Owyhigh Lakes Trail
- Distance, round trip: 7 miles (with return to White River)
- Elevation gain: 1350 feet
- Hiking time, round trip: 3.5 hours
- Wilderness Camps: Tamanos Creek
Drive through the White River Entrance and proceed two miles to a parking area on the right. The trailhead is located across the road.
The trail climbs steadily for 3.5 miles through the forest on a series of switchbacks to reach the lakes.
Return back to White River, or the trail continues and descends down into the Ohanapecosh River Valley where it connects to the Eastside Trail at Deer Creek, an additional 4.9 miles. From Deer Creek, a trail (0.4 miles) connects to SR 123 where a second vehicle can be parked.
According to legend, these lakes were named after Yakima Chief "Owhi," who loaned horses to Theodore Winthrop (after whom the Winthrop Glacier was named), when Winthrop was on a trek across the cascades in the mid-1850s.
NOTE: Always check current trail conditions before heading out. Log footbridges frequently wash out during the winter or other conditions could be affecting the trail.
Along the Trail
Although this hike offers no views of Mount Rainier, it does offer an array of secluded mountain lakes and meadows aglow with wildflowers in mid-summer. The jagged cliffs of Governors Ridge rise high above the lakes to the east while Tamanos Mountain lies directly west.
Tamanos Creek Camp is located among the trees three miles from the trailhead, 0.5 miles short of the lakes. Although the creek is often dry by late summer, Owyhigh Lakes provide a reliable source of water. Treat water before drinking. Permits are required for camping. Permits and current trail conditions are available park-wide from wilderness information centers, ranger stations, and visitor centers. Fires are prohibited. No pets on trails.