To many visitors, Pratt Mountain, or simply “The Pratt” as it’s called by woodland hipsters, appears to be a giant heap of talus rising from the montane forest…
…and it pretty much is.
THE SHORT VERSION
(From Talapus Lake TH)
- 2400ft / 730m gain
- 10mi / 16km round trip
- <0.5mi/0.8km offtrail
“The Pratt” composes the north east buttress of a high plateau which holds a number of popular alpine lakes just north of the I90. Especially popular on summer weekends!
The shortest distance approach is from Talapus Lake trailhead, but can be also accessed from Ira Spring TH or Granite Mountain TH, whatever way you choose, you’ll want to end up around Rainbow Lake.
Rising behind the lake is the southwest face of Pratt Mountain; the aforementioned giant pile of talus. A non technical, but talus-y ascent awaits you.
Along the trail just east of Rainbow Lake, a handful of foot paths head up through trees to these rocky slopes, where one can contour northwest along the ridge to the summit.
There’s a good view of the surrounding peaks from the top o’ the Pratt. Just south one might be able to spy hikers atop Bandera Mountain, or yonder east at the Granite Mountain Fire Lookout.
Throw them a wave, or give em the bird! It’s basically the same gesture at this distance!
OH GIVE ME A HOME
A round trip up “The Pratt” can be done as a day trip, but for those who like to stretch it out, there are ample camping opportunities.
There are nine lakes of size in the area, many with established campsites. During the summer months some of these lakes can be very popular with campers, so treat your water, and plan accordingly.
Make yourself a “Pratt Bratt” t shirt to commemorate your ascent! Fabric safe puffy paint works great!
A Sharpie marker works too, if you’re a habitual half ass.
I have a strong feeling that such a shirt could even help you make friend (s)!
You’ll need a Northwest Trail Pass to park at either the Talapus Lake TH or Ira Spring TH or you might get a ticket.
A self issued wilderness pemit is required for travel in wilderness areas, and is usually available at the trailhead.