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Hike of the Month – Tuck and Robin
By: Daniel Lupastean
Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Roslyn
Length: 15.6 total miles
Elevation Gain: 3,700 feet
Skill Level: Strenuous
Duration: Day-hike or backpack overnight
Season: Best midsummer through fall
Trailhead Elevation: 3,300 feet Top Elevation: 6,330 feet
Happy trails, Dan
Hiking time to Tuck 2hrs 51mins
At last, my first overnight hike of the first part of this hike is fairly easy with no real summer. With summer being in full swing, I decided to make this month’s hike of the month worthwhile. My first initial plan was to do Enchantment Lakes, but with the clock winding down towards the end; the Enchantments ended up being completely reserved and I didn’t want to take my chance on the lottery draw. As my plan went south, I ended up doing a very similar hike people call mini Enchantments. To reach Tuck & Robin Lakes, you must pass through the historic town of Roslyn. Once you pass the little historic coal mining town, you continue to drive towards the Deception Pass trailhead. As the pavement comes to an end, you will continue on a dirt road for about 1 hour until you reach the (Deception Pass 1376) trailhead. Once I finished my 1hr long drive on this slow dreaded dirt road, I reached a parking lot full of cars. With the Northwest Forest pass hanging on my rear view mirror, I gathered my gear and started my hike at 11:47am. The elevation gain. In about 40 minutes, you will reach a lake called Hyas Lake. I didn’t stop there and continued up the trail towards Tuck Lake. The trail starts to climb gradually after you pass Hyas Lake about 1hr or so into the hike. As I started to gain more elevation, the trail started to get really steep and reminded me of hiking Mailbox Peak. In some parts of the trail, you will have to use both hands to climb over rocks and tree roots. The hike to Tuck Lake is about 2 miles off the main trail of Deception Pass. I reached Tuck Lake about 2.38pm. The views are simply incredible of Tuck Lake. The lake was completely snow free with massive rocks and trees surrounding the lake. I didn’t stay long at Tuck Lake as I wanted to reach Robin Lakes before evening came around. The hike towards Robin Lakes is also a bit tricky. I found the main trail by bushwhacking up the side of the mountain by well-marked stone cairns. Once you hit the main trail to Robin Lakes, your climb will continue to become more steep. There are some points in the trail where you will have to look out for the stacked stone cairns because the trail will disappear into all the granite rock face of the mountain. I reached Robin Lakes from Tuck Lake in about 1hr 20mins. Although the hike to Robin Lakes is only 1.7 miles from Tuck Lake, most of the incline is fairly steep. As I continued to look at the amazing views of Robin Lakes and the surrounding jagged mountain peaks, I spotted 3 mountain goats near the base of Robin Lake. After about 10 minutes the mountain goats made their way up to where I was without any kind of hesitation. As curious as the mountain goats were with my presence, they made circles around me and some other-fellow hikers I met at Tuck Lake. Although we outnumbered
the mountain goats 4 to 3, I dare not take any chances getting gorged to death by their fierce sharp horns. As my blood pressure remained normal, I took this opportunity to capture some pictures and videos of these magnificent creatures. Two of the goats were armed with horns
and one goat was actually a baby, always following her mother close behind.As the mountain goats continued to get closer to us, we decided as a group that it would be best to head back down to Tuck Lake before any of us got traumatized with one of the sharp horns from the goats. Although I didn’t get to stay much at Robin Lakes, the scramble up to the lakes was well worth the excitement and experience of these mountain goats. I then waved good bye to the goats and started to make my way back to Tuck Lake. I reached Tuck Lake about 5:40pm and decided it would be best to set up camp. With camp all in place, I managed to fix myself a meal and then do some exploring around Tuck Lake with what light was left in the day. I ended up spending the night at Tuck Lake next to the 3 people I meet earlier in the day, just before my ascent to Robin Lakes. As 10:30pm rolled around, I decided it would be best to hit the sleeping bag.
The next morning, I woke up around 7am and started to gather up my gear and make my way back to the car. I left Tuck Lake around 9:30am just before I said my farewells to my camping neighbors. With
the sun out in full swing I started my descent back to the base of the mountain. Upon heading back, I encountered a few hikers going to different locations of the main Deception Pass trail. As my weekend couldn’t get any better, I managed to encounter a porcupine. To my surprise I have never spotted a porcupine the in the wild, with the 22 years that I have lived in Washington State. As the porcupine made its way across its log, it managed to pick up my scent once it hit the main hiking trail. With a little spook from me, the porcupine scampered off and started climbing a tree out of harm’s way and into safety. Might I add, these little spiked creatures are great tree climbers. I captured some video and great pictures of the little bugger. I quickly got back on the trail and started my way back to the car. I arrived back at the car at about 1pm in the afternoon. As always make sure you carry your basic 10 essentials and give yourself enough time to enjoy your hiking experience. For those looking to do an overnighter at Tuck Lake as I ended up doing, make sure you bring enough gear to have a pleasant overnight hiking adventure. Although its summer and the weather is hot during the day, I would highly recommend bringing a warm jacket for the night, as cold wind temperature tend to drop.