Chinook Pass (Hwy 410) in Washington State is for us very easy to reach, and because of that we hike on this section of the PCT very often. Be it dayhiking or backpacking, I am on it often from mid-summer to late fall, every year.
In September of 2006 I attempted the section of Chinook Pass to White Pass (Hwy 12), but turned back due to a friend’s injury that was hurting her. The day was in the clouds as we started. We came in via Mount Rainier National Park to save time.
And dropped down to Dewey Lakes:
We made it to about a ½ mile past the American Ridge trail turnoff.
It was still a good trip even if we had to turn back. It was a chilly trip, flittering between cold winds, clouds and the sun.
We camped at Anderson Lake, which is in Mount Rainier National Park, the campsite itself is across the trail, tucked into the NF land and hence you don’t need a permit from the park (you won’t see it listed on the NP website either, but it does exist).
It is one of the nicest campsites on the PCT in Washington. You have water right there, trees for shade and even protection from the elements, some of the best huckleberry picking areas….
And the views looking towards Eastern Washington are simply amazing when the sun sets.
The next morning we woke to clear skies and hiked back up, which is always a good cardio workout…as you have quite the climb out of Dewey Lakes.
The payoff was seeing Rainier on a glorious morning, with almost no one else out.
I’d come back and get the section done…but it would take a year before I had the time…..