Blue Lake Trail

MODERATE 116 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.

2 days ago

One of the bed trails I have hiked, there are many beautiful views; I like photography, so it was a real treat, everywhere I look it was an excellent opportunity to take a photo. I was made aware about the presence of goats, but I didn’t see any; the view of the lake and surrounding mountains was quite impressive.

hiking
3 days ago

My family and I hiked this trail on July 27th 2018....we started at 1:00pm and got back by 4:30pm. Spent a while taking pictures of the breathtaking views and my husband and son event went for a swim. If you like hiking this trail is definately a must!

hiking
3 days ago

We were there the first week of August 2018. Great hike! We were there with our 2 daughters who are 9 and 5. Grandma and Grandpa (68 y/o) came along as well. It is a great hike that they were all able to enjoy. We hiked this area last year. We loved it so much we did it again this year! Amazing part of the country!

hiking
5 days ago

I did this hike on July 23, 2018. It was a little hot but beautiful sunny skies. One of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been is Blue Lake and I’ve been hiking all summer in many national parks. This took me about 3 hours with a lunch break. Definitely a moderate hike for the average hiker. Don’t miss this hike!

6 days ago

8/12:/18 Perfect hike for me and the lake was stunning. Spotted momma and baby mountain goats.

7 days ago

Great trail home to many mountain goats

9 days ago

8/11/18 Enjoyed this trail from beginning to end. Beautiful scenery of the mountains, glaciers, wild flowers and lake. Its a moderate hike, our walking sticks helped our knees on the way back down. Make sure to wear good shoes We saw a couple of people in flip flops who im sure we’re struggling. There was a black bear on the trail on our return back, about a 10th of a mile from the parking lot.

hiking
14 days ago

Easy hike compared to Maple Pass & Cascade Pass that we did. Great recovery day with gorgeous scenery. Stop by Winthrop for a burger and beer after!

15 days ago

Amazing hike with fantastic views. The lake was a lovely sight!

hiking
15 days ago

Fairly easy hike compared to the other hikes in the area. The trail is well maintained and clear. Hiked it on a beautiful August day. Lots of sunshine and good rewarding hike. Beautiful views of the lake at the top Nice views of the mountains along the way! I highly recommend this for all experience levels of hikers. Enjoy!

20 days ago

Hiked on 7/30 during heat wave. Most of the trail is in woods and shaded but there are some expsosed areas. No wildlife sightings because of heat. However, view from Blue Lake is gorgeous! Pack your bug spray and extra water. Very cool to see and hear the glaciers moving above.

hiking
30 days ago

My boyfriend and I absolutely loved this trail. We are hiking beginners and there are definitely some steep parts but the views are 110% worth it!

hiking
1 month ago

Really great views for such a short and fairly easy trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Fairly easy hike with beautiful views. Bummed we didn't see any mountain goats but saw some marmots! Definitely recommend.

hiking
1 month ago

Hiked on 7/3/18. This hike is incredibly scenic surrounded by peaks. It has a beautiful meadow with amazing 360 views and lots of wild flowers. We were lucky enough to spot 8 mountain goats, 2 were babies, clamoring down the climbing trail towards us. We also saw a few marmot climbing about the rocks. The lake is beautiful. There were several others hiking this day and I see why it’s a popular trail. That is the only draw back.

1 month ago

Easy Day hike for smaller children. We took our four month old on the trail and it was just the right length, time and elevation gain.

1 month ago

JULY 3, 2018: I LOVED THIS HIKE! the views are incredible and there are so many different things to see on your way up. we started at around 5:30am and finished around 8:30. the trail was not too hard and was definitely worth it. would highly recommend!

1 month ago

Beautiful views and the lake is gorgeous. Hiked this yesterday 7/6 and the mosquitos were intense. Definitely come prepared for a lot of bugs.

hiking
1 month ago

Great Hike! Pretty much clear of all snow. If you want some better views take the left trail when It splits 1.5 miles in and hike the "climbing" route that leads to the basin of the spires.

hiking
10 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
10 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
10 months ago

hiking
11 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
11 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.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Stunningly beautiful!

Sunday, August 20, 2017

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

hiking
Friday, August 18, 2017

My new favorite

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

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

Saturday, August 12, 2017

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.

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