Pets allowed
Allowed
Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
3.00 mi (4.83 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

There are many ways to access Granite, Bertha May, and Pothole lakes, but hiking in from NF-8410 using the Teeley Creek Trail presents the most direct access and is thus a great choice if you are looking for a shorter trip or a family-friendly adventure. The easy hike leads through beautiful stands of old-growth forest with Douglas firs, vine maple, and devil's club as constant companions. You'll get plenty of views of Mount Rainier, but your closest views will be of the Sawtooth Ridge that frames the basin for this trio of lakes. This jagged ridge is aptly named, and its peaks beckon to hikers spending a night or two in the region.

From the trailhead, you'll encounter Pothole Lake, the smallest of the three, after just a quarter mile. Grab a snack here, because the trail climbs a bit before it reaches Bertha May Lake in about a half mile. If you are here for an overnight, you'll find a backcountry campsite along the north shore of Bertha May Lake, or you can continue across the outlet for Bertha May Lake and walk the short distance to Granite Lake for two more campsite options. Of the three lakes, Granite Lake is the highest, largest, and comes with some of the most spectacular views of the Sawtooth Ridge. Each has its own character, however, and really this hike is about the sequence of lakes along such a short and accessible trail. Of course, if you want to extend your adventure, there is no shortage of beautiful destinations to aim for. Consider Cora Lake on the Big Creek Trail if you are looking to add a few more miles to your day, or loop around to climb to the High Rock Lookout Tower for excellent views of the entire area.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Summer
Fall

Congestion

Moderate

Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass

Pros

Clear alpine lakes. Easy backpacking hike. Family friendly.

Cons

Clearcut at trailhead.

Trailhead Elevation

3,640.00 ft (1,109.47 m)

Net Elevation Gain

560.00 ft (170.69 m)

Features

Backcountry camping
Old-growth forest

Suitable for

Biking
Horseback

Location

Field Guide

Nearby Lodging + Camping

Comments

10/15/2015
Camped at Berry Creek near the 6 mile marker on Skate Creek Road. Hiked the three lakes trail on Thursday. It was quite lovely. Lots of dispersed campsites along Skate Creek Road or along the 84 Road that leads out to High Rock Lookout and the Three Lakes Trailheads.

Lovely hike.
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