Area: Bandera

Length: 3.3

Elevation: 3390 +1080 -20

Condition: very good

Solitude: mostly high

Appeal: medium

Lower Kaleetan Lake
Views of upper Pratt area

Difficulty: medium

Administered: USFS, North Bend R.D.

Trailhead: ---

Connects to: Pratt Lake trail
Kaleetan/Windy trail
Melakwa Lake trail

Guides: (none)

USGS Bandera, Snoqualmie Pass
Green Trails Bandera, Snoqualmie Pass




Something that you will not find many places in the Bandera area — solitude. The trail turns very quiet after you pass the slightly wild Lower Tuscohatchie Lake. Following the upper reaches of the Pratt River, this solid but obscure trail is also a back-door route to busy Melakwa Lake.


Lower Tuscohatchie Lake

Lower Tuscohatchie Lake


Leaving the day use area from the north end of Pratt Lake, follow the almost level but somewhat rougher trail, heading east, to reach the Lower Tuscohatchie Lake at 0.6 miles. Cross its outlet creek easily on logs. There is a bit of a stony shorline here, near an old shelter site (cleaned away long ago) — this is often an "overflow" area for part of the heavy foot traffic reaching Pratt Lake.



The crowds stop at the lake, and you are likely to have the rest to yourself. Continue northeast, passing a marked side trail veering off left (northwest) toward Windy and Kalaeetan Lakes. Pass a few campsites above the trail on the left, and continue east around the north end of Lower Tuscohatchie Lake. The trail climbs gradually up to a rounded saddle, and then over, taking a due-east course, cutting across the face of the little ridge parallel to the Pratt River valley. At mile 1.7, cross a couple of small boulder slides — the story is that water tends to gurgle and splash underground beneath these, though they have never performed when I passed through.



From there, the trail grade increases. The ground becomes softer. In these last 1.4 miles, you gain about 1000 feet elevation in a mix of large and small switchbacks, persistent but not difficult, finally joining with the Melakwa Lake trail just a little south of the lake.