Explore Seattle requires overnight stay - view hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

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hiking
in 8 months

This hike has a pretty moderate incline and as a medium level hiker it wasn't too much of a challenge. I thought because of the mileage it might be a bit of a process for me but surprisingly it went smoothly. There are so many beautiful places to take breaks along the trail. There are many creeks, small waterfalls and beautiful trees and greenery along the trail. Honestly, this hike is so worth it. When you finally get to the top its just incredible. The color of Colchuck is hypnotizing. It is a tranquil teal blue and the ice caps and glaciers nearby on Asgard are pretty cool to check out as well. It is such a great place for photographs. An amazing hike for anyone in my opinion!

hiking
bugs
rocky
4 hours ago

I did this hike in August 2018. I would recommend starting on this trail in the morning. During the summer there are lots of insects, so bring some repellent. Trail starts out easy, relatively flat, and becomes more difficult as you go. You’ll come across two beautiful bridges, go over some boulders, and climb vertically near the end. The views along the hike are beautiful, and lots of water to be seen. Once you reach the top - the blue alpine water view will take your breath away. Sat and soaked my feet for a bit and enjoyed the view. Some went swimming, although not for long. I clocked about 9.5 miles round trip, rather than the 7.7 listed. I wish I had brought a hiking stick, though!

Didn’t make it to the falls, vehicle was not sufficiently equipped for snow. The road leading to the falls is paved and narrow, and currently has a decent layer of ice and snow. Vehicles without snow tires or chains should proceed with extreme caution.

it's a long haul but well worth every minute of it.

Very interesting how the water flows out of the rocks.

This hike offer all scenery from forest to flower fields to mountains. Absolutely stunning! One of my favorites!

Completed 11-19
Hardest hike I’ve done yet, but the lake was incredible. We tried to do Aasgard but ended up going up the glacier.

Backpacked this on November 7th, 2018.. And wow. This was my second time on the lake, but the first in the winter months! It was amazing. There was an average depth of six inches of snow at the time it seemed. We attempted Aasgard Pass but were conquered by it, as conditions got a little too hairy and technical for us.

For more information on this hike and trail, check out the video I made on YouTube: https://youtu.be/5viPNT-bk7A

Let me know what you think by leaving a comment! Subscribe to the channel if you’d like as well. This video should give you a great idea of the hike up to Colchuck Lake.

Clean trail, met nice hikers (some thru) on the way up. Very fun, worth every step. We had a bit of a walk from our car to the trailhead as the parking lot filled up early; this trail is extremely popular, especially in the summer months. Hard on your knees coming down- I highly reccomend poles and bug spray. The trail is very worn in some areas, with lots of rock and root. We saw a few mountain goats going up that were quite easily startled away. Sweeping views surprise you in spots on the way up. Flurries at the lake on a clear day in June, bring layers and snacks!

We drove around where it was supposed to be, but did not see any signs :-( ended up hiking a small portion of the PCT instead. Clearer signage would definitely be helpful.

Gorgeous falls with very little effort to see from the viewing deck. Google maps directions were accurate to the trail/parking. It was nice the road was paved the whole way. There's spray painted words and arrows on the road pointing to the trail. Also be sure to look up when on the road, as there's a small sign nailed to a tree above the trail with "Trail no. 137" on it.

walking
1 month ago

So cool!

easy with a great view

hiking
1 month ago

Can't get any better than this lake! Gravel road for a few miles before getting to the parking lot. Be prepared for a bumpy road. Come very early coz parking lot gets really full. We got there by 730am and lot was almost full.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked 10/27. missed the beautiful larch colors, but was still an amazing hike. Breathtaking views. Note....drove past trailhead was looking for NF-600. thinking it would be marked as such. It is actually at the Rainy Pass rest stop area.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked 11/17 wonderful relatively easy hike with big payoff views. Many hikers were not prepared with traction. mini/micro spikes were needed as most of the trail was iced over. trail head easy off hwy. vault toilet.

Beautiful in the fall when the mountains are covered in snow. Not too much elevation change and you get big views for a moderate amount of effort. Definitely heavily trafficked on the weekend though!

