Trail Description Distance, round-trip: 7 miles Elevation gain: 1350 feet Hiking time, round-trip: 3.5 hours Wilderness camps: Tamanos Creek The trail climbs steadily for 3.5 miles through the forest on a series of switchbacks. For hikers traveling beyond the lakes, the trail continues uphill a short distance to the pass then drops 4.8 miles along Kotsuck Creek to a junction with the East Side Trail. A final .4 mile uphill section leads to SR 123. According to legend, these lakes were named after Yakima Chief "Owhi," who loaned horses to Theodore Winthrop (after whom the Winthrop Glacier was names), when Winthrop was on a trek across the cascades in the mid-1850s. 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. Trailhead Location Drive through the White River Entrance and proceed two miles to a parking area on the right. The trailhead is located across the road. Backpacking Tamanos Creek Camp is located among the trees three miles from the trailhead, and .5 mile 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.