Heather Lake Trail #1526 is a 5.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Leavenworth, WA that features a lake. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking.
Directions from Lake Wenatchee: Take National Forest Road 65 west to Forest Service Road 6701. Turn left onto 6701 and continue on this road. Approximately one mile beyond the Theseus Creek Campground, take a left at the Y onto Forest Service Rd 400 and follow for 2 miles to the trailhead.
I have hiked this trail many times, but never this late in the season. We were wet and cold but saw many mushrooms and much water on the trail, one "pond" of significance. We went on a Saturday and only saw one other party. It took us a little over 2 hours each way.
It was a challenge but we ran into gemologist who told us about all the garnets in the river. We found a full bag of garnets! The hike was fun for the kids and when we arrived at the lake, it was beautiful! The rocks have garnets all woven in.
The lake at the top is beautiful for sure and the hike is so worth it. the trail is actually 3.3 miles one way, so round trip it's almost 7 miles. There is a lot of trail complications right now (June 17th, 2016). Much of the upper trail is swampy, washed away in very steep areas, and the last 1/4 mile is covered with giant fallen trees which make this hike only for experienced hikers.
We tackled this trail in January. The bottom portion of the trail was melting but the upper half had plenty of show for snowshoeing. Will have to come back to hike this trail during the summer.
Went on this trail instead of the one in Granite Falls by mistake. However, it's well worth the drive to a trail not well known by most people. We didn't make it all the way up to the lake, but the waterfalls on the way up is really spectacular.
We don't do a lot of trail hiking, we typically stick to exploring around our campsites and short hikes. Although we have hiked a few other trails. We like to camp out of the way when possible explore new areas. We found the Heather Lake Trail head when camping down the FS road it is on. We decided to to give it a try. I have allergy/exercise induced asthma and there were some steep areas on the trail. So I did have to stop and take breaks on the way up. But it was so worth it at the end! When we reached the end of the trail and saw Heather Lake it was one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen!
We went back to hike it the next year, but it was early summer so we couldn't get to the top of the trail as the snow had not completely melted and the trail was not visible. So I recommend going up mid to later in the season. Going at a time when you can reach the lake is worth it!