Olallie Lake, Pratt Lake, Lower Tuscohatchie, Melakwa, Denny Creek Loop Hike

We arrived at the Denny Creek trailhead just before 6:00 a.m. and unloaded two bicycles. Though I meant to lock them to a tree, I closed the U-lock without actually looping both ends of the cable into the lock bar. Oops! We drove down to Pratt Lake trailhead, a few miles downriver, and were on the trail by 6:11 a.m. Note that both these trailheads require a Northwest Forest Pass (or a day use fee deposited in the payment box) and it won’t save you from a ticket unless you actually display it, unlike me who absentmindedly left my annual pass in the glove box. Fortunately, the ranger wasn’t checking today! We were eager to start our loop hike which I estimated to be about 11 miles and approximately 3000 feet of vertical elevation gain.

Two hours into the hike. Olallie Lake overlook with Mount Rainier in the distance.


Kaleetan Peak in the distance. Approaching Pratt Lake basin (foreground).
Descending the trail through a talus field, down into Pratt Lake Basin.
Pratt Lake. Wind zephyrs brushed the surface of otherwise glassy mirror.
Tiger lillies and morning dew beside the trail near Pratt Lake.


Leaving Pratt Lake Basin, approaching Lower Tuscohatchie lake Basin. Kaleetan and Chair Peaks to the Northeast.


Look northeast down the Pratt River Valley. Beautiful pristine wilderness, though some signs of logging evident in the distance on the Middle Fork.
Lower Tuscohatchie Lake


Cascades Frog on the trail. The Wikipedia article mentioned one researcher studying their secretions for pharmacological applications. When are we going to learn to leave Nature alone and respect every living being’s own life? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cascades_frog
Melakwa Lake beneath the towering west face of Chair Peak. We enjoyed a little barefoot wading in the icy cold water after ascending the many switchbacks up from Lower Tuscohatchie Lake.
My hiking buddy next to a giant old grandfather on the descent down Denny Creek trail.


We arrived at the Denny Creek trailhead at 1:51 p.m., 7 hours and 40 minutes after setting out. It took us about 15 minutes of mostly coasting downhill on our bikes and a little pedaling to reach Pratt Lake trailhead. Blessed day!





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