The first 6 miles of the trail up the Robinson Creek valley is never far from the sight and sound of the creek, named for trapper Billy Robinson. The low starting elevation makes this a popular late spring/early summer day-hike or overnight.
In mid-May, the first 3 miles from the trailhead, elevation 2560 feet, are usually snow-free and Robinson Creek is roaring with the spring melt. Beauty Creek Falls is viewable from a bridge at 2.8 miles, elevation 3560 feet. This makes a good turn around point for a spring hike. With snow still covering the upper reaches, you may spot deer and even moose near the creek.
Just beyond the bridge is a junction with the Beauty Creek Trail, a climber access route to Robinson Mountain and Beauty Peak.
By mid-June, the first 4 miles will have near continuous flowers, mainly paintbrush and lupine with a few others mixed in. The creek will still be roaring and the trail will be snow-free for the first 5 - 6 miles, to the tightrope log walk or ford of Robinson Creek at 6.0 miles, elevation 4680 feet.
Above the ford, the next 2.7 miles are a gradual climb through the forest, crossing avalanche runouts and breaking out into meadowlands at elevation 4700 feet. Another 0.3 mile wander through the sloping meadows, leads to the junction with the Slate Pass Trail, part of the Robinson Pass Loop. The last 0.5 mile of meadow climbs to Robinson Pass, elevation 6220 feet.
On the north side of the pass is the continuation of the trail, Robinson Creek (Middle Fork Pasayten) which descends the Pasayten River valley. The area around the pass has room for cross country roaming and peak bagging.
By mid-summer, the upper elevations have melted out and most hikers access the meadowed Robinson Pass area from the Slate Pass trailhead, leaving the Robinson Creek valley as the horse rider’s access route to the highlands.
As befits a trail of this length, there are many campsites – some large and others small/rocky. From the trailhead, these are at 1.4 miles, 2.7 miles, 4.0 miles, 4.1 miles, 5.9 miles, 6.3 miles, 6.5 miles, 7.7 miles, and 9 miles. All of these will normally have available water into the fall.