Tatoosh Ridge Trail

HARD 19 reviews
#39 of 107 trails in

Tatoosh Ridge Trail is a 11 mile out and back trail located near Packwood, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and horses and is best used from July until September. Horses are also able to use this trail.

11.0 miles
4,081 feet
Out & Back


horseback riding



wild flowers



over grown


no dogs

From Packwood, drive north 4 miles on Skate Creek Road (Forest Service Road 52) to Forest Service Road 5270. Turn right and drive 6 miles to the signed trailhead on the right.

5 days ago

Stunning hike, one of the best hikes I have ever been on.
The hike is hard for sure, especially the first few miles.
You can get to the Tatoosh Peak now.
Be careful of the trail about 4 miles in, it has washed out, very slippy on the hill sides, use poles.

25 days ago

Hiked 6/26. Easy drive to trailhead, last 7 miles are gravel/dirt but the road is in great condition. This is a difficult and strenuous hike with constant elevation gain most of the time. Past the split to the lake there were a few remaining snow patches covering sections of the trail. Some we were able to walk across and 2 ended right at the trail so we were able to walk right below the trail. After we got our first view of Rainier we hiked around the corner and then had one last scramble with excellent views. Could not have continued past that point even if we wanted to due to snow. The views were excellent and definitely worth the effort!

1 month ago

June 15- absolutely beautiful hike. Very strenuous but definitely worth the views from the top, even on a partly cloudy day. Once we got to the sign where the trail splits to go off to lake/peak, snow got pretty bad. Completely covered the trail beyond that point and we had to turn around. Definitely a later-summer hike. But definitely worth it, regardless!

1 month ago

May 26 2018: Decided to give this trail a try for Memorial Day weekend and it turned out to be too early in the season to hike. We got about 2 miles in and the trail disappeared underneath a blanket of snow! We had to turn around and camp along the forest road. Hoping to come back in summer and give this trail another try. Also the previous comments weren’t joking when they said the beginning of the hike is a ton of butt kicking switch backs.

5 months ago

Last June (2017), we decided end our two week long rode trip with a mini backpacking trail, and this is where we ended up! It was definitely not a trail for beginner hikers, as it took me three and a half hours to go up, and then two hours back down. But it sure was worth it! The views were STUNNING! The lakes were perfect and there was just the right amount of snow that it cooled off the heat from the June sun. We hiked to a little ridge to watch the sunset over the Cascades and damn was it beautiful! We just brought out our little tents and camped off the trail a bit and had a great night. Amazing spot to hike in the summer.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

very beautiful view at the top. great views of mt adams, mt st. helens and of course mt rainer. a steep hike at first then starts to get less steep. lots of flys and bugs and overgrowth on the trail overall a tough but rewarding hike

Sunday, October 19, 2014

I hiked Tatoosh Peak on Oct 4. 2014 using the Tatoosh North trailhead for a 12 mile RT hike that took 8 hours counting stops. Accessible from road 5270, 10 miles from Packwood. Tatoosh Peak can also be accessed from the Tatoosh South trailhead for a 16.4 mile trailhead to trailhead hike. At the north trailhead, parking is on the one-laned road with small pullouts that can accommodate a fair amount of vehicles.

Steps greet you right from the get-go. Shortly you’ll enter the Tatoosh Wilderness and gain 300ft before you start 12 or so strenuous switchbacks that add to its difficulty. You’ll have the forest view for a bit that soon opens up as you start cresting the ridge. You’ll switchback across a spring which is a good water source. If you don’t stop by the lakes, there is no other water source in October on your way to the peak.

