Trail Description Distance, round-trip: 12 miles Elevation gain: 2700 feet Hiking time, round-trip: 6 hours Wilderness camps: Yes For the first mile the trail has a gentle grade. It then becomes a steady but gradual climb for the next two miles. After these first three miles, the trail ascends steeply for the next 3.5 miles until its junction with the unmaintained East Boundary Trail. Beyond the junction, it descends slightly for a half mile until reaching Three Lakes. Along the Trail The trail follows Laughingwater Creek as it leads hikers through the forest. Stop to enjoy the loud and soothing sound of the creek from its bank. Atop the ridge hikers will find three small mountain lakes.
Mount Rainier can be seen by taking a short half-mile hike beyond the third lake and emerging from the forest into an open area. Trailhead Location Drive one mile north of Ohanapecosh on SR 123. Park on the west side of the road at Laughingwater Creek. The trailhead is across the highway. Backpacking The camp at Three Lakes is one of four in the park where stock is permitted. With or without stock, permits are required for camping. Camp only in the designated sites. Camping adjacent to the lakes is prohibited! 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. Treat water before drinking.