Tipsoo Lake Photography - Visit Rainier
Wildflowers, mountains, and a lake.

Tipsoo Lake Photography

This easily accessible lake lies just below Chinook Pass along Highway 410 and offers visitors abundant parking for views to write home about. The lake sits in a meadow just below Yakima Peak (north) and Naches Peak (south).

There’s much to entice a photographer; rugged Governor’s Ridge, the ancient volcanic plugs of the Cowlitz Chimneys and Mount Rainier shimmering like a mirage under its burden of ice and snow.

In summer, it’s a must-see area for wildflowers and in autumn, the fall foliage is nothing short of brilliant. As with Sunrise, the road to Chinook Pass closes when significant snow accumulates, sometimes as early as October. Want a pro-tip? Bring mosquito repellent and apply it liberally because mosquito bites make lousy souvenirs. 

Find more information about Chinook Pass and Tipsoo Lake.

Q: Where is Tipsoo Lake? 

A: Located off of Highway 410, the Mather Memorial Parkway part of the Chinook Scenic Byway. GPS coordinates are 46.8691° N, 121.5175° W. From Enumclaw, drive east approximately 47-miles on State Route 410 to the junction with SR 123. Stay left to continue east on SR 410 another 3 miles. Park in the Tipsoo Lake parking lot on your left just past the footbridge marking Chinook Pass.

Q: Can I go swimming at Tipsoo Lake? 

A: No. Swimming is not permitted. Tipsoo Lake is a fragile environment. Please stay on the trail at all times. Do not enter the water at Tipsoo Lake.

Q: Are the wildflowers blooming in early June? 

A: No, usually there’s quite a bit of snow on the trail in early June. The wildflowers typically bloom in July or August.

Q: When does Chinook Pass open? 

A: That varies from year to year. To see the historic open/close dates for SR410 click here