As you’d expect in October, wildflowers are dead and meadows are changing from greens to browns, yellows and reds. The vistas are still amazing though. Once out of the forest, the rest of the hike traverses the ridge at about the 5600ft mark and is among the meadows. Soon the junction to Tatoosh Lakes appears. Continue straight if heading to the peak. In a mile or so the contour crosses a ridge where views of the back side of Tatoosh Peak and the Packwood Valley can be seen. Follow this along for another mile or so to a saddle where you can continue on to the South Tatoosh trailhead if you like. It’s a 180 degree view with distant views of the Goat Rocks and Mt. Adams to name a few. Just before the saddle is the junction to Tatoosh Peak. Turn left and climb 400ft following the ridge where the trail can be seen leading to the peak.

Up until now, parts of Mt. Rainier have only been seen a couple times and it comes into full view at the peak. Now, Mt. Rainier is in your face and although it was cloud covered and getting darker, it’s still amazing. Atop the peak Mt. Adams, The Goat Rocks, Mount St. Helens and in the distance Mt. Hood can be seen as well as parts of the foundation of an old lookout. The view isn’t quite 360 degrees as a few trees block the view, but almost. They can be avoided by moving along the peak a few yards. Below the peak is a small glacier fed pond still mostly covered in ice. To the left you can see that the ridgeline continues. After a 15-20 minute lunch I continued along the ridgeline in an attempt to view Tatoosh Lakes, however, was abruptly stopped by a developing storm that traveled from Mt. Rainier to me in no-time. It poured and I found myself with no place to hide and quickly headed back to the peak and down the ridge to the saddle as it continued to rain for 30-45 minutes. By the time I made it back to the lakes junction, I was dry again.

I hiked this 10yrs ago and remember that Mt. Rainier was in your face. I’ve wanted to do it again ever since. Today the timing was a bit off but all things considered, I’d do it again in a heartbeat… albeit during wildflower season.

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

I started at the north TH as described in the driving directions but I'm pretty sure you can also start from a south TH as well. This is a really pretty hike with huge green slopes and wildflowers galore. It was a really hot day out and the climb is fairly steep, so I was warn out by the time I made it to Tatoosh Peak. Plenty of bugs to keep me company too. There is not much shade at the top so I recommend getting an early start and bring sunscreen. The views are worth it and even if you can't make it all the way to the peak there is a well defined short trail up a ridge that you come to about 1/2 mile after turning right at the Tatoosh Ridge/Tatoosh Lakes junction that offers some excellent views.

Friday, June 13, 2014

I've done this trail 3 times now and am always in awe of it's beauty! The first couple miles is all switch backs through tree line, but with enduring patience, you'll get the most tranquil meadows! Keep hiking up to the top and sit on the peak facing Mount Rainier!

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

So amazing views from the wildflower meadow, maybe around 10 different types of wildflowers and at least 3 different butterflies. This hike is a steady and constant climb but the payoff is large. The road to the trail has some rough spots but I made it on a car. Flies were a bit annoying but tolerable. Overall great hike, but be ready for a climb!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Did this hike weekend of July 6th 2012. It is definitely a steady climb but don't be discouraged by all the reviews. If you start early enough and take a few breaks along the way this trail is accessible to those of us not in "ideal" shape. Unfortunately the trail is covered by snow near the top so I wasn't able to make it to the lakes. It was disappointing to not get to the lakes or the remains of the old lookout as we had perfect weather for 360 views. I'd say we got to about 4700' of the 5250' the lakes are marked at. Had I have had yak trax or microspikes the trail would have been ok to cross from what I could tell.

Despite being denied my destination the hike was still lovely. The forest service road sign 5270 is beat up and very difficult to see also the mileage from the sign to the TH is more like 4-6 miles than the 2.2 noted on my directions. My dog loved the hike but please bring water for your four-legged-friends as there is not much along the trail.

I will attempt to get to the lakes again but looking like mid-August. I saw one other person on the trail all day. It was lovely to have the mountain to just me and my dog.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Steady climb on this hike, biting flies kept us moving at a steady pace, older dog wore out so we turned around before completing entire trail to the ridge. Beautiful wildflowers! Plan to try again and leave the dog at home.

21 days ago

10 months ago

11 months ago

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Friday, July 29, 2016

Sunday, October 05, 2014