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Tatoosh Ridge Trail is a 11 mile lightly trafficked out and back trail located near Paradise Inn, Washington that features beautiful wild flowers and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and horses and is best used from July until September. Horses are also able to use this trail.

Length 11.0 mi Elevation gain 4,081 ft Route type Out & Back
Hiking Horseback riding Nature trips Forest Views Wild flowers Wildlife Bugs Over grown Snow No dogs
Description
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Getting There

No fee. A free self issued wilderness permit is required and is available at the trail head. No camping is allowed within 100 ft of the lake basin. Limited water available on this trail, recommend to carry all the water in. To get to Tatoosh Lakes, use the #161B turn off. Trail 161A goes to the peak and can be reached via both the north and south trail heads. Horses are not allowed on trails 161A or 161B.

A federal Northwest Forest Pass is required to park here

Gifford Pinchot National Forest Cowlitz Valley Ranger Station 10024 U.S. 12 Randle, WA 98377 Tel: 360.497.1100

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.

Weather
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Reviews (107)
Photos (185)
Recordings (76)
Completed (168)
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Mary Ann Peterson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 12, 2020
Hiking

Wonderful old girl with enough smoke to choke a horse

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Damon H
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 4, 2020
Hiking

Long dirt road to the trailhead with potholes but you can make it in a car. Not an easy hike but definitely worth it when you get to the peak.

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Logan Moose
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 1, 2020
Nature trips

Did a 3 day two night backpacking trip with a friend so we could have plenty of time to wander the amazing alpine meadows and ridge lines. The pack in from the north entrance was brutal with a 50 pound pack but still better than using the south entrance if you ask me. The views once you’re out of the dense forest here are worth any amount of labor! If you’re backpacking in late summer take every opportunity you can to purify more water. Highly recommend reaching the split in the trail about 6 miles in and heading north to the frozen lake to get plenty of clean water. We found it was easiest to side hill to the right of the trail and work around the ridge into the lake.

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Trippin Steve
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 10, 2020
BackpackingGreat!

Overnight stay review: Carrying 25 lb pack to hike to Tatoosh ridge was moderately strenuous and straight up for a majority of the hike to the ridge. The hike up was strenuous but the hike down was a breeze. The first leg of the hike is in dense forest and then slowly the views become more expansive! I only remember 2 or 3 very small streams for water sources besides the pond that sits below the ridge. The pond below the ridge is partially frozen but I was able to get water from it easily. I used micro spikes and poles to get down and up, it was very steep. Camped at the top of the ridge, pretty cold, guessing about 40 degrees at night. Wildflowers are in bloom and the ridge was absolutely incredible in the early morning light. Enjoy

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Jeff Hamilton
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 9, 2020
Hiking

Amazing hike, definitely will do this hike again on the future!

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Torin Holmes
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
BackpackingGreat!

Gorgeous views, a challenging climb, and lightly trafficed

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Adam Halvorsen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 8, 2020
Hiking
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Andrea Turner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 7, 2020
Hiking

Did this as a backpack Friday to Saturday (Aug 6-7). Didn’t pass anyone on the trail on the way up although there were a few cars at the trailhead. It’s definitely a good grade and a lot of up. Once out of the trees, the upper wildflowers and meadows are fantastic. We made camp just after the pass, above the lake, as there is no camping anywhere in the lake basin. We enjoyed the turquoise lakes for awhile and in the evening followed the trail to the ridge. Wow, just an amazing segment of the trail! Overgrown a little but flowers everywhere. A couple rocky parts to be sure-footed and careful. We enjoyed sunset up on the ridge - completely in solitude. Didn’t pass anyone the entire time. The tarn at the top still was iced over. Grand 360 views of all the volcanoes. The last push up to the ridge was my favorite part. This whole side trip added 6+ miles. So it’s wasn’t quick. But amazing! Headlamps heading back down to camp. Light drizzle a tiny bit through the night and then awoke to mist and gray. So thankful we got the previous day to see those big views. Passed sooo many hikers and backpackers heading up on Saturday when we were coming down. Definitely busy on the weekend. The trail is tight and really challenging to pass people. Make sure to wear a bandana/mask as you can’t ensure 6 feet almost anywhere passing on this one. This hike made my top 10! Just amazing.

