Blue Lake Trail

MODERATE 82 reviews

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

DISTANCE
5.3 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
958 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

birding

fishing

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

snowshoeing

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.

hiking
7 months ago

Hiked this on Sunday, 15th. It was a gorgeous hike and like others have said, the larches were out in all their glory.

hiking
7 months ago

What a beautiful day for an adventure! My son (6 years old) and I arrived at the trail head around 10:30am and there were still a few spots in the parking lot. After gearing up, grabbing our dog, and signing in, we made our way up the trail. The first 2/3 are wooded with the remaining portion exposed. There were some parts of the trail that had compact snow and ice, and while they weren't impassable, some sort of traction would be helpful. The larches are out in full force so if you want to see them now is the time.

Beautiful lake, fall colors, trail was in great shape. Snowed very lightly up at the lake. I'd rate it easy.

hiking
8 months ago

hiking
8 months ago

Was an amazing hike! Started at 10am and finished right at 1pm. Also took a dip in the lake, quiet chilly but totally worth it!

hiking
8 months ago

Not too difficult of a hike with a beautiful lake at the top. Took about 45-50 min to get to top, less on the way down. Take your time at the top relaxing and swimming in the lake.

9 months ago

Stunningly beautiful!

9 months ago

Perfect little hike, great for beginners. Blue Lake was PERFECT! will do this one again for sure!!

hiking
9 months ago

My new favorite

9 months ago

Beautiful hike the whole way up! There were no bugs and well groomed trails.

Beautiful, I would rate this easy. The smoke is cleared, the trail was in great condition. Even though the temperature was high the lake was to cold for me to swim but I did wade out. We even saw some Mountain Goats.

hiking
10 months ago

Excellent hike with some great view points to the lake, and the lake was stunning. We were a group of six, ages from 8 to 70 and it was an easy hike for an 8-year-old, and was moderate for a 70-year-old.

10 months ago

Fantastic hike and the lake view at the end was incredible.

hiking
10 months ago

went up Saturday July 15, 2017 weather was perfect and the hike was amazing.

hiking
10 months ago

(7/13/17-Thursday) Fantastic hike. I started around 9:30am and had the trail mostly to myself. Only saw a few other hikers on the way up. On my return trip (around 1pm), it was super busy. Start early. No snow on the trail, but still plenty alongside it. Mostly shaded hike, with some breaks in the trees for stunning views along the way. Do not miss this one.

hiking
10 months ago

hiked on 7/3/17. this was a nice hike with steady incline. there was still patches of snow on the ground, but not too bad, just be careful. you'll def get your get wet, so wear waterproof shoes. took us about 2.5 hrs to complete. blue lake was so clear and so beautiful. it was still partially frozen and snow covered and really cold. I took a dip and it felt amazing! would highly recommend this hike.

hiking
10 months ago

Saw mountain goats some snow not too much. It was absolutely beautiful definitely would go again.

hiking
Monday, October 24, 2016

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!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

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
Monday, October 03, 2016

The Golden Larches are at their prime!

hiking
Friday, September 30, 2016

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

hiking
Thursday, September 29, 2016

Driving is far but Majestic view, worth it.

hiking
Thursday, September 22, 2016

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
Sunday, September 18, 2016

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
Thursday, September 15, 2016

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

Saturday, August 06, 2016

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 :)

Thursday, July 21, 2016

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
Monday, October 12, 2015

Beautiful in fall.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Did this hike today and it was amazing

hiking
Saturday, October 11, 2014

This is a wonderful hike

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