Explore the most popular hiking trails in Alpine Lakes Wilderness with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This was an amazing adventure. The trail is difficult. The last mile is grueling, to say the least. A pretty intense incline over rocks and roots. But there are plenty of amazing view points to stop, stretch, water up, and snack before continuing up. The pay off of the lake at the end is completely worth it.
Started at 7:30am, we reached the lake by Noon, with a very slow and steady pace, taking plenty of water breaks. (Had a newbie with us, didn’t want to push too hard.) Doable in 2 intense hours. 3-4 hours comfortably.
Two of us continued on to reach Colchuck Peak after having lunch by the lake. We reached the top of the snow chute by 9pm, made it to the summit by 9:40pm. The views of the Enchantments, Mount Rainier, Cashmere mountain, and Mount Stuart were unbelievable.
The descent is much quicker, (even in the pitch black.)
BUG SPRAY IS A MUST HAVE ITEM! Otherwise you will get eaten alive by mosquitoes!

Up in 2 down in 1:40. Grueling on way up but Definitely worth it!

2 days ago

Really enjoyed the trail. Very easy to follow. There was spots in the trail that had snow to cross. Was tricky with out any type of trail spikes or crampons. When we got to the top where it overlooked snow lake it was still covered in snow. We tried to scale down the hill towards the lake but we decided not too. It was very steep without any type of spikes and a thunderstorm was rolling in. Still got a very good view of the lake. Unfortunately it was still frozen. Still enjoyed the hike and was worth it!

Really great hike. Yes, it's very difficult but worth it!

Last mile is challenging to say the least. Beautiful hike and even more beautiful scenery at the end. Well worth the effort to get there. Last mile / 1/2 mile had my husband and I questioning our sanity but we were moving quickly and had to slow our pace down. Took us about 2 hour to get there and about 1 hour and 40 minutes to get back to the car. Didn’t see any goats :(. Hands down, best hike we’ve ever done. Sore muscles today! Water, snacks and bug spray is a MUST..

9 days ago

Stunning views, but not an easy hike. Went with my wife (mid 20s) and her sister (early 20s). Took us about 4 hours from start to finish and we made it to the top ridge overlooking the lake. Trail was very rocky, wet, and had a lot of snow. The first 2 miles are manageable, but once you get to the switchbacks it’s basically climbing through snow. Would highly recommend hiking boots or you’ll be slipping and your feet will be wet. It was hard to follow the trail in some places. The lake is still completely frozen and there’s so much snow going down to the lake that the only way to get down is by sliding on your butt. A local at the top said the lake thaws by August. It’s really cold up at the top so bring layers.

10 days ago

Great hike visually, bring lots of water. First incline isn’t anything too crazy but the second incline is lengthy and can get pretty difficult if not in good shape. One of the best hikes I’ve done

10 days ago

AMAZING and fun hike. You get to hike along a creek and hear running water, climb boulders, cross bridges, and end at a stunning lake. While my dad was taking a nap a mountain goat went right up to him and smelled him! Lots of wild life and a beautiful place.

11 days ago

One of our new favorite trails, made for an awesome day hike. We are from Minnesota and while we are not avid hikers this trail was just right for us.

Don't be fooled by how innocent the trail starts off, it becomes pretty difficult but certainly worth the view. I highly recommend.

Lots of snow left on the trail. Some rocky parts are challenging and with the snow melt it leaves the snowy trail undermined with many tree holes. I actually fell hip deep in one and still wasn’t touching the ground. Spikes and poles are necessary! Trail is hidden and we took a few detours before ALMOST turning back 300 yards before the finish. Very foggy and misty, still a beautiful view for an experienced hiker. I, myself, will wait until the snow melts before hiking again. Some parts unsafe.

I hiked this a couple of years ago in July. The hike to snow lake was on the low end of moderate but the continued 3 mike round trip to Gem Lake was more difficult. Quite the scramble but in the end worth the quite, pristine, and crystal clear water!

13 days ago

Hiked this on June 9th and the trail was completely clear of snow! Probably one of my new favorite hikes (:
Was going to do Asgard but the rest of the group wasn't feeling up to it since there was still a little snow there. Next time though (:

Spectacular views of mountains, waterfalls, and wildflowers. The trail went from some sections covered in slushy snow to completely covered in slushy snow. We lost the trail in the full snow portion and turned back. Beautiful none the less.

