Dewey Lake Trail
The Dewey Lake Trail is a 9.7 km moderately trafficked trail in Mount Rainier National Park that features a lake and wildflowers. This is a hike that demands the right season: between late July and September, you’ll enjoy a flower-clad trail, a lake warm enough to swim, and ripe berries along the path. In the early shoulder season, there is significant avalanche risk from the late-melting Naches Peak north chutes, an overwhelming troupe of mosquitoes, and too much mud to pass through easily. Now, don’t let this turn you off! In the midsummer and when the fall colors turn, the Dewey Lake Trail is absolutely wonderful.
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Route Description for Dewey Lake Trail
The Dewey Lake Trail is a perfect hike when done in the right season, lined with blooming flowers and leading to a sun-warmed lake just begging you to swim. It requires no technical skill and offers the chance to extend your hike along a section of the Pacific Crest Trail.
We recommend waiting until mid-July to do this hike. Earlier in the season, there is a serious risk of avalanche from the north Naches Peak chutes. Additionally, the trail is often snowy or extremely muddy until warmer weather comes, and the bugs can be overwhelming. Don’t take it off your list, just come in the peak summer season for the best experience!
The trail begins from the PCT trail at a signed trailhead. You’ll be able to smell the lupine before you enter a flower-filled meadow. Turn left and follow the trail for 0.3 km to the crossing over Highway 410. Begin circling around the north side of Naches Peak. Cross over a couple of gullies before entering a basin containing a small tarn.
Continue on the PCT, taking care to stay off the small, informal trails around the tarn, climbing to a viewpoint at 2.7 km. Look for Dewey Lake and a small unnamed lake in the valley.
Continue to the junction with Naches Peak Loop. If you want to sneak in some great views of Mount Rainier, take the Naches Peak Loop Trail for 0.2 km west to a viewpoint, then return to the trail.
You’ll descend 213 m to Dewey Lake on a trail that is initially in bumpy condition but smooths out soon enough. Once you’re at 4.7 km, you’ll find two unsigned trails in the lake basin. The trail to the right goes around the unnamed lake to two campsites and then loops around Dewey Lake. The second trail to the left goes to another campsite and then a beach, which is great for those wanting to take a swim. You can explore the area as you please before retracing your steps to the parking lot.
Insider Hints for Dewey Lake Trail
- You’ll need a Northwest Forest Pass to access this trail.
- The trail is best hiked in the middle of the week if possible to earn some solitude.
- Hike midweek or early in the day to grab a campsite by the lake.
- Bring plenty of bug spray on this trail.
Getting to the Dewey Lake Trail Trailhead
To get to the trailhead for the Dewey Lake Trail from Enumclaw, head east on State Route 410 for 70.8 km to Chinook Pass. Just after the pass (about 0.3 km), turn left into the parking lot.
Dewey Lake Trail Elevation Graph
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Dewey Lake Trail Reviews
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