This map was created by a user. Offering a wonderful day trip, Colchuck Lake via Stuart Lake Trail is a beautiful trail and offers a number of activities. Follow the bumpy, sometimes potholed dirt road 3.7 miles to the Stuart Lake trailhead. Leavenworth also provides a strong offering of sausages for pre-hike dinner. While the final ascent to the lake is steep and rough in places, Colchuck’s overall elevation gain of 2,300 feet makes its spectacular scenery accessible to hikers of almost any ability. You can improve or add to this guidebook entry, Washington Trails Association 209S map. Three quarters of a mile later, the trail flattens out and drops a little before reaching a trail junction. At the Lake they were joined by the mosquitoes to blunt the enjoyment this lake has to offer. Just take your time. There are several high points with the western most being the true summit. At about 1.75 miles (elev. Once you reach Colchuck lake, you will be rewarded with beautiful views of the blue/green lake with the peaks towering behind it. Parking for about 20-30 cars and a toilet are available in the lot. The first time you round the corner and come out of the trees at Colchuck Lake is something of a religious experience. Turn south onto Icicle Creek … Worth the view! Restrooms are available at the trailhead. In summer, cars fill not only the trailhead parking lot, but the road leading to it. Colchuck Lake is one of the gateways into the Enchantments. Some parts down are steep so they would have been super helpful. Turn left and drive past the campground, cross a bridge over Icicle Creek and continue past the Eightmile Lake Trailhead (which is 3 miles in). Parking Restriction: Parking allowed at trailheads and only on the right side of Road 7601 between Eightmile Lake and Stuart Lake trailheads. NW Forest pass is required. The view of the lake is definitely worth it. The Colchuck Lake trail starts at the Stuart Lake trailhead, (off Forest Service Road 7601). It is a must to get to trailhead early as there is limited parking at base and if full it is another probably 2 mile walk from where your other parking option is. Be careful of potholes and bumps in the road! Straight ahead the path to Stuart Lake rolls out, while the Colchuck Lake Trail #1599.1 breaks off to the left. This is by far the hardest hike I ever did. This is a challenging hike with beautiful scenery in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area of Washington State. Went Nov 1st. SEE PARKING INFORMATION BELOW. The route follows a peaceful stream through a lush forest, then climbs steeply to Colchuck Lake where the views of Dragontail Peak and Colchuck Peak won't disappoint. 705 2nd Ave, Suite 300 Colchuck Lake is a magnificent color of blue (from glacial till) and offers great overnight camping. It begins at the Stuart Lake Trailhead. recommend attempts at proper hiking footwear and winter clothing (crazy what i saw today...) and dont act like you’re late late to an important date (seriously self centered, rude, and dangerous); right of way goes to those going uphill. Here, subalpine firs give way to larches, and the formal trail gives way to a rock-hopping route that eventually heads up Aasgard Pass. First of all - the gate to the trailhead closes on Monday 11/9 so if you don’t want to walk up the road and add those miles to an already difficult hike - this Sunday is your last chance! Central Cascades -- Leavenworth Area. Follow Icicle Road for 8.5 miles and go left onto dirt road 7601 (signs to Colchuck Lake). The road driving up was a little rough. This is a great place to grab lunch and take in the scenery. Note: The road leading to the trailhead may be closed during the winter and will add 8 miles to your overall trip. Suddenly, laid out beneath your feet are the icy waters of the lake–-deep blue in the shade, bright aquamarine in sunlight–-while high above you at the far end of the lake, the twin spires of Dragontail and Colchuck Peaks seem to crowd out the very sky. There is only one trailhead for both hikes. Many parts of the trail were slick with ice. After a series of rocky switch backs you will reach the trail junction for Stuart, and Colchuck lakes. This is a good place to get gas and any last minute snacks before continuing Icicle Creek Road and then Forest Service Road-7601 that leads to the Stuart Lake trailhead. After the walk through the woods, you will cross the creek on a bridge before beginning the first real incline of the hike. And all this is within relatively easy reach. I honestly felt great on the way up - perhaps the adrenaline of seeing the lake. If you’re kind of in the middle like me, you’ll also be fine! Bring the 10 essentials. It's 8.0 miles round trip to