Here we crossed our first bridge and the trail starts to climb. Learn from my misadventure with the mosquitoes – taking one for the team. This hike is rated as challenging, but you'll be awarded with beautiful scenery of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area and the sight of two prominent spires: Dragontail Peak and Colchuck Peak. Distance: 4.25 miles Elevation Gain: 2,200 feet Average Time: 2 to 3 hours. My name is Antonina and I’m glad to have you here. An inviting lake beneath the fearsome north face of one of Washington's highest and most imposing peaks. The Stuart Lake is straight ahead, while the Colchuck Lake Trail #1599.1 breaks off to the left. The parking lot gets full by 9am. It took us a little over 3 hours to reach Colchuck Lake. Trip Day Hike - Colchuck Lake. The roundtrip covers 7.7 mi (12.39 km) with an elevation of 2,300 ft (701.04 m). #AasgardPTSD. Park at the Stuart Lake trailhead. Due to popular demand for overnight permits. Total time 11 hours C2C. Tmber.com narrates a hike up to spectacular Colchuck Lake near Leavenworth, Washington. There is a beautiful view of a waterfall along the climb. During the summer months, the weather can also be unpredictable and a thunderstorm may pop up at any given time. Time. This hike itself is a great workout, to get to the lake you are hiking four miles uphill, my boyfriend and I made it to the lake in two hours, and I was drenched in sweat even though it was pretty chilly. This lake is a real butt-kicker hike but an oh so worth-it destination. Hiking to Colchuck Lake The trail begins with a gentle, forested climb that follows the beautiful cascades of Mountaineer Creek. One of the most picturesque lakes you'll see in the area. No spam. Trailhead to Colchuck Lake. So, not surprisingly it is also one of the state’s most popular lakes too! Thank you so much for your thorough trip report. I hiked Lake Colchuck in the fall two years ago (September 23, 2018) and finally did Lake Stuart last Sunday (June 21, 2020). Three quarters of a mile later, the trail flattens out and drops a little before reaching a trail junction. It further leads to the remains of Colchuck Glacier. Continue for 3.8 miles to trailhead. CHS Tacoma September Hike: Trip will initially open to Tacoma Branch Conditioning Hiking Students. Copyright © 2021 EMBRACE SOMEPLACE | As an Amazon Associate I may earn from qualifying purchases. Meander along the lake's west edge while taking in the awesome views of Dragontail Peak and Colchuck Peak rising from … Don’t let me scare you off, if you’re in any kind of shape you can hike Colchuck Lake, it’s just that Blue Lake is very easy for an equally awesome view. Every step of the hike has beautiful sights to see and enjoy. The hike up to Colchuck lake seemed easy. High elevation, folks – use sunscreen and apply frequently. It’s a pristine alpine lake with soaring, jagged mountains above you, turquoise clear water below, and the added plus: water warm enough you can stomach swimming in. We arrived to the lot at 3am and it was 80% full. After reaching the lake, I found myself stuck staring at Colchuck glacier. Duration: Day Hike. A gem in the Alpine region of the state of Washington. Like most one day thru-hikers we started at Colchuck trailhead and descended down to Snows Lake trailhead. Upon reaching the boulder field on the opposite side of the bridge, you will have to pay close attention to the path as it heads southwest (right) along the creek for a short distance. Since it was pitch dark during our hike up, we took photos on the way back to give you a … The trail continues up with multiple switch backs. Round trip time … 4.5 miles with 2,300 ft. elevation gain. The thing is, you probably won’t finish your hike until the evening, and not many people drive up to a trailhead at night. The lake is visible from various parts of the trail—it is picture-perfect with deep blue waters and surrounding mountains. Full Enchantments at Tmber.com. Boat Trip around Lake Izabal, Rio Dulce, and Livingston, Skagit Valley Tulip Festival near Seattle, Washington. A note from the editor: Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. With two hours before sunrise and 4.5 miles to go – we started moving at a swift clip. Even though it is a steady uphill climb to Colchuck Lake, this felt like one of the easiest and fastest sections of the hike. For the first 1.7 miles, the hike is relatively easy with rolling hills and about 600 feet of elevation. The trail ends at a large granite face with a panorama of the lake. You will need to navigate over a large boulder field bearing to the right. Stuart Lake is at 5600 feet elevation in the Enchantment Mountain range. The reward at the top is a picturesque lake with dazzling blue green water and views over Dragontail and Colchuck Peak mountains. The pass can be purchased at National Forest offices. Colchuck Lake is an out and back trail, with a roundtrip of eight miles and an elevation gain of 2,300 feet. Beautiful Colchuk Lake is located not far from the Alpine village of Leavenworth. Rainier National Park, The 7 Wonders of Oregon (& 4 More We Should Add ASAP), Skyline Trail Loop at Mt. Camping on the lake is possible by permit only from May 15th to October 31st. In summer, cars fill not only the trailhead parking lot, but the road leading to it. After our fourth time, Linna and I agreed that this will be the last time we hike this grueling twenty mile thru hike in the beautiful Enchantments in one day. Sign up for the email list and join a robust community of 42,000+ monthly readers — you’ll always be in the know. No ads. We were definitely going at a medium pace, with a little bit of urgency to make it before sunrise! Your email address will not be published. You can read about the seven principals of Leave No Trace here, Sequoia National Park — Stunning Winter Wonderland, 13 STUNNING Hikes at Mt. Set in a granite bathtub beneath spiraling