Tuscohatchie Lake Trail is a 12.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near North Bend, WA that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from April until October.
This hike is a forest hike and waterfall scramble to Upper Tuscohatchie Lake. The majority of the hike follows established trails from the Talpus Lake trail head up to the Lower Tuscohatchie Lake. From there you follow Tuscohatchie Creek up two waterfalls and past two small ponds to reach the secluded Upper Tuscohatchie Lake.
It's was beautiful but took a while but worth it
In July 1961 my friends and I hiked these trails. Unfortunately there was not trail to the Upper Tuscohatchie Lake. It was a pretty lake but not really accesable at that time. The Lower Lake and Pratt Lake I hiked with friend twice. My Dad and his brother hiked to Pratt Lake in the late 1930's or early 1940's. Pratt Lake had a cabin you could stay in, when we got there the cabin was a about four logs high. Lower Tuscohatchie had a cabin that I will post photos of later.
Nice trail with plenty of changing coverages. The trail that shares the beginning of Granite Mountain was your typical I-90 2000+ elevation gain lake hikes. Easy switchbacks, decent grade, good young-growth intersparsed with oak trees. The turn-off for Granite Mountain is somewhat unnoticable because it is in-line with the trail direction and does not stick out. This trail takes you to the top of the ridge of Pratt lake Basin and forces you to loose at least 300 feet to get back into the basin and lake-level. Pratt Lake is not the most scenic lake in the Alpine Lake Wilderness, but it is an easier hike when it is dry.
The photo in this review looks more like the north end of Lake Melakwa than Upper Tuscohatchie.
Followed the same path the previous reviewer mentioned, parked at Talapus, past Olallie and Pratt, however this hike is much longer than 12 miles, by my friend's and my estimate it was closer to 16-17 out and back following the path we chose. With that being said I would not recommend the last portion of this trip (between lower Tuscahatchie and upper). Once past Pratt you are close to the lower lake and it is beautiful, very peaceful and very few hikers, up to Olallie there can be crowds but few venture further for their day hikes. What's left of the day hikers seemed to stop at Pratt, we only saw two other groups at Lower Tuscahatchie. We went around the left bank of Lower Tuscahatchie and about 3/4 of the way around ran out of trail, we fought the brush for about 45 minutes to make it up to the first pond above the waterfalls where luckily there was snow packing down the thick brush, the second pond was directly behind the first and we followed the falls behind the second 'peanut' shaped pond to a huge rock scramble covered in snow. The rocks were very slick in spots and difficult to maneuver with our overnight packs on. The upper lake was still covered in snow, however it didn't look like it had been seen in years. Definitely not a soul around us when we got there. Realizing we wouldn't be able to camp and fish at the upper we fought our way through the brush to get back down to Lower Tuscahatchie and had a nice camping spot. From the parking lot to lower Tuscahatchie the hike took about 4 hours with a couple stops at each lake, from Lower Tuscahatchie to upper and back took us about 4 hours and we only stopped at the upper for about 15 minutes (to give some perspective, the distance between the two was probably at most a mile). This could be a cool hike if the trail were extended to the upper lake, not worth the cuts and difficulty of fighting your way through thick brush without a trail though. Stick to the Lower Tuscahatchie and enjoy its beauty.
I completed this hike as a teenager with a friend back in the 90's. We parked at the Talapus Lake trail head and had a fairly conventional hike following the established trails up to Lower Tuscohatchie Lake. This included nice views of Talapus Lake, Olallie Lake, and Pratt Lake along the way. Once we reached Lower Tuscohatchie Lake we found the creek that leads to Upper Tuscohatchie and followed it. This took us past two beautiful waterfalls and through a couple of ponds that looked like they had hardly been visited. We eventually arrived at Upper Tuscohatchie and spend a few days camping out and doing some AMAZING fishing. Great hike. There were quite a few hikers along the first stage of the trail but it quickly thinned out the deeper into the mountains we went.