Colchuck Lake, with about 2,200 feet of elevation gain. One of the least obvious route junctures is at a large tarn -– it’s a common mistake to follow the well-trodden dirt to the right, but the trail actually proceeds over rocky slopes to the left. It took about 3 hours to get to the trailhead, called Stuart and Lake Colchuck trailhead, and about 6 – 7 hours to finish the entire hike. Hope you enjoy! Totally worth it and the grey jays were adorable all the way up (but don't feed them, it's not good for the birds)! It’s about 9 miles and I’ve never hiked with this significant elevation change. Although this trail is one of my favorite hikes, the road was closed for the winter when you first turn off of Icicle Rd. Today’s conditions were mostly fine with patches of ice and slippery surfaces that I slipped on and saw numerous people slip on. On hot days, standing at the midpoint of the bridge, hikers can catch some welcome relief from the breeze coming off the rushing whitewater of the creek. I went 11/8 and had nanospikes which helped tremendously. Colchuck Lake Tips & Hiking Resources. The Colchuck Lake trailhead is located near the town of Leavenworth, Washington. www.nimitpatel.com. Where to Stay. Colchuck Lake is breathtaking! Trailhead. Many people don’t pay close attention to the signs and get lost this way! Challenging, but like I said totally worth the struggle uphill. This beautiful and very popular 4-mile trail is accessed from Stuart Lake Trail #1599 which starts at Stuart Lake Trailhead (3400' elevation). I love the hikes this region offers, but it takes six hours from our house to the trailhead and back…throw in a hike and you are talking a long day. Seattle, WA 98104. The first mile and a half climbs very gradually in forest, first dense and dark, then thinner and lighter, within earshot and sometimes sightline of Mountaineer Creek. Sadly Forest Road 7601 was closed when we tried to go today (11/12) may be closed for the season. The hike starts out with an easy mile and a half, creek side walk through the forest. Made it unpleasant to say the least. I loved this hike! Start early to finish before dark. You will have a few areas with views perfect for photo opportunities on your way to the lake. Two weeks ago, we headed up to Leavenworth for the weekend. Follow the trail to the left and after a short stretch in the trees, come to another log bridge that takes you across a narrow, turbulent section of Mountaineer Creek. If you are traveling Eastbound on Highway 2 over Stevens Pass go right on Icicle Road when you first enter Leavenworth. You will need to turn off of US2 onto Icicle Road. If not, return the way you came. It wasn’t such that you need microspikes but poles were helpful. Stay to the left and you will happen upon another log bridge, stunning vistas that act as the gateway to the wilderness. I’d recommend going earlier because now that the sun sets so early, hiking back in the dark wasn’t my favorite. It was worth it though! Follow this road for four miles to the trailhead. Hiked on 11/8. The views are so beautiful! Park at the Stuart Lake trailhead. Occasional breaks in the trees offer glimpses of the steep walls of the valley. Start early. After the bridge, the route steepens and grows rockier, a small taste of what’s to come over the hike’s second half. Like most one day thru-hikers we started at Colchuck trailhead and descended down to Snows Lake trailhead. The trail is a bit of a jumble as you hop boulders in a large talus slope along the creek’s bank. Begin on the Stuart La… An overnight reservation permit is required from May 15 to October 31. Fourth of July Creek Trail to Icicle Ridge, Mountain Home Ridge [CLOSED / PRIVATE PROPERTY], Canyon Crest Trail to Rat Creek Ridge Trail. road is in good shape (but last turn off road closed for the season tomorrow 11/9), no snow or ice, yes to potholes but not too deep. Bring lots of water and snacks no matter what time of year you go. The trail was in good condition but icy for the last 1-1.5 miles to the top. Poles and spikes are not NEEDED, but probably helpful in some sections. As stated below, road to trailhead closes on 11/9, and would add 8 (boring) miles to the total. Dispersed camping is not allowed between the road and Icicle Creek. As part of The Enchantments, this is a must hike in Washington Trailhead : Stuart and Colchuck Lake Trailhead , about 3 hours from Seattle ( pass required ) The road to the trailhead has some potholes but is manageable with a regular sedan (non-high clearance vehicle) - just be careful and drive slow Subscribe to our free email newsletter for hiking events, news, gear reviews and more. Here’s how to find it: Drive Highway 2 to milepost 99, found on the