Trail Run Project Logo

Tapto Lakes

Difficult

Trail

1.1 mile 1.8 kilometer point to point
59% Runnable
Difficult

Elevation

Ascent: 795' 242 m
Descent: -276' -84 m
High: 5,995' 1,827 m
Low: 5,210' 1,588 m

Grade

Avg Grade: 18% (10°)
Max Grade: 69% (35°)

Dogs

No Dogs
Driving directions Take a virtual tour
Zoom in to see details
Map Key

Trail shared by Sarah Baker

A steep climb to breathtaking views of some of the best North Cascade peaks.

Sarah Baker

Features Lake · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Description

Tapto Lakes is a must-see destination if you are staying at the Whatcom Pass Campground or are passing over Whatcom Pass and have a little extra time. There are many opportunities to explore the lakes and to take in views of the rugged North Cascade peaks across the lakes.

The trail to Tapto Lakes starts at Whatcom Pass. This "trail" is really more of an unmaintained route that is rugged, overgrown, and is sometimes hard to follow. The route splits multiple times; just try to follow the route that looks the most traveled and it should lead you to Tapto Lakes.

The route starts by ascending steeply through a high alpine forest. You'll soon be above treeline and continue ascending more gently through beautiful meadows and over rocks with spectacular views of Mt. Challenger, Whatcom Peak, Mt. Fury, Luna Peak and many other North Cascade peaks. After climbing 800 ft, the route reaches a high point and then descends over rocks and through boulder fields to Tapto Lakes.

There is some camping at Tapto Lakes, though there is no formal campsite. If you are looking to stay up at the Lakes, you'll need to make reservations with the NPS in the "cross-country zone" called Tapto Lakes.

Run this trail?

We need help with the following missing trail information:

Need to Know, Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes

Contacts

Rate This Trail

Rate Quality


   Clear Rating

Rate Difficulty

Share This Trail

Check In

Check-Ins

none

Trail Ratings

  5.0 from 1 vote

#1039

Overall
  5.0 from 1 vote
5 Star
100%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#69

in Washington

#1,039

Overall
22 Views Last Month
2,160 Since Nov 25, 2016
Difficult

0%
0%
0%
0%
100%
0%

Photos

View of Whatcom Peak and Mt. Challenger from Tapto Lakes above Whatcom Pass.
Aug 21, 2016 near Diablo, WA
The sun sets over Whatcom Peak.
Feb 2, 2017 near Diablo, WA
Head to Tapto Lakes for a sublime spot to take in the evening light.
Feb 2, 2017 near Diablo, WA

0 Comments

Trail Run Project is part of the REI Co-op family,
where a life outdoors is a life well lived.

Shop REI Running