Explore Top 2017 - 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 days 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!

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

This is one of my absolute favorite hikes I’ve ever been on in my life. It’s challenging but absurdly beautiful, and when you reach the top you’ll just be blown away. It’s one of the best trails Washington has to offer. Go early so you can continue further to the next water feature, I didn’t get to go that far but it’s supposedly amazing.

For a somewhat out-of-shape 50 year-old who used to be an athlete in my younger days, this was a great test of Character. Did it solo, as at the last week before, the others I was to be climbing with had to back out. Trained somewhat before doing this hike but not nearly what I would have liked to.
Very strenuous for me. Took almost 9 hours to do the round-trip. Thought I was in the clear after I got to the top but did not realize that coming down (Using hiking poles which, in my opinion is a must) was going to hurt even more. (Oh, my knees!!)
Even so, was a hike that I will remember forever.
If you leave early and pace yourself, it will be strenuous but doable and well worth it!!

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!

First snow hike of the season!

This is a hard hike but also really pretty. There was too much snow after the no stoves point so we couldn’t finish the trail.

Beautiful little hike on a beautiful day! I wasn’t expecting such an awesome view of Rainier within the first hour of the hike. And then Red Mountain which is very unique. Of course the actual Katwalk goes without saying it was truly stunning & unique.

Sadly, two days after we had done this trail there was news that someone had fell. So be careful out there everyone! Happy & safe hiking...

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

My husband and I hiked the trail on Thanksgiving day and was caught in a snow storm. Dropped about 8" of snow on top of the already deep snow. The Katwalk was very windy and icy so we decided to turn around and not chance it. We hiked back to the trail head as it got dark. Beautiful day!

Done it twice. ready to do it again!

hiking
2 months ago

Pretty steep hike near the end, but a super fun one to do right now (mid-end of October) to see the lake frozen over and the glistening frost!

My first major summit. It's a hard climb, but worth it at the top.

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.

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!

Awesome. That’s all that needs to be said.

Super day out there! Nice and sunny and trail was good. I would obviously still recommend mountain gear, poles, crampons etc. it was a great day! Trails were great!

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.

Sumitted November 8th!... a bit chilly, but no wind at the top, and amazing sunny views! Definitely appreciated crampons near the summit. This is a challenging hike! I am an avid hiker and runner and my body hurts in ways it rarely does 2 days later... but well worth it!!

Went up today solo, got spooked for no reason and turned back until I met with another group and they were kind enough to let me join them. It was raining on and off and we ended up crossing through two waterfalls, be very careful with your footing or you may be swept away and unless you're super careful you will likely get wet regardless. I was able to do the whole trip without trekking poles or spikes though poles would have made at least one crossing easier. Today there was 1-2" of snow at the top and it did snow on us towards the top. Really a lovely hike and I look forward to going back in fair weather!

hiking
2 months ago

A great day hike in the rain and snow.
There are two sections where the water is really flowing. The first one is quite deep, 90% of people turned back and didn't cross it that we saw.
The second one is easy, go up the hill 50 ft, it is only 2 foot wide, jump it.
Interesting easy hike. Can hear the I-90 freeway the whole hike, didn't like that.

hiking
2 months ago

My friend and I, who I'd classify as novice hikers, were able to complete this hike in 7 hours. It took us 4.5 hours up and 2.5 hours down.

We went on Nov. 2nd the conditions were muddy at most. No ice on the trail that we experienced.

There are some seriously beautiful viewpoints on the way up and was well worth it at the end. Unfortunately it was cloudy and rainy so we hope to go back again in the summer to see it all again.

We persevered but I wouldn't recommend this to someone who is totally inexperienced. It was very hard for us. However, a great hike for any seasoned hiker.

In addition, we both recorded approximately 10 miles, not the the listed 7.7 miles.

backpacking
2 months ago

Went backpacking with my daughter, her 1st trip and it was a perfect blend of difficulty and reward. At the top of Ingalls pass,we did get confused on how tondrop down into headlight basin as there were branches placed blocking what looked like the obvious way down, but after a bit of a scramble we made it. plenty of creeks for water. Recommend scrambling up to the lake from the basin (counterclockwise) as there were hardly any people. once we got to the lake there were himers who took the clockwise trail to the lake.

hiking
2 months ago

This is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in my life! The trail is tough but not as hard as some other hikes I’ve done. The views at the top are absolutely worth it, take a day trip and go here. You won’t be disappointed! Also, lots of Chipmunks!

the roots and rope climbing sections here are definitely a highlight

hiking
2 months ago

Hiked this trail for the 2nd time yesterday. And as always it was awesome. Trail was dry, had mud in spots but nothing to worry about. Brought a fishing pole up and managed to catch a few rainbow trout. All in all it was a great hike, ass kicker for sure. But worth every bit of it!

Hiked up today, there was a fair amount of snow & ice on the trail, but still manageable without any equipment or microspikes. Beautiful views ! I’d read peoples recommendations about high clearance vehicles but I drove to the trailhead just fine in a regular car, so don’t let that deter you.

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