14 days ago

This was a fun hike - but be warned - there is still a lot of snow, and it’s starting to melt, which made walking across the snow/boulder field parts a little sketchy. This trail is rated moderate - I would say it’s better for confident hikers who have the proper gear. Having done it in the summer previously I think I’ll wait and do it again in August.

Great location with fantastic views. But you have to earn it.

With the wildfires that swept through last summer, the trail after Stuart Lake is near impossible to find. Make sure you have GPS and the trail downloaded. We had someone in our group with GPS that had been to Horseshoe once before and it was still quite difficult.

After Stuart, you go about an hour through a marsh and lots of fallen trees. If you stay on course, the tree with the horseshoe is still standing. Once you see it, it’s straight up the mountain about 2,500 feet and this is where the trail is completely gone. Ash, mud, and dead trees everywhere. Took us about 3 hours for this section before reaching the lake. Microspikes a must have and be ready to get covered in ash.

Nice thing is once you get up there, you have it to yourself. Not too many people trying to make it with all the obstacles. Well worth it if you have the time and GPS. Feels like you are in the Core.

Hiked this trail May 24, and not disappointed. Trail starts out innocent enough, but soon reveals to be a workout. Bring enough water, or bring a purifier. And definitely don't forget some food. Bug spray won't hurt either! Incredible views seen nowhere else. Definitely recommend this hike.

Beautiful hike with waterfalls and some old growth trees! Definitely a lot of snow in the lake basin of malachite and cooper, and needs to melt a little more up there before I try again!

18 days ago

Went there today for the first time and it was great! The trail had one tiny patch of snow, but it was good otherwise. We also saw a mountain goat and lots of chipmunks!

no dogs allowed. WA needs to catch up on their policies with the rest of the Nation.

Amazing hike! Stellar views, but the only down side is how popular it is. Lots of traffic parking lot was full and quite a bit of the road leading to the park lot as well. (Also I went at the beginning of the season soooo)

21 days ago

Spectacular hike with stunning views of Dragontail peak. The Lake was still partially frozen, but there was barely any snow around the area. Still some snow on Aasgard, but not as much as I expected. [Completed 6/1]

23 days ago

The Parking Lot
Northwest Forest Pass required, but no day passes were available for purchase so we (and others) did not pay for a day pass. We put out the National Park pass, uncertain if it is suffice.

The Hike
Several feet of snow for most of the journey.

The Trip
We left Sunday around 10:15AM and made camp around 6:30PM, but did not reach the lake by sunset. Due to the limitations of our trip, we did not make it to Marmot or Jade Lake.

The Warnings
You will likely fall through the snow as it has been melting causing a thin surface layer of snow and nothing beneath it until your leg falls through the snow and your foot either hangs, hits the ground, or finds a stream. The trail is not noticeable for probably 5 of the 8 miles we hiked, but the three miles that you can see a trail is also majorly snow covered but tracked by hikers footprints in the snow. Of the several backpackers we talked with about the hike, only one made it to Jade Lake that we know of.

The Tips
Use GoogleMaps on your IPhone because service is not required. Try using your AllTrails App map to locate yourself and follow the trail (the app worked on my friends IPhone 7). Bring chalk and flagger tape if trekking in the snow. Be prepared to have wet feet (we used plastic bags to cover our feet the next morning due to wet shoes). Consider what you will do if you can't find a non-snowy spot to sleep (we weren't expecting much snow.)

The Verdict
A gorgeous hike that I hope to blaze again in the summer! A hard hike that may require off-trail hiking, steep inclines, and multiple river crossings!

24 days ago

still need spikes and poles. about 2 miles in there’s a huge drop off that I actually ended up sliding down and into a huge pile of rocks. come prepared, tennis shoes do not qualify.

Outstanding trail with scenic views at Colchuck Lake

We tried to make it to the falls last week but the bridge is completely washed out. So you can only make it about 1.5 Miles in before having to turn back.

Trail is in great shape, hike is a 5 star as usual!

Great views and a great work out. Well maintained trail. The view is worth the hike.

27 days ago

The ROI is midway at the top like most of the alpine lake trails. Go prepared against mosquitoes for the first few miles of the hike. Poles won’t hurt either- we went without and took us longer to reach the lake. There’s many places to cross the waterfall on a foot log or otherwise and some boulder climbs.

29 days ago

Awesome trail with a great payoff at the end. Easy going until that last mile or so when the trail steepens but well worth it. Wife and I did the way up in just over two hours with plenty of stops for pictures and water. Would definitely recommend getting an early start on the hike! It was a perfect temperature when we started off around 7 am.

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