western edge of the Bavarian village of Leavenworth. Our group of 9 friends started around 7:00 a.m. and made it back to the vehicles around 10:00 p.m.. (For a full description of this hike and others in this region, purchase Day Hiking, Central Cascades by Craig Romano, published by Mountaineers Books.) The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from May until October. But the reward at the top is a picturesque lake with dazzling blue green water and views over Dragontail and Colchuck … To reach the trailhead, turn onto Icicle Creek Road from US2 on the very western edge of Leavenworth. Overview of Colchuck Lake via WTA.org; Get turn-by-turn driving directions to the trailhead via Google Maps; Bring plenty of water. At first, the trail switchbacks gently, but the closer it gets to the lake, the steeper and rockier it gets. The roundtrip covers 7.7 … Views are beautiful and well worth the hike! Not an easy one, definitely helps to be somewhat physically fit. The easiest routes are scrambles from the south and / or the Colchuck Col at the top of the Colchuck Glacier to the east. Colchuck Lake is one of the lakes that make up the Enchantments area of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, which was established in 1976 and consists of 391,988 acres. Stuart Lake (#1599), Colchuck Lake (#1599A) Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Wenatchee River Ranger District I slipped multiple times, even as a self-proclaimed avid hiker. In summer, cars fill not only the trailhead parking lot, but the road leading to it. It was a good, hard hike, but nothing crazy – we took maybe 2:15 or so on the way up and flew down in 1:45 or so after the technical icy bits toward the top. Going up was not too bad however the latter part (closest to the lake) has some steeper grades. Check out my photos Contributions to WTA are tax deductible, and we are committed to making the best use of every donation to our mission. Some people enjoy a fast hike and some slow. Be sure to pack extra layers for the lake. The climb remains pretty consistent rocky, and with tree roots but manageable. not a lot of people! 11/2 Monday. The kind of picturesque Earth porn you find in destination magazines. Cold, wear layers of sweaters. Leavenworth is quirky little town filled with Bavarian facades—very touristy. You can replenish water in the creeks or lake, but be sure to filter or treat before drinking. At the time in august it was perfect, the trail condition was a great intro to what is now what I consider my favorite alpine forest I’ve hiked into since being in Washington. The parking area can be busy, as visitors access the Enchantments and Stuart Lake from this trailhead. Enjoy the scenery and stop bitchin ladies! So don’t get your panties in a twist just because the uphill hiker doesn’t always pass first. Learn how to create your own. If you can, head to Leavenworth the night before and spend the night or camp. It wasn’t icy/snowy enough to put on the spikes we brought. Colchuck Lake used to be a hidden gem but is now quickly gaining in popularity. However, the way back was difficult for me. You’ll want at least one liter or more. Saw many people fall, good hiking shoes recommended. Also, the flies are unlike anything I have experienced on a hike in the summer. Started around 1130 & back to car around 1830. 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. At the end of this first mile and a half, the trail crosses to the right bank of Mountaineer Creek on a sturdy log bridge. Started at 11am and got back to the car around 6pm. Otherwise, just take it slow. Looking forward to go again in the summer. Hike by WTA Correspondents: If you’re planning on spending the night nearby, you can either camp out or stay in the charming town of Leavenworth. Went to colchuck lake last summer and it was amazing! The 8-9 mile roundtrip hike was tiresome, but well worth it. It’s much colder than trailhead. I was stoked to hike to see Colchuck for myself and I dragged my family members with me. With an elevation gain of over 2000 feet, the hike to Colchuck lake is challenging. Although it was VERY icy we still managed to make it up and down with just poles. A northwest forest pass is required. You will stay to the right after crossing the bridge, and walk along the creek before your next big push uphill. After one final steep stretch, the trail takes a jog to the right, drops into a small swale and suddenly, there you are at one of the finest lake views in the Cascades. No snow on trail until the very end and even then, it was just a trace. I wished I had microspikes. IG @ nimitpatel_ The lot fits 75 cars and has bathrooms. Some people are looking down at the trail so as not