Cathedral Rock to
Deception Pass Loop, WA
September 3-5, 2005  

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Cathedral Rock (on Peggy's Lake)
See Trip Plan Below
See Wild Flowers Below

View Slide Show

It was Labour Day long weekend. I rushed off work to drive to the border, expecting long lineup. Surprisingly, there was virtually no cars at the time I crossed the border at 5:15pm. Smooth drive on I-5 & I-405 took me to I-90 at no time. At it approached exit 52 on I-90, there came my nightmare of traffic jams. I meant bumper to bumper traffic jams. Finally I arrived at the town of Cle Elum at 9pm, where I was going to stay a night at a motel before I headed out for my big solo hike.

It was a gorgeous day to start my trip, a little cloudy with sunny breaks. I drove from Cle Elum, through Roslyn, Ronald to Salmon La Sac, and then went up a Forest Service Road to Tucquala Meadows Campground. It was a long brutal drive up the F.S. Road, windy and bumpy.


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This Bakery opens at 6am.
I stuffed myself 3 croissants
here before I headed out
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This is Cle Elum Lake.
Can't believe it was so dried up.
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So, ..I first did Deception Pass Tr., then looped back thru Cathedral Pass Tr.

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Here I went, the trailhead.
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Passing thru ...
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Cathedral Rock (from Tucquala Meadows)

This solo trip started off on a flat trail along the Tucquala Meadow, and reached Hyas Lake. It was a wide trail maintained by the US Forest Service. People can run their horses on this trail too. Besides the view of Hyas Lake, no one can resist the view of Cathedral Rock, standing tall on the side of the lake. It was like Mona Lisa smile, no matter what angle you were looking at the Rock, it gave you that "Look".

Lots of very neat and nice campsites along the Lake. I wish one day I would be back there and camped. The trail turned steep and I reached the junction to Tuck & Robin Lakes. After 1 hour of steep climb, I reached Tuck Lake at 5270 ft. It was rewarding, not from the lake, it was the breath-breaking view looking down Hyas Lake, and across to Cathedral Rock.


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Hyas Lake
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Awesome Campsites at
Hyas Lake

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Trailhead up
Tuck & Robin Lakes
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Had some Huckleberries on the way up Tuck and Robin Lakes.

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What's that ?
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It's me !

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Cathedral Rock, Hyas Lake & Upper Hyas Lake
(shot from the trail up Tuck & Robin Lakes)

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Excuse me ! Can I use the restroom ?
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Tuck Lake
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My cmapsite at Tuck.

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Tuck Lake
(shot from the trail up Robin Lakes)
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Mt. Daniel
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Lower Robin Lake

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Granite Mountain &
Upper Robin Lake
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The runoff of Upper Robin Lake

From Tuck Lake, I had to scramble around to look for a loose trail up to Robin Lakes. Yeah it was almost an unmarked trail. The trail was so torn that I basically bulldozed for at least a good 45 mins, and finally got to a rock face, which a lot of cairns marked the trail.

Robin Lakes (Upper & Lower) was a true Glacier Level Lake, standing above tree-line with crystal clear water. Lots of people were camping there, at least 30 people. Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to keep going up to Granite Mountain and Trico Peak. It would have been a good side trip (another 6 km and 1500 ft gain/drop).


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Cathedral Rock & Lower Robin Lake

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Cairns (marking the trail between Tuck & Robin)
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Sunset at Tuck Lake

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This jay visited my camp.
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I was on part of the PCT.
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Huckleberries again.
They're everywhere.

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I didn't eat these huge pine cones.
The squrriels did.
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Does it look like someone's un-mown backyard ?
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Imagine crossing this creek during high waters !

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Oooops, Cathedral Rock again !
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Sorry, gotta stop for the berries...
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Guilty, can't deny having some wild huckleberries.

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Hey man, I crossed thru these boulders.
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What now ? Blueberries !

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Suddenly, no more huckleberries. Blueberries are everywhere now.

On the second day, I went from Tuck to Deception Pass and connected to part of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). PCT runs from Mexico thru California, Oregon and Washington into BC, Canada. I was quite excited about this part. It was a well-maintained trail, no doubt about it. And the amazing part of it, huckleberries and blueberries were everywhere on this trail. They made good treats. Literally, I stopped more than 20 times for the berries. Look at my hands (pictures above).


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It's long road ...
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Me & the C Rock
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Which way ?? Huh ?

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Deep Lake
(shot from the trail to Peggy's Lake)
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My campsite at Peggy's Pond

I arrived at a pond, which I mistakenly thought it was Peggy's Lake. I set up my camp, and realized that the real Peggy's Lake was another 15 mins up the hill. I got the real Peggy's Lake and "Wow" the view was stunning/ Cathedral Rock was standing on this Lake. No wonder there were a lot of people here. I still liked my solo and quiet camp down at the little pond. I took a lot of pictures at this lake.

I went back down to my camp, and scrambled around on some big humps. I could see Deep Lake from high above. It was blue.

It finally couldn't hold off any longer. Mr. Rain came and started to drizzle on us for a long 3 hours. There went my evening. But surprisingly, I woke up the next morning and found that my tent was completely dry. Wind must be blowing very hard last night.


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The C Rock (shot from Peggy's Lake)
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Peggy's Lake
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My signature shadow

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I thought it's a lake.
This year was so dried, the small ponds were dried up like this.

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That is the "dried-up" pond.
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Cooking dinner ...yummy !
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Coconut rice with chicken

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You know what this is ....
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Deep Lake below.

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Yes, I passed through on that rocky patch.
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My shadow was in action.

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Frosty Trail (7:45am)
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Call the CSI ...
We need to capture the prints.

My final day was supposedly a short hike, but because I changed plans the day before, I woke up a bit early (5:30am) to start off my hike. As soon as I crossed over the other side of the ridge, the trail was frozen up, ice-hard!! I marched through the frosty trail for a good long hour until the trail dropped to 4000 ft. I passed through Squaw Lake (which I planned to stay the night before but I didn't), quiet and calm. Nobody was there when I was passing through.

And then, all I remembered was downhill switchbacks, switchbacks, downhill and more switchbacks. There were no berries and no views. I felt so bad for hikers coming up this way, but I shouldn't complain. I was going home.


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Squaw Lake (like a mirror)

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Look at the size of this fallen tree.
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Finally, back to my truck.




Wild Flowers

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One of my favourite pictures from this trip

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Location: Cathedral Pass Decption Pass Loop, Alpine Lake Wilderness, Washington

Distance: 31km total with Tuck and Robin Lakes as side trips

Map: Alpine Lakes Wilderness Folded Map, 1:100,000,
Alpine Lakes Protection Society, 3rd Edition (It is available at REI.)

Trail Book: 100 Hikes in Washington's Alpine Lakes, Trail 74 Deep Lake, Trail 75 Cathedral Rock - Deception Pass Loop, and Trail 76, Tuck and Robin Lakes

Resource(s): Topo Map of Cathedral Pass Deception Pass Loop  or My Trip Plan  or Topo Map of Cathedral Rock Vicinity (3.2MB File)



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