Tuck and Robin Lakes
  • ISO: 200
  • Shutter speed: 1/250s
  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Focal length: 16mm
  • Camera: X-T2

This was the second annual (only 9 years apart) Brother’s Camp Trip. We last camped together in Rainier National Park in 2011. There’s a video. Good luck finding it.

This time, we opted for an overnight backpack up to the legendary and popular Tuck and Robin Lakes out of Cle Elum. The weather was forecasted to be warm (hot, even) and the crystal blue waters of the alpine lakes called to us.

We rendezvoused at the trailhead around noon on Saturday, the 25th and set out after divvying up the food and gear. Billed as a strenuous hike, it certainly lived up to its name, especially in the heat with overnight packs aboard.

The first 3 miles were mild, as we expected. Well shaded and with minimal elevation gain, we cruised along the shoulder of Lake Hyas and then began looking up to our right, trying to spot our destination. The trail turned and began to steadily climb. After the junction, the trail turned almost vertical and pushed quickly up the mountainside.

Before we knew it, we had arrived at Tuck Lake and we set about locating a campsite, dropping packs, and swimming (briefly).

The mosquitoes, though… brutal. Surprisingly brutal for late July. The views were spectacular and we enjoyed a nice sunset looking across the valley at Mt Daniel.

Sunday morning, we grabbed water bottles and cameras and explored our way up to the Robin Lakes basin, 900′ above our campsite at Tuck. It was gorgeous, although Drew and I with our cameras weren’t impressed with the flat light at high noon.

After exploring the area (and yes, briefly swimming), we headed back down to Tuck to grab lunch and discuss bailing options. Originally, we had planned to camp Sunday night as well but the mosquitoes were relentless. Having seen both lakes and enjoyed a slice of the area’s beauty we were anxious to be in a bug-free environment (major props to Leavenworth’s mosquito district!).

We quickly packed and began down the trail, spurred on by the mosquitoes. A couple hours later, we were back at the cars and headed for Leavenworth to refuel and relax and heal from the bites.

Worth it. See y’all in 2029.

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