An Enjoyable 20-Mile Hike in the William O. Douglas Wilderness

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William O. Douglas Wilderness

A few years back I jumped out of bed and drove to the Cramer Lake Trailhead. It’s located at Dog Lake near White Pass. It was a beautiful day with few clouds and little wind.

Cramer Lake lies in the 4,000-foot Tumac Plateau. I have enjoyed visiting the area many times over the years. The Plateau is relatively flat with many meadows, bogs and lakes. It is one of the premier summer habitats for elk in the Cascades.

Mt. Rainier from Tumac Mountain

The name Tumac derives from two Scots who were sheepherders in the area many years ago. My father was also a sheepherder in his younger days. With the aid of a camp cook and tender, he herded sheep up and down the east side of the Cascades during the summer months. He is the reason I came to know (and deeply enjoy) so many beautiful and remote places in the Cascades.

Hiking north into the William O. Douglas Wilderness, I reached Cramer Lake in less than five miles. And, as could be expected, the mosquitoes were out in force. Continuing north, I passed Dumbbell Lake and soon reached the Pacific Crest Trail. Detouring to the west, I obtained a nice view of Buesch Lake. Upon return to the PCT, I hiked by Pipe Lake.

Of course I couldn’t visit the Tumac Plateau without climbing to the top of 6,300-foot Tumac Mountain. This is a relatively new volcano with both cinders and lava visible. After enjoying the views from the Summit, I returned to the Trail passing Long, Otter and Cramer Lakes before returning to the Trailhead.

What a nice day! The hike was 20 miles in distance with 3,000 feet of elevation gain.

Cramer Lake

The Rattlesnake Mountains over Blankenship Meadows

Camp Robber (Gray Jay)


Twin Sisters Lakes from Tumac Mountain

One of many small lakes along the trail

Old PCT trail sign

Blankenship Lakes below Bismark Peak

Prime summer habitat for Elk

Near the top of Tumac Mountain, the remains of a volcano





Categories: Washington Cascades Hikes, William O. Douglas Wilderness HikesTags: ,


  1. How long did this hike take you? Can you say more about Tumac Mtn or point me to more info on it?? Sandy

    • It’s a long day hike Sandy. It probably took me 10-11 hours when I last did the hike a few years back.
      Regarding Tumac Mountain, I would suggest Googling it. Or, it’s discussed in some hiking books like Spring & Manning’s 100 Classic Hikes in Washington.
      Happy Trails!

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