpack - Tatoosh Ridge

Trip was re-routed because the FS prohibits camping in the Tatoosh lakes basin and there is no other water source on the route. We went to Packwood and Lost Lakes nearby instead.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles

Just before the trip it was pointed out to me by another participant that camping in the Tatoosh Lakes basin is prohibited.  I've never heard of the FS outright banning camping before, but apparently it is the reality several places in the Goat Rocks.  Fortunately my scramble for a nearby alternative turned out pretty good.  Our alternative route took us to giant Packwood Lake, which is an easy 4.5 miles, the trail almost flat.  From Packwood Lake we hiked up the ridge to the east which is a steep 2.5 mile climb to Mosquito pond where the trail grade eases. It's another 1.5 miles to Lost Lake but at a much easier grade.  Lost Lake sits in a small cirque below the Coal Creek mountain ridgeline.  Before dinner we hiked the trail that goes around the lake and up the ridge for views.  Found a ghost forest on the ridge, views of Rainier, MSH and some of the Goat Rocks.  There is an old fire lookout site a bit further up the ridge (6300') and two of our party made it there while the rest of us stopped at about 6000'.   Lost Lake has some good campsites and the meadows were full of flowers.  A party of 3 who camped nearby caught fish in the lake for dinner.  Hike out the second day was much easier as it was almost entirely down hill.