to fall and don’t see an oncoming hiker until you are 5 ft away from each other. colchuck lake hike time December 23, 2020 Uncategorized Uncategorized A short distance later you near the creek again, but here its waters turn suddenly glassy smooth; a nice spot for a meditative pause before starting to climb once again. At the trailhead. The trail has a distance of 14.5 km and an elevation gain of 696 m. It is a loop trail located near Leavenworth, Washington. Colchuck Lake; The black fly population was out like I haven't seen in a long time, they would literally swarm you from the trailhead to the Lake. If the DNR and USFS can charge a fee for the pass that lets you use the parking lots and the outhouses, I would assume they can also require certain basic standards before issuing the Discover Pass and NW Forest. The way leaves the parking lot and the trail meanders the valley. A gorgeous day at Colchuck Lake. Parking for about 20-30 cars and a toilet are available in the lot. We did this as a day hike. 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. There is a $5 cash for park fee unless you have the NW Forest Pass. Our tax identification number is EIN 91-0900134. But it put us close to the Colchuck and Stuart Lake Trailheads for an early start on Sunday. Paul Kriloff. The Colchuck Lake route via the Stuart Lake Trailhead is a fantastic way to see a gorgeous part of Washington state, plus Aasgard Pass looming above the lake itself. As if Colchuck Lake alone weren’t 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. Part of its magic was induced by hiking in 102 degree heat. Elvin R. Joh… And all this is within relatively easy reach. I preferred this trip to the summer one because it is a fairly long and strenuous hike if you don’t do long hikes often and I was not a fan of the heat during this hike. Northwest Forest Pass required.Note that FR 7601 from Icicle Creek Road to the trailhead closes during the winter, typically from November to May, making for a short summer hiking season. Colchuck Lake Trail starts at Stuart Lake trailhead off of Forest Service Road 7601, which can be accessed from Icicle Creek Road. Many layers and gloves highly recommended. The trail gradually climbs through forest along Mountaineer Creek and crosses creek at 1.5 miles on a log bridge. Begin on the Stuart Lake Trail #1599. 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. Colchuck Lake is a beautiful, blue lake with dramatic peaks in the background. Hiked 11/7. Photo by Paul Kriloff. I used one hiking pole which with the spikes made the hike a lot better. To find the trail from Leavenworth, take US2 from the western side of Leavenworth. On one hand, I would say if you’re a beginner, if you go in the summer you can definitely do it. Trail is in decent condition though, very rocky and icy at some points. But there were a couple of slick spots. At some points along this portion of the hike you will catch a glimpse of Mountaineer Creek. In summer, cars fill not only the trailhead parking lot, but the road leading to it. This is a rather small town but easy to find on the map. trail has slippery frost and ice near the top and spikes were great. This hike was recommended by a friend and after hiking Colchuck Lake we are passing the recommendation onto other friends…it was absolute gorgeous. Be prepared to share the trail with hundreds of people; this is an extremely popular route, especially on summer … Also many parts of the trail are wide so no one needs to stop at all. Northwest Forest Pass required. I really started to struggle towards the end. Washington Trails Association is 501(c)(3) nonprofit. This hike is the stuff of legends. After a series of bends and ups and downs in the trees, the trail reaches a rock field at the bottom of the terminal moraine of the Colchuck Glacier. You pay at the trail head. Hiked 10/27 - I have done this hike in the summer and have now done it in late fall. Follow the potholed dirt road 3.7 miles to the Stuart Lake trailhead. To the left of Dragontail is Aasgard Pass, the climb that serves as the unbelievably steep “shortcut” to the Enchantments. Good hiking boots helped and for me micro spikes were not needed. great views! One of the best hikes here in autumn is Colchuck Lake. Make sure to turn LEFT at the fork to Colchuck since going straight will lead you to Stuart Lake. At several spots along the way, views open up, first to the valley you’ve just climbed out of, then up to the toothy ridge of Dragontail Peak. Unfortunately it rained the day of our hike. The trail continues along the lakeshore another two thirds of a mile, at times rough and a little hard to follow. I was scared based on the hard rating and other people’s stories but