Tuck and Robin Lakes Backpacking | Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

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ElementalFX
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Tuck and Robin Lakes Backpacking | Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

Post by ElementalFX » January 8th, 2019, 12:18 am


Short film/video of the beautiful views along this trail.

I'll post a full trip report soon enough (hopefully). (I know I'm already super late at this, haha... bear with me. :lol: )
Just wanted to share the short film above for now! It's chronological, for the most part. The first part of the video is from the first day, and it finishes on the last day. Gives you an idea of what the whole hike is like!


To briefly summarize, we started out going the standard route to Tuck and Robin Lakes. Wildfire smoke caused some haze for the first two days. Steepest trail I've ever seen! Much of the lower part to Tuck Lake was steep, with lots of loose dirt, and full of exposed roots. The second part, from Tuck to the Robin Lakes, was very steep and rocky. Lots of granite slabs, bedrock, and boulders.... hand-over-foot climbing over granite in many places. Challenging, but so very beautiful!

From Robin Lakes, we set up camp in a spectacular site. Could see both lakes from camp. On the second day, we did some "off-trail" exploration above the lakes, heading towards the Granite Mountain Potholes and Phoebe Lake. There's some user trails that you pick up, and leave, from time to time, while going to the Granite Mt. Potholes.




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Robin Lakes, the west-side one (the first one you come to, when arriving.)


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Robin Lakes (the east-side one)


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Milky Way at night. Camera does poorly at high ISO, which is why it is noisy. And because of the wide aperture, it resulted in Flutterbat being blurry.


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Mount Daniel on the last day


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Granite Mountain Potholes and Phoebe Lake


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Tons of goats that weren't afraid of humans. A few walked past Flutterbat and the camera.


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Robin Lakes


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To explain the plush, it's for an event called "Ponies Around the World" and a personal project/tradition of mine, heh. It's all I have edited at the moment, so it will have to suffice for now, lol.

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retired jerry
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Re: Tuck and Robin Lakes Backpacking | Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

Post by retired jerry » January 8th, 2019, 5:46 am

goat photo bombed you :)

I've heard about that area. Was it too crowded? Alternate to the Enchantments maybe

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ElementalFX
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Re: Tuck and Robin Lakes Backpacking | Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

Post by ElementalFX » January 8th, 2019, 8:08 pm

retired jerry wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 5:46 am
goat photo bombed you :)

I've heard about that area. Was it too crowded? Alternate to the Enchantments maybe

It did! haha. A baby or young goat ran after that one, too–caught that one on video. (It's at the 8:08 minute mark on the video.)
Screen Shot 2019-01-08 at 8.16.40 PM.png

The area, when we got there, was not crowded at all... this was during a week-day. We were the first or second ones there, and someone else came shortly after us. We got maybe the best campsite? (Located right in the middle between both lakes; and had a stunning sunset view of Mt Daniel over the "west" Robin Lake. "East" Robin Lake is like a big pothole; and just as stunning. The site in a grove of trees and between the two lakes also has another advantage–it is much further away from the highly-trafficked entrance. Most hikers seem to camp on that end of the lake.

Once the weekend came, hordes of people started arriving. Friday we were off day-hiking, and when we got back in the afternoon, there were quite a few others there. There were also quite a lot there on Saturday, although some were leaving and others arriving.

Thursday–the day we got to Robin, it was basically empty. One or two groups at Tuck Lake down below, and a quite a decent amount of people at Hyas Lake on Wednesday (but even that one wasn't too crowded. The upper Hyas Lake is probably less crowded, too. We stayed there the first night, after the long drive from Oregon.)

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turboherb
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Re: Tuck and Robin Lakes Backpacking | Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

Post by turboherb » January 9th, 2019, 10:36 am

Thank you for allowing me to relive my many trips into Tuck and Robin. I have camped the same place you did and also between the potholes which is a great site. There is a third pothole higher up the hillside as well. There used to be a lake below the potholes that was acessed via a steep and very rocky trail that started at the far end of the middle pothole. Last time I was there that lake was gone. It had dried up and was now a field of wild flowers. I started going there when they put restrictions on the Enchantments as that had been my go to place every August. Did you get up to the French potholes above upper Robin? Beautiful area and well worth the effort to get there. Mid week is definitely the best time to be there.
Turboherb
"life is short - walk faster"

olderthanIusedtobe
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Re: Tuck and Robin Lakes Backpacking | Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

