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Tatoosh Wilderness


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General Information

Description - The 15,700-acre Tatoosh Wilderness is bounded on the north by Mount Rainier National Park. It is steep and rugged with subalpine and alpine areas along the ridgeline. The area also contains 550 acres of the Butter Creek Natural Area. Tatoosh Wilderness includes a variety of physical features, from river bottoms to subalpine ridgetops.

Tatoosh Ridge (6,310 feet) provides excellent views in all directions and is the former site of a fire lookout built in 1932. This particular lookout gained notoriety after the book "Tatoosh" was published. The author, Martha Hardy, wrote about her experiences keeping watch at the Tatoosh fire lookout.

Attractions - The wilderness contains 550 acres of the Butter Creek Natural Area in addition to offering a variety of physical features, from river bottoms to subalpine ridgetops.

Recreation - Activities include hiking, backpacking, horseback riding, and wildlife viewing. Trails in the wilderness include the Tatoosh Lake Trail #161B, the Tatoosh Lookout Trail #161, the Blue Hole Trail #167, and the Tatoosh Trail #161.

Climate - Climate on the Gifford Pinchot changes drastically with elevation. The area receives a high amount of precipitation. Much of the precipitation comes from October to April in the form of rain at the low elevations and as wet heavy snow in the higher elevations. Deep winter snowpacks accumulate in the high elevations.

Although snow is possible in the lowest elevations, it is infrequent. Late spring, summer and early autumn tend to bring clear, sunny days with moderate temperatures.

Location - The 15,700-acre Tatoosh Wilderness is bounded on the north by Mount Rainier National Park. It can be accessed via Forest Routes 5270 and 5290.


Current Conditions & Trip Reports

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More Information

Contact Information:
Gifford Pinchot National Forest, 10600 NE 51st Circle, P.O. Box 8944 , Vancouver, WA, 98682, Phone: 360-891-5000, Fax: 360-891-5045, TTY: 360-891-5003

Additional Information:
Gifford Pinchot National Forest - The Gifford Pinchot National Forest is located in southwest Washington State. It lies between Mount Rainier National Park and the Columbia River Gorge, and includes the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument.

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