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Cincinnati Lake can be explored on both sides of the big “no camping” sign near the lake’s outlet from thin bushwhack paths. Large trees nearly surround Soda Peaks Lake providing little more view than of the small, clear lake itself, usually stocked with brook trout. One exception is the large scree field left (S) of the lake under East Soda Peak that can be ascended a hundred vertical feet or so, with no trail, to a truncated shot of nearby Cincinnati.
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Helens and also Mount Adams and Mount Rainier on a clear day! Return the same way or continue to the high ridge from the main trail or even West Soda Peak for the best views all day.
To continue to the high ridge for the summits, cross the stream from the outlet N of Soda Peaks Lake at a wider expanse over branches and where possible, and continue 3A mi up the solid trail to the ridge and saddle between peaks. Walk across a slide path en route, and then ascend a couple steeper switchbacks near the saddle. Snow melts off slowly on this section and the lake (sometimes into late June or even July). If it’s icy it will be tough to cross the slide path and stay near the trail with the steep pitch. From the high ridge right to West Soda Peak lingering snow dissipates quickly. See the end of this hike for the description left to East Soda Peak. Turn right (NW) up the ridge saddle (4300 ft); remember the switchback, as on the return you will turn sharply left here to go back down to the lake. You can see Mount Adams, Mount St. Helens, Mount Rainier, Goat Rocks, and Mount Hood through the trees from near the saddle or above.