|Mount Daniel above Lower Robin Lake before sunrise.|
The lakes are most commonly approached from Salmon La Sac, north of Cle Elum. They are often referred to as the "little Enchantments", and for good reason. The resemblance is striking, and the famous view out to Mount Daniel is striking.
The hike to the lakes is not easy. In fact, it's physically demanding and requires navigational skills - especially if visibility is poor. The trail climbing up to Tuck Lake is a root grab on a trail that doesn't believe in switchbacks, and the final path to the Robin Lakes largely follows cairns as it climbs a ridge, then gulley, and finally open granite slab.
|Mount Daniel above Lower Robin Lake at twilight.|
The stats on the route are 14 miles round trip, 3,200' elevation gain. Of course, nearly all the elevation is gained the last 3 miles, so the stats can be a little misleading.
For photographers, this means you will want to choose your gear wisely in order to minimize weight. This can be tough, because I can give you reasons to bring just about every size lens!
|Morning alpenglow on Mount Daniel above Lower Robin Lake.|
I did not bring my 70-200mm lens due to weight concerns. So when the 12 goats, including 5 kids, arrived at my camp and chose to visit me the duration of my stay, I was mostly helpless to photograph them!
The granite lakeshore at both the lower and upper lake make for some nice abstract or close-up photography, especially in diffused light.
For filters, you will want to bring a 2-stop split neutral density filter with you at minimum. A polarizer could also be useful under certain lighting conditions, though I did not use mine during my visit.
These images will be up on my web site soon. You will be able to view these and many other images from the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in my Central and South Cascades Gallery.
As always, thanks for looking and I hope to see you on the trail!