Post by olderthanIusedtobe » January 11th, 2019, 2:13 pm

Nice photos and video. Beautiful place. I've enjoyed several trips up there.

olderthanIusedtobe
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Re: Tuck and Robin Lakes Backpacking | Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

Post by olderthanIusedtobe » January 11th, 2019, 2:18 pm

retired jerry wrote:
January 8th, 2019, 5:46 am
goat photo bombed you :)

I've heard about that area. Was it too crowded? Alternate to the Enchantments maybe
I've day hiked up there several times. I haven't tried backpacking there on a weekend. From what I hear it's frequently overrun and it wouldn't be surprising if this eventually goes the way of the Enchantments and requires advanced permits and has quotas. There's a fairly limited number of established campsites, so I imagine there are a lot of tents pitched haphazardly in places that aren't that well suited for it.

There is also camping lower down at Tuck Lake. There might be more established sites at Tuck than up at the Robins, but less options for just winging it. Robins are fairly open and meadowy, also lots of slabs. Tuck is wooded and not many flats spots.

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Bosterson
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Re: Tuck and Robin Lakes Backpacking | Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

Post by Bosterson » January 11th, 2019, 2:56 pm

olderthanIusedtobe wrote:
January 11th, 2019, 2:18 pm
I haven't tried backpacking there on a weekend. From what I hear it's frequently overrun and it wouldn't be surprising if this eventually goes the way of the Enchantments and requires advanced permits and has quotas.
I went there on a weekend in 2014 and the Robins were full by the time we got up there from the TH on a Friday. (The much longer drive from PDX really ruins your chances of getting an early start and a good spot!) Even the parking area was pretty much full if I recall. We ended up camping a little ways away from the lake, towards the Potholes and Trico, but it was fine. Everything is more crowded now than even a few years ago, though, so I wouldn't be surprised if it's worse these days.

I don't know how they would quota only the Robins, since that TH accesses the PCT and lots of other areas. The Alpine Lakes are actually rather large, which is why the Enchantments fever is so inane; however the proximity to Seattle means lots of people can get out to any of those areas with minimal effort. I recall that the Tuck & Robin area was noted to be "popular" back when I was planning my trip though, and it was definitely more crowded than other spots accessible from that same TH, like Peggy's Pond, which we went to the next day.
Will hike off trail for fun.

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oldandslow
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Re: Tuck and Robin Lakes Backpacking | Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

Post by oldandslow » January 12th, 2019, 8:31 pm

I went to Robin Lakes twice in the 70's. Both times on a weekend. The first trip the only other people we saw at Robin Lakes were three young women clad only in socks and hiking boots.
The second time a friend and I took our kids and had an all-time great camping spot.
Robin Lakes 2.jpg
Very few people and no goats.
A few years later when I went to the Enchantments, there were no goats. Where did they come from?

olderthanIusedtobe
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Re: Tuck and Robin Lakes Backpacking | Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

Post by olderthanIusedtobe » January 13th, 2019, 4:05 pm

oldandslow wrote:
January 12th, 2019, 8:31 pm
Very few people and no goats.
A few years later when I went to the Enchantments, there were no goats. Where did they come from?
Spontaneous generation?

It's purely anecdotal, but it seems to me like there are more goats throughout the Washington Cascades than there used to be. Like compared to 15 or 20 years ago. That's been my experience anyway. I don't remember there being ANY goat activity along the Mountain Loop Highway when I first moved to the Seattle area and started hiking a lot in '96. Now I've encountered them various places out there and seen pics/read TRs of others that have also encountered them.

Places like the Enchantments and Robin Lakes (also Lake Ingalls) that are popular backpacking destinations they've become quite habituated to people and enjoy the salt deposits we provide, so I think they fairly much flock to those areas.

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Re: Tuck and Robin Lakes Backpacking | Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

Post by Aimless » January 13th, 2019, 9:06 pm

It is my experience that human salt deposits (urine) are extremely attractive to both goats and deer in places where natural salt is very rare. I've been followed down the trail by a deer, specifically so it could be the first claimant when I relieved myself. Once I figured that out, after about a third of a mile, I obliged it, because who needs to be shadowed down a trail by a deer a hundred feet behind for miles at a time? When they are salt-starved, you can't drive them off with a stick!

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