Went Nov 1st. I’d recommend going earlier because now that the sun sets so early, hiking back in the dark wasn’t my favorite. The view of the lake is definitely worth it. But the reward at the top is a picturesque lake with dazzling blue green water and views over Dragontail and Colchuck … Hiked this on 11/8 with a group of athletic 20-somethings. Looking forward to go again in the summer. Although this trail is one of my favorite hikes, the road was closed for the winter when you first turn off of Icicle Rd. We did this as a day hike. After the bridge, the route steepens and grows rockier, a small taste of what’s to come over the hike’s second half. Cold, wear layers of sweaters. Restrooms are available at the trailhead. I took a tumble a couple of times but nothing major. After a series of rocky switch backs you will reach the trail junction for Stuart, and Colchuck lakes. Many layers and gloves highly recommended. 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. 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. Hiked 10/27 - I have done this hike in the summer and have now done it in late fall. I was stoked to hike to see Colchuck for myself and I dragged my family members with me. There is a $5 cash for park fee unless you have the NW Forest Pass. Views are incredible! But it put us close to the Colchuck and Stuart Lake Trailheads for an early start on Sunday. Where to Stay. 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. Although it was VERY icy we still managed to make it up and down with just poles. 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. Stuart Lake and Colchuck Lake share the same trail for about 2 miles. The first time you round the corner and come out of the trees at Colchuck Lake is something of a religious experience. But the steepest sections at the end was icy. Bring lots of water and snacks no matter what time of year you go. Dispersed camping is not allowed between the road and Icicle Creek. I used one hiking pole which with the spikes made the hike a lot better. I loved this hike! They were all over. 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. You’ll want at least one liter or more. 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. And all this is within relatively easy reach. Went to colchuck lake last summer and it was amazing! And all this is within relatively easy reach. Like most one day thru-hikers we started at Colchuck trailhead and descended down to Snows Lake trailhead. Parking is only allowed in the Eightmile and Stuart/Colchuck Trailhead Parking Lots. So don’t get your panties in a twist just because the uphill hiker doesn’t always pass first. Some parts down are steep so they would have been super helpful. Otherwise, just take it slow. How to Find Colchuck Lake : To hike to Colchuck Lake, you’ll want to start at the Stuart Lake trailhead and parking area. You will stay to the right after crossing the bridge, and walk along the creek before your next big push uphill. There are several high points with the western most being the true summit. Views are beautiful and well worth the hike! This is by far the hardest hike I ever did. 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. Bring the 10 essentials. Enjoy the scenery and stop bitchin ladies! Hiked 11/7. The 8-9 mile roundtrip hike was tiresome, but well worth it. Sadly Forest Road 7601 was closed when we tried to go today (11/12) may be closed for the season. Hiked on 11/8. We didn't wear our spikes but had them with us. A northwest forest pass is required. Follow the bumpy, sometimes potholed dirt road 3.7 miles to the Stuart Lake trailhead. The Colchuck Lake trailhead is located near the town of Leavenworth, Washington. Trailhead to Colchuck Lake. Be prepared to share the trail with hundreds of people; this is an extremely popular route, especially on summer … Many people don’t pay close attention to the signs and get lost this way! Contributions to WTA are tax deductible, and we are committed to making the best use of every donation to our mission. Fourth of July Creek Trail to Icicle Ridge, Mountain Home Ridge [CLOSED / PRIVATE PROPERTY], Canyon Crest Trail to Rat Creek Ridge Trail. But there were a couple of slick spots. Worth the view! Park at the Stuart Lake trailhead. I really started to struggle towards the end. Today’s conditions were mostly fine with patches of ice and slippery surfaces that I slipped on and saw numerous people slip on. In summer, cars fill not only the trailhead parking lot, but the road leading to it. Start early to finish before dark. The lot fits 75 cars and has bathrooms. 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. 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. Going up was not too bad however the latter part (closest to the lake) has some steeper grades. For the most part, you are hiking through a forest. It's 8.0 miles round trip to Colchuck Lake, with about 2,200 feet of elevation gain. The climb remains pretty consistent rocky, and with tree roots but manageable. This hike was recommended by a friend and after hiking Colchuck Lake we are passing the recommendation onto other friends…it was absolute gorgeous. The kind of picturesque Earth porn you find in destination magazines. On both my joints and my mind. Part of its magic was induced by hiking in 102 degree heat. Use poles. With an elevation gain of over 2000 feet, the hike to Colchuck lake is challenging. 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. Stuart Lake (#1599), Colchuck Lake (#1599A) Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Wenatchee River Ranger District Check out my photos The trailhead was a 45… 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. Not an easy one, definitely helps to be somewhat physically fit. 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)! The Colchuck Lake trail starts at the Stuart Lake trailhead, (off Forest Service Road 7601). SEE PARKING INFORMATION BELOW. At some points along this portion of the hike you will catch a glimpse of Mountaineer Creek. The first glance you get rounding the corner to Colchuck Lake is an awe inspiring moment. Immediately across the lake is the imposing massif of Dragontail Peak. Drive 8.4 miles and turn left onto Forest Service Road 7601. Our tax identification number is EIN 91-0900134. 