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Owyhigh Lakes

Intermediate
 4.0 (2) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

Experience one of Rainier's most pristine sub-alpine lakes on this relatively easy route.


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Map Key

6.9

Miles

11.0

KM

Out and Back

5,280' 1,609 m

High

3,765' 1,148 m

Low

1,548' 472 m

Up

1,548' 472 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

34%

Max Grade (19°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Treat water before drinking. Permits are required for camping. Permits and current trail conditions are available park-wide from wilderness information centers, ranger stations, and visitor centers. Fires are prohibited. No pets on trails.

Overview

Situated on the eastern slope of Tamanos Mountain (6,530'), Owyhigh Lake is a perfect hiking destination.

In place of the traditional Mount Rainier views, Owyhigh Lakes provides seclusion from other trail users, and multitudes of open-meadow vistas.

Need to Know

Tamanos Creek Camp is located among the trees three miles from the trailhead, and 0.5 mile short of the lakes. Although the creek is often dry by late summer, Owyhigh Lakes provide a reliable source of water.

Description

Drive through the White River Entrance and proceed two miles to a parking area on the right. The trailhead is located across the road.

The trail climbs steadily for 3.5 miles through the forest on a series of switchbacks to reach the lakes. Along the way, you'll be traveling through spectacular forest. Once you've had an opportunity to take in the view of the lakes, retrace your steps to the trailhead.

Flora & Fauna

Although this route offers no views of Mount Rainier, it does offer an array of secluded mountain lakes and meadows aglow with wildflowers in mid-summer. The jagged cliffs of Governors Ridge rise high above the lakes to the east while Tamanos Mountain lies directly west.

History & Background

According to legend, these lakes were named after Yakima Chief "Owhi," who loaned horses to Theodore Winthrop (after whom the Winthrop Glacier was named), when Winthrop was on a trek across the cascades in the mid-1850s.

Contacts

Shared By:

Tom Robson

Trail Ratings

  4.0 from 2 votes

#9

in Sunrise

#3538

Overall
  4.0 from 2 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#9

in Sunrise

#192

in Washington

#3,538

Overall
3 Views Last Month
536 Since Mar 5, 2015
Intermediate

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Photos

Owyhigh Lakes and Governors Ridge/Barrier Peak.
Mar 5, 2015 near Eatonville, WA

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Current Trail Conditions

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Check-Ins

Oct 29, 2017
Josh Gaydeski
No snow on trail, easy but continuous uphill for most of the hike. Made it to the lake in 1.5 hrs, back down was a bit faster. Great trail conditions. 7mi — 2h 45m
Jul 12, 2017
Scott Lane