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Jack Craig
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 7, 2020
HikingOver grown

Hiked on 8/2 . Great views and no crowds. We witnessed a helicopter EVAC for a few hunters that fell down a creek bed

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Lindsay Brownlee
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 3, 2020
Backpacking

One of my new favorite hikes / backpacking locations in this state. Challenging, gorgeous, hardly anyone else out there. No snow and very little bugs (!!)

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Rose M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 2, 2020
Hiking

The wildflowers are incredible right now. Snow free to summit

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Mike Drummond
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 28, 2020
Hiking

Summited Tatoosh Peak and another peak overlooking the Tatoosh Lakes - both were so worth the climb! Wildflowers were again amazing, and hike up to the peaks wasn’t very snowy at all. Only one spot along the trail that was somewhat dicey with a climb down across a small melting snowfield. We were able to slide down the mountain on some leftover snow after reaching the top of Tatoosh too!

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Rachel Breanne
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 28, 2020
HikingGreat!

Favorite hike of my life.

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Mike Drummond
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 27, 2020
Hiking

Great trail with a ton of wildflowers and awesome views of all of the surrounding mountains (Rainier, St. Helens, & Adams)! The side trail down to Tatoosh Lakes is a must see - beautiful glacial lakes spread out below waterfalls of rushing snowmelt! Very empty trail with few hikers and even less people camping.

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Barbara Goble
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 21, 2020
HikingBugsSnow

We hiked up to the ridge on 7/20 from the Packwood side. We weren’t able to make it to the lakes because of snow covering the trail. Gorgeous views and wildflowers! Water, sunscreen, and bug spray a MUST.

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Kelly Tackett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 19, 2020
HikingBugsSnow

Spikes and poles definitely required to make it to Tatoosh peak. Probably also need them to make it down to the lakes right now, but the look out by the lake and the peak about a mile down from that are a go without any snow gear! Beautiful views of MT Ranier, Hood, and St Helens throughout the trek! Camped at the 6200 ft peak, lots of wind over night and bugs in the morning, but worth it for the amazing sunset and rise.

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Jimmy Haitch
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 18, 2020
BackpackingBlowdownIcyRockySnowWashed out

A great hike. Trail is in very poor shape due to wash outs and land slides, it has been that way for several years. It is quite sketchy. Spikes and poles needed to cross the snow on the slopes. Amazing flowers and green mountain sides. One of the best hikes in the whole area. This review is from the north trail head, camped at the ridge before you go down to the Tatoosh lakes.

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casey m
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 12, 2020
Hiking

No bugs. Some fresh water just before the lake turn off. Limited tent spots, with a couple at the lake turnoff and a couple on ridge line. Remember, no camping allowed at lake basin.

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Ukat Ebanataw
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 4, 2020
HikingSnowWashed out
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Julieta Martinelli
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 4, 2020
HikingOff trailSnow

I did this hike on Monday, June 29 and there was still quite a bit of snow the second half of the hike. Spikes and poles were necessary and so was a gps map because route finding in the snow was hard. I was about a mile away from the peak but decided to turn back because snow was slushy and unstable, clouds were low making vis pretty poor and there was no one else on the trail. I’d recommend holding off maybe a week on this one.

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Taryn Abarta
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJune 28, 2020
HikingSnow

Snow covering the trail before the turn off for the lake. Plan accordingly.

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Chris Tess
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 27, 2020
HikingBugsSnow

Trail was in good shape but snow at the top. Couldn’t see any views fog and wind. Very good work out

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