Blue Lake Trail

MODERATE 24 reviews

Blue Lake Trail is a 5.3 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Stehekin, WA that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is accessible from July until November.

5.3 miles 1042 feet Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

fishing

fly fishing

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

old growth

rocky

snow

no dogs

A moderately easy and extremely beautiful hike through sub-alpine forest to a iridescent blue lake with water as clear as gin. Sit and watch the native cutthroat trout feed as you sit atop one of many boulders that line the lake's banks. As so many trails like it along the North Cascades Highway, Blue Lake is brimming with majesty. Dense old growth forest butts against new growth of the last century. These trees line your path for the majority of the walk, occasionally opening just enough to reveal prominent landmarks like Liberty Bell and Winter Spires from unique angles. Once at the end of the trail you are welcomed by a sub-alpine lake feeding a creek all powered by glacier and run-off water. Stop and take a drink. It's good clean water and you'll want it by the time you reach the end of the trail here. As you pass the creek's head, you'll notice the remnants of a sunken old beaver dam and water logged branches six or seven inches below the surface before it bottlenecks in to the creek. Look closer and you'll see dozens of wild native Cutthroat in the 6-9" range darting for food, trapped between the logs upstream and the long bumpy ride down stream to who knows where. The lake has a trail along its bank on one side. You are free to wander around the area and the lake's banks but I suggest sitting on one of the large boulders along the right side trail and taking in the beautiful scene and scent. A perfect day hike for the hiker seeking nothing in particular.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked Blue Lake on Saturday, October 22.

The entire trail was covered in snow. I recommend micro-spikes and trekking poles with snow baskets to help with traction and to prevent slipping. Most of the hiking trail was packed down snow and ranged from about 1.5 to 2 feet wide. I tracked a 5.3 mile roundtrip hike.

Breathtaking views all around and throughout the trail. Be sure to stop, look up and behind you to see these spectacular sights. Still some lingering golden larches out there. Enjoy!

1 month ago

Absolutely breathtaking. Between the yellow trees, snow and mountains I felt like I was in a winter wonderland. I could've spent all day there.
Relatively easy and short hike. Ice on the trail in quite a few spots tho.
Went yesterday, Wednesday, got to the trail about 9:30 only the 4th car. By the time I got back around 1 the parking lot was pretty full.

hiking
2 months ago

The Golden Larches are at their prime!

hiking
2 months ago

A little effort for a big payoff. Blue Lake is glorious!

hiking
2 months ago

Driving is far but Majestic view, worth it.

2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

hiking
2 months ago

Wonderful trail. Gorgeous, pristine lake at the end. The trail had a little bit of snow on it today. The only reason I give it a 4-star instead of a 5-star is that you can hear the road noise for about half the distance to the lake.

hiking
2 months ago

No matter what time of year, this trail is always beautiful. The fall foliage is in full color for the first half of the trail and just starting to change in the last half. The larches are just starting to turn.I'm guessing another 2 to 3 weeks and they will be at the prime. When we reached the lake, there was some fishermen and they had caught several cutthroat trout.

hiking
2 months ago

Short and easy trail to a beautifully pristine lake with easy swimming access and beautiful mountain views.

4 months ago

Good solid hike, enough to challenge you, this hike seems to have it all & a pretty lake at the end 5 stars by default, actually it's a 4.5 :)

4 months ago

I like a little more solitude but with this amazing lake so close, it's no wonder it can be a bit crowded. Lovely place.

hiking
6 months ago

hiking
1 year ago

Beautiful in fall.

1 year ago

Did this hike today and it was amazing

hiking
2 years ago

This is a wonderful hike

hiking
2 years ago

Except for the bugs, this is a spectacular short trail along a beautiful highway. Bring along $5 cash, because it doesn't look like any passes are accepted here. We wore swimsuits and sandals hoping to swim, but the lake was ice cold even in the heat of summer. Smoke made the hike more difficult than it might have been - I found myself winded after a short scramble around the lake.

walking
2 years ago

Gorgeous Hike with great Photo OP's!

hiking
4 years ago

Great hike completed yesterday with my mom, sister, and Little niece Of only 2 . It was just breath taking to see the scenery as we hiked along the tree line . The larch was beautiful too as it felt like it was raining gold flakes when the breeze would blow . I would definitely recommend the hike to the pristine lake . We sat among the boulders and ate some snacks as two chipmunks tried to be our friends . It was a great day and would recommend this hike for the majestic views , fall colors , and pristine clear aqua blue lake !

hiking
4 years ago

Our family enjoyed this hike yesterday. We took the kids 10,9 and 2 1/2 years old they did great. The 2 year old was a little tired on the way up :) We had a great time fishing and caught about 30 trout (catch and release) none over about 7 inches but still fun. We also enjoyed a quick swim, the water is very cold. Even on a hot day we were all shivering. On the way down the trail we saw a doe and a few chipmunks.