it was easier than I actually thought. I posted photo of the assignment. We didn't wear our spikes but had them with us. The parking area can be busy, as visitors access the Enchantments and Stuart Lake from this trailhead. Douglas S. Squirrel on Colchuck Lake The land is public and everyone can use it, but the improvements to it are classified differently. Colchuck Lake: Getting to the Trailhead. Cold, so multi layers help. Slippery due to ice patches throughout the trail. Hiked this on 11/8 with a group of athletic 20-somethings. There is a NO PARKING restriction for the entirety of Road 7601, from the start at Icicle Road 7600 to its terminus at Stuart Lake Trailhead. From Seattle, take WA 522-E to US2-E which will drop you into the small, Bavarian themed town of Leavenworth. 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. Colchuck Lake Trail begins at Stuart Lake trailhead and parking lot by Forest Service Road 7601, which can be reached from Icicle Creek Road. Parking anywhere else along Road 7601 is not allowed. This is truly a brutal trek with 4,500 feet gain and 6,500 feet descent on not so easy terrain. Views are incredible! Stuart Lake and Colchuck Lake share the same trail for about 2 miles. Colchuck Lake Trail starts at Stuart Lake trailhead off of Forest Service Road 7601, which can be accessed from Icicle Creek Road. Many people going uphill welcome the opportunity to pause and let a downhill person go first. The first time you round the corner and come out of the trees at Colchuck Lake is something of a religious experience. Please remember there are people with different skill levels and athletic ability. Trailhead to Colchuck Lake. The first glance you get rounding the corner to Colchuck Lake is an awe inspiring moment. Drive 8.4 miles and turn left onto Forest Service Road 7601. Didn’t need spikes but poles were pretty critical on way down in this section. Parking is only allowed in the Eightmile and Stuart/Colchuck Trailhead Parking Lots. Use poles. The road to the trailhead will be closed on Monday 11/09/20 to the Spring 2021. The trail seems to end at a broad granite face overlooking the lake. Stuart Lake (#1599), Colchuck Lake (#1599A), Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Wenatchee River Ranger District, 100 Hikes in Washington's Alpine Lakes (Spring, Buy the Green Trails Enchantments No. Colchuck Lake via Stuart Lake Trail is a 14.5 kilometer heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Leavenworth, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. But the steepest sections at the end was icy. On both my joints and my mind. They were all over. Please note that it's a heavily ticketed and towed area so be sure to park properly. This alpine lake is accompanied by the twin spires of Dragontail Peak and Colchuck Peak at the far end of the lake. I took a tumble a couple of times but nothing major. Distance: 4.25 miles Elevation Gain: 2,200 feet Average Time: 2 to 3 hours. Even though it is a steady uphill climb to Colchuck Lake, this felt like one of the easiest and fastest sections of the hike. 4000ft) the trail crosses the creek on an spectacular log bridge spanning deep pools of water on large boulders. The top gets pretty chilly, especially with cloud cover. This alpine lake is accompanied by the twin spires of Dragontail Peak and Colchuck Peak at the far end of the lake. Toilets available at the trail head. To the right are the remnants of the Colchuck Glacier and the slopes of Colchuck Peak, its true summit tucked out of view behind rocky towers. The trail continues past Colchuck Luck up Aasgard Pass to the Enchantment Lakes if you choose to extend your hike. 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. (Seems obvious but we noticed many others were a bit under prepared). Elevation gain made me a little lightheaded going up but it wasn’t too bad. How to Find Colchuck Lake : To hike to Colchuck Lake, you’ll want to start at the Stuart Lake trailhead and parking area. The first 20 miles are on a paved road (Icicle Creek Road), but after you take a left into the Bridge Creek Campground area, the road turns to dirt, which is National Forest Road 7601. The lakes are situated within the Cascade Mountains in Washington State, where visitors are privy to endlessly beautiful views of lakes, larch trees, snow-topped peaks, glaciers, and occasional goat sightings. From the town, the trailhead to the Colchuck Lake hike is a 40-minute drive. Layer up and bring a hat/gloves as it gets pretty chilly on top. The trailhead was a 45… Cross another bridge and continue .7 miles to the cul-de sac parking area and trailhead for Lake Stuart and Colchuck Lake. 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