peaks adorned with shimmering strands of glacial ice, Colchuck ranks as one of the most beautiful alpine lakes in all of Washington. While you may encounter lots of people during this time of year, it is by far the safest time to hike in this region. The Colchuck Lake trail via Stuart Lake Trail is rated as a difficult hike and is 7.7 miles. The easiest routes are scrambles from the south and / or the Colchuck Col at the top of the Colchuck Glacier to the east. This won't cost you a dime, but it will help offset the cost of running this travel blog. After the bridge, the trail becomes steeper and rockier, a small taste of what's to come in the second half of the hike. This is the best review I’ve seen and your photos are stunning. The first two miles are an easy hike through the forest next to Mountaineer Creek. Check out this post for my favorite day hike from Leavenworth! The hike starts at the Stuart Lake trailhead and immediately takes you into a dense and beautiful forest. While the final ascent to the lake is steep and rough in places, Colchucks overall elevation gain of 2,300 feet makes its spectacular scenery accessible to hikers of almost any ability. Colchuck Lake Trail begins at Stuart Lake trailhead and parking lot by Forest Service Road 7601, which can be reached from Icicle Creek Road. I travel with my award-winning photographer of a husband, so the photos are good (I promise). ... Take the left trail (the right trail goes to Stuart Lake) and cross the creek. From the lake you can view Aasgard Pass which is for more serious hikers/backpackers to enter the Enchantments and that have received a pass to camp overnight. Lake Stuart and Colchuck lake trail is an absolutely must-hike trail in Leavenworth, Washington.. It was, as you can suspect, an actual trail, made from dirt. Distance: 8 miles round trip, and it's a hard 8. 100 would mean there's just 1 such person (and if the 100 are selected based on knowledge and care, maybe even that one doesn't get in). For the most part, you are hiking through a forest. My friends and I will be hiking the Colchuck Lake trail at the end of this month (for fall color). To reach the trailhead, turn onto Icicle Creek Road from US2. Another mile up the trail and you reach a junction with the trail to Lake Stuart. Begin on the Stuart La… At 2.2 miles take a left at the junction with the Colchuck Lake Trail #1599.1. Are you visiting Leavenworth WA and looking for the perfect hike? The trail immediately crosses Mountaineer Creek again and then climbs steeply over sometimes rocky and washed-out trail. There are several high points with the western most being the true summit. The 8-9 mile roundtrip hike was tiresome, but well worth it. I've heard it's a 9 mile round trip hike. We were trying to make it challenging for ourselves (we were also on a time crunch) but a nice leisure hike should take about 3-4 hours. And all this is within relatively easy reach. Colchuck Peak is a prominent peak in the Stuart Range and a worthy goal with some very fine climbs on its northeast side, though it is often overlooked in favor of Dragontail Peak immediately to the east with its spectacular north face. Do we need a permit to hike? My best guess is that many folks use this parking lot for the Enchantments Loop. The best time to visit the area and hike the trail is during the summer months. On this blog I share two things: the joy of life in Portland and helpful information about national parks. Colchuck Lake looked stunning in pictures with the snow and larches, but there were so many pictures popping up on Facebook and Instagram, I feared the hike would be a conga line. Once I reached the rock field, I chose the easiest way up and began my ascent. ! A Northwest Forest Pass is required to park at this trailhead. After climbing a quick 1,100 ft from the valley base, you'll reach Colchuck Lake. Elvin R. Joh… God Bless America! Any real difficulties for novice hikers? Hiking to Colchuck Lake. Cross the creek on a bridge and the next mile begins to ascend a little more steeply. Top Tips For The Colchuck Lake Hike: Prepare for a quick elevation gain; Pace yourself – the trail is 8 miles long; The trail can get dusty in the summertime, so leave space between hikers Colchuck Lake Date: May 22, 2016 Difficulty: 6 out of 10 Distance: 8 miles roundtrip Elevation Gain: 2,300 feet Time: 3 to 4 hours Location: Near Leavenworth, Washington Users Group: Hikers Only Permits: Northwest Forest Pass Trail Conditions: Dry To Some Muddy Spots Hiking With: Emelie Espling, Sofia Hung, Max and my wife Linna Freeman If 1% of people at Colchuck cut switchbacks, bring a dog, have a campfire by the lakeside (I've seen all three behaviors), 1,000 people on the trail = 10 people causing damage. Step over roots whenever possible. Follow the potholed dirt road 3.7 miles to the Stuart Lake trailhead. It was amazing to have the trail and lake to ourselves - quite the opposite of the other seasons. As if Colchuck Lake alone werent enough of a draw, it is one of the two gateways to the Enchantments, and the trailhead also accesses Stuart Lake, an easier and equally awesome destination. Now down, the path around Colchuck Lake felt like a fairy tale. Bring insect repellent during summer months and a light rain jacket regardless of the season. The trail to the lake is very popular during the summer hiking season. I’m still undecided on which I would rather do and for the time being, I don’t really want to think about it. No BS. The roundtrip covers 7.7 mi (12.39 km) with an elevation of 2,300 ft (701.04 m). Hello and welcome to my travel blog. A magical day. Drive 8.4 miles and turn left onto Forest Service Road 7601. Easy with rolling hills and about 600 feet of elevation a quick 1,100 ft from the south and or! Western most being the true summit Lake used to be a hidden gem but is now quickly gaining popularity... 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