Great views of the falls but I did not do the entire trail because it was closed. This was one of 3 waterfalls I was visiting so I was not too disappointed that it wasn’t much of a “hike”. I was treated with gorgeous views of a rainbow over the waterfall. I assume on any sunny day this occurs. As others have mentioned it is difficult to find. You will park at a gravel parking lot right off the road on the right and then you will need to cross the road by foot to find the trail head right off the edge of the road.

Here is a video from my day where I visited panther creek falls, lower creek falls, and spirit falls - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KasE9uJGAOA&t=630s

Travelers info:

Forest Pass: YES
Parking fee: no but forest Pass needed
Driving: about 2 hours from Portland, potholes on the road up to panther.

backpacking
1 month ago

Amazing, even when done as a series of day hikes.

Too hard and far to drive to there.

absolutely amazing hike, especially beautiful in the fall.

Simply INCREDIBLE!! We won the permit lottery and were fortunate enough to spend three amazing days backpacking through the enchantments in late August.

Our itinerary was as follows
-Day 1 Enter through Colchuck TH-Colchuck Lake-Aasgard pass-into the Core, camping in the core
-Day 2 Exploring the core (highly recommend!), camped in Leprechaun Lake (stunning!)
-Day 3 Descended out of the core and exited through snow lake

I have hiked probably 50 ish hikes since moving to Washington and this was by far my favourite HANDS DOWN. Once you enter the core it is like a whole different world up there-alpine lakes, mountains, sheer cliff faces, moss covered rocks and small wildflowers, goats..I could go on.

Some words of advice particularly for those backpacking
-pack for ALL conditions. It snowed on our first night in August!
-start early, once you are in the core it never seems like you have enough time there
-though rare we did see a bear coming down through snow lake, so be warned
-there is plenty of water around, no need to carry much..especially up Aasgard
-Aasgard is rough, especially with a 30lb pack on. Take your time and enjoy the view
-the good camp sites fill up early. Move camp early and get established, then go exploring

I’m so fortunate to have backpacked here and I encourage everyone to do the same..apply for the lottery!!!

Wow!! That will be the reaction of 99.99% of people who do this hike, the other .01% are most likely crazy people. The magical, towering mountains around this mountain lake are simply breathtaking. It was a cold day with ice and a little snow in the higher elevations of the trail. The lake isn’t frozen over yet and the water still shows the bright blue color it’s known for. We clicked it at 8 miles round trip. Took us about 3 hrs up and 2 hrs back down. There is a few spots with fallen trees that you will need to go over or under. But overall the trail is very well maintained and easy to navigate.

So beautiful especially when the larch trees are in all their autumn glory. I hiked this 10/24 and the larches were in full effect. I hiked counterclockwise and I was very happy with the decision. It was a busy trail even on a Wednesday so I would suggest off peak times if possible.

hiking
2 months ago

Really beautiful hike around this time of the year, this hike offers some of the best views Washington trails has to offer. The lake is starting to freeze up and theres lots of snow and black ice once you start getting to higher elevations so be cautious! I would say this trail falls more on the moderate side than hard, it took us 3 hours to get to the top and 2 hours going back down. Would recommend this hike for everyone!

hiking
2 months ago

Absolutely stunning view. Went in the middle of November. It was chilly and icy. But soo worth it! My favorite so far

Hiked from Heather Meadows - lots of snow but still totally worthwhile and doable (note that there were lots of tracks from groups prior, so we never had difficulty trying to find the trail). Would recommend getting up there if the weather is nice, otherwise look forward to the flowers in 2019.

The only reason I am taking a star off is the lack of signs this trail has. Towards the end my friend and I took a major detour because there were fallen trees and the trail was hidden with snow. We found the lake though! So worth the hike we did it round trip in 4 hours and a half. Very icy towards the end so be careful.

hiking
2 months ago

Completed 11/10 - although snow was on trail from the beginning, it was still very well maintained the whole way! Wore hiking boots and runners and both were fine but traction would have been great.
Frozen, snowy lake, no larch color left, but was beautiful blue bird day! Will return, but preferably larch season.

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