A very popular trail through the Pasayten Wilderness, the Tatoosh Buttes trail gives hikers one of the most stunning views in the area. Enjoy 360-degree views, wildflowers, meadows, and wildlife as you connect between the Pasayten Airstrip and Hidden Lakes. Walk through a recent burn site and ponder the effects of wildfire on the ecosystem as you can still see many burned trees and plenty of wildflowers. If you're spending the night, be sure to admire the unobstructed view of the stars and listen for nighthawks and owls.
There is no trailhead to the Tatoosh Buttes trail because it connects two others deep in the Wilderness, so your best bet is to start at the trailhead for Hidden Lakes or Robinson Creek. Traveling west to east, starting from the Robinson Creek trail, turn right just before you reach the Pasayten Airstrip to get onto the Tatoosh Buttes trail. The first portion of the trail is a pleasant climb through the forest, gaining 200 feet in the first mile. Listen for Lease Creek along the way and cross it after the first mile.
At this point, the grade becomes much steeper as you climb the ridge to reach the top of the Buttes, gaining most of the total 2900 feet of elevation in five miles. Along the way, the trees open up to spectacular views of meadows, rich with wildflowers and wildlife. Ahead of you, enjoy seeing Ptarmigan Peak, and on a clear day you may be able to see Osceola Peak, Mount Carru, Mount Lago, and Dot Mountain. Many hikers opt to go off the trail at the top of the Butte and traverse Tamarack Ridge with aspirations to climb Ptarmigan Peak. Be sure to look back and see the Pasayten Airstrip from above.
Once you have crested the ridge, descend steeply and follow the trail until you reach the junction with the Hidden Lakes trail, right in between Middle Hidden Lake and Big Hidden Lake.
This trail is part of WTA's Lost Trails Campaign. Learn more about how we're saving lost trails across the state here.