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Tipsoo Lake

Shaped like the ace of clubs, drains a chain of ponds in the center of a skiing area. A small picnic area in the green bowl surrounding the lake, a natural basin, has tables, stoves, and running water. Trails radiate to great spires of rock affording excellent viewpoints. A bronze plaque, set in a large boulder, has a bas-relief bust of the late Stephen T. Mather, who laid the foundation of the National Park Service.

The lake is fed by springs and snow melt, and is ice-free only during the summer. This Native American name means grassy lake.


Ca. 1945 view of Mt. Rainier, with Tipsoo Lake in foreground. Near Chinook Pass.

Source: Washington State Digital Archives

Ca. 1925 view of Tipsoo Lake and Yakima Peak, near Chinook Pass.

Photo by Asahel Curtis. Source: Washington State Digital Archives

Points of Interest Points of Interest icon

Tipsoo Lake Comfort Station

A new state highway was built in 1932 connecting Tipsoo Lake to the Yakima Valley via Chinook Pass. Mount Rainier Superintendent Tomlinson requested that the National Park Service provide plans for construction of tourist facilities at Tipsoo Lake, and while the grand vision was never carried out, two comfort station were built at the lake by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1933-34. Only this one survives.