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. This is a challenging hike with beautiful scenery in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area of Washington State. Colchuck Lake used to be a hidden gem but is now quickly gaining in popularity. Learn how to create your own. Parking Restriction: Parking allowed at trailheads and only on the right side of Road 7601 between Eightmile Lake and Stuart Lake trailheads. Just take your time. In summer, cars fill not only the trailhead parking lot, but the road leading to it. The road to the trailhead will be closed on Monday 11/09/20 to the Spring 2021. 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. 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. Follow the potholed dirt road 3.7 miles to the Stuart Lake trailhead. I honestly felt great on the way up - perhaps the adrenaline of seeing the lake. Here, subalpine firs give way to larches, and the formal trail gives way to a rock-hopping route that eventually heads up Aasgard Pass. I was scared based on the hard rating and other people’s stories but it was easier than I actually thought. 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. 209S map. Washington Trails Association is 501(c)(3) nonprofit. In summer, cars fill not only the trailhead parking lot, but the road leading to it. Follow this road for four miles to the trailhead. 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. 705 2nd Ave, Suite 300 Challenging, but like I said totally worth the struggle uphill. You pay at the trail head. Drive 8.4 miles and turn left onto Forest Service Road 7601. The trail gradually climbs through forest along Mountaineer Creek and crosses creek at 1.5 miles on a log bridge. colchuck lake hike time December 23, 2020 Uncategorized Uncategorized Hike by WTA Correspondents: Paul Kriloff. Colchuck Lake Trail begins at Stuart Lake trailhead and parking lot by Forest Service Road 7601, which can be reached from Icicle Creek Road. Straight ahead the path to Stuart Lake rolls out, while the Colchuck Lake Trail #1599.1 breaks off to the left. Elvin R. Joh… Cross another bridge and continue .7 miles to the cul-de sac parking area and trailhead for Lake Stuart and Colchuck Lake. 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. Didn’t need spikes but poles were pretty critical on way down in this section. great views! trail has slippery frost and ice near the top and spikes were great. 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. I posted photo of the assignment. Unfortunately it rained the day of our hike. Our group of 9 friends started around 7:00 a.m. and made it back to the vehicles around 10:00 p.m.. Saw many people fall, good hiking shoes recommended. Make sure to turn LEFT at the fork to Colchuck since going straight will lead you to Stuart Lake. It wasn’t icy/snowy enough to put on the spikes we brought. At the trailhead. 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. The parking area can be busy, as visitors access the Enchantments and Stuart Lake from this trailhead. It was worth it though! 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. It’s much colder than trailhead. This map was created by a user. Colchuck Lake is one of the gateways into the Enchantments. Colchuck Lake Trail starts at Stuart Lake trailhead off of Forest Service Road 7601, which can be accessed from Icicle Creek Road. This is truly a brutal trek with 4,500 feet gain and 6,500 feet descent on not so easy terrain. Subscribe to our free email newsletter for hiking events, news, gear reviews and more. Good hiking boots helped and for me micro spikes were not needed. Colchuck Lake is a beautiful, blue lake with dramatic peaks in the background. 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. The trail seems to end at a broad granite face overlooking the lake. Started at 11am and got back to the car around 6pm. Some people enjoy a fast hike and some slow. From Seattle, take WA 522-E to US2-E which will drop you into the small, Bavarian themed town of Leavenworth. 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! The trail continues past Colchuck Luck up Aasgard Pass to the Enchantment Lakes if you choose to extend your hike. Many people going uphill welcome the opportunity to pause and let a downhill person go first. 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. As stated below, road to trailhead closes on 11/9, and would add 8 (boring) miles to the total. 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 replenish water in the creeks or lake, but be sure to filter or treat before drinking. 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. 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. 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. The way leaves the parking lot and the trail meanders the valley. Start early. Three quarters of a mile later, the trail flattens out and drops a little before reaching a trail junction. Even though it is a steady uphill climb to Colchuck Lake, this felt like one of the easiest and fastest sections of the hike. 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. To the left of Dragontail is Aasgard Pass, the climb that serves as the unbelievably steep “shortcut” to the Enchantments. Hiked 11/7. This is a great place to grab lunch and take in the scenery. 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. Trail is in decent condition though, very rocky and icy at some points. From the town, the trailhead to the Colchuck Lake hike is a 40-minute drive. The trail was in good condition but icy for the last 1-1.5 miles to the top. However, the way back was difficult for me. Be careful of potholes and bumps in the road! Two weeks ago, we headed up to Leavenworth for the weekend. Layer up and bring a hat/gloves as it gets pretty chilly on top. Be sure to pack extra layers for the lake. If you are traveling Eastbound on Highway 2 over Stevens Pass go right on Icicle Road when you first enter Leavenworth. 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