This quiet and remote lake hidden in a high valley above Detroit Lake is a perfect family day hike or overnight getaway.
From the trailhead, the first few steps of the hike start steeply, up a short embankment, but once you clear the ridgeline, it will be a gently rolling easterly walk past an interesting rock pinnacle and a nice viewpoint down to the lake. After about a half mile, you will reach the Tumble Ridge-Tumble Lake Trail Junction. Turn right to head south down into the Tumble Lake basin (going straight leads to Dome Rock). The first downhill portion consists of forested switchbacks, and then a short section of the trail requires some scrambling within a rugged rocky stream bed. You will then traverse cross two steep open meadows which will be in bloom late June through August. As you flatten out into the basin, you will begin seeing the shaggy forest of Alaska Cedars, dripping with moss. Prolific huckleberry bushes fill the understory. Several shaded campsites are available at the lake edge.
Once you arrive at the lake, continue on a faint user trail south and follow the lake outlet stream to some mossy rock ledges that give the viewpoint of Detroit Lake seen in the photo above. Here you will see the water disappearing over the cliff edge to form Tumble Falls.
I did this backpacking trip a couple weeks ago and too my surprise was a pretty fun little vacation. The hike itself is very short, and you can make a stop to Dome Rock on your way before heading down to the lake either before camping or after. I highly recommend seeing the viewpoint there.
The hike back is very steep, so get a good nights rest to prepare with some incline. Once reaching the lake, there are several sites scattered around the lake. None of them are too close to others giving you plenty of privacy.
They allow fires by the lake and animals are welcome. The bugs were a little bad as expected being near water. You can take a dip in the lake if you are there on a hot day, or lay out on some of the nice rocks scattered around the lake.
Overall, the pros for this is that it is not a popular route so you don't have to go early or worry about other people around. Beautiful and short hike in. As for most backpacking, bring some sort of water filtration if you plan on getting water at the lake.