Six Lakes Loop

20.87 miles, 2,218 feet gain, 1 night

We backpacked this loop over one night from the Six Lakes Trailhead, camping at Mink lake, the largest lake in the Six Lakes basin. There are countless lakes of varying size here, some with designated trails, others that require bushwhacking. Most of the lakes are worth visiting, some have fingerling trout, and absolutely all of them will be swarming with mosquitos until mid-late summer. I think we counted 15 lakes during our trip.

Overall, it was difficult to enjoy this trip due to one overriding factor: This place is infested with the worst mosquitos I have encountered, anywhere, anytime. We're talking thick clouds of mosquitos that follow you day and night, requiring regular application of DEET to prevent being completely devoured. Thankfully, the mosquitos didn't come near the our campsite at Mink lake, but there were omnipresent at all other locations of the trail.
After camping at Mink Lake we booked it back to the trailhead, shortening our loop at avoid to get back to the car quicker. I don't think we stopped on the way back except to re-apply DEET.

I recommend visiting in late summer or early fall, before snowfall closes down the Cascade Lakes highway. You might have better luck with the mosquitos then. Aside from that, the lakes are beautiful, good for swimming, and you'll enjoy relative solitude out here. Being in the Three Sisters Wilderness, a permit is required for overnight travel.
Day 1: 11.89 miles, Day 2: 8.98 miles.

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Thanks for visiting our travel blog, Trails And Trekking! We're Lauren and Anders - an adventure loving couple currently stationed in the Pacific Northwest. We're avid hikers, backpackers, and travelers. We're both originally from Oregon, but we've spent the last two years traveling the Pacific Northwest and beyond. We created this blog to share our passion for exploring the outdoors, and to inspire you to get outside.