Tipsoo Lake is not an unusually large lake. In fact, to me, it’s more like a pond. It’s tiny, and it doesn’t even form into a big enough body of water to be called a lake until very late into the summer. As you can see from the summer shot above, I took one photo in mid-June and the one below in late October. No matter the season, a random visit to Tipsoo Lake is always spectacular. I find myself driving the 2-hour drive after work during the long days of summer so that I can catch a magnificent sunset.
What makes this lake popular is the location it has relative to Mount Rainier. When the snow melts, it provides that perfect quintessential postcard photo from Rainier National Park. It is also very accessible by car via the Chinook Pass and does not require an exhausting hike to get to. As such, Tipsoo Lake is one of the most photographed landscapes in the United States of America.
Photographers could easily spend hours waiting for the perfect shot of Mt. Rainier as it reflects on the lake. The Naches Peak Loop nearby offers impressive flowers, mountain tarns and epic views of Mt. Rainier. During season its wildflowers also rival those found at the Paradise meadows, and once the snow melts, provide spectacular landscapes. The Chinook Pass is also one of the best areas in the state of Washington for viewing autumn colors.
The Chinook Pass to Tipsoo Lake is accessible during the summer months and usually closed during winter. Check with WSDOT for road closures and conditions.
If you’re up for it, hiking the short loop trail around the lake is a great way to take in the views. If you’re up for a little bit more of a challenge and excellent views, you can do a moderate trek up to Dewey Lake or Sheep Lake as both straddle a portion of the famed Pacific Crest Trail.
|Exposure||Manual exposure, Multiple, ISO 100|
|Lens||Sony FE 24-240mm|
|Location||Rainier National Park, Washington|
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