Blue Lake Trail

MODERATE 163 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

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
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.

2 months ago

absolutely amazing hike, especially beautiful in the fall.

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.

hiking
3 months ago

Was there yesterday 10/21. Not as crowded nor as amazing as it was billed to be. We were disappointed by the color. I guess we missed it. No snow or ice. A little mud. No need for traction 10/21. It was a beautiful day.

hiking
3 months ago

Beautiful hike!! So many colors out right now! It’s cold once you get to the lake so be prepared!

hiking
3 months ago

We hiked on 10/15. The fall color is so amazing, some space is icy. It’s a nice hiking.

3 months ago

I loved this trail! Beautiful around every curve.

3 months ago

good short hike with an easy trail. awesome spot at the top. had snow flurries for some larch hunting and did not disappoint!

hiking
3 months ago

One of my favorite fall hikes in the North Cascades. It does not disappoint.

hiking
3 months ago

A beautiful Fall hike. My friends and I came out here on Sunday 10/6. The trail is easy, and beautifully maintained. Great for those that are just getting into hiking. We brought traction with us and didn’t need it, but there were a few small spots that were icy. It did start snowing on us at the lake and never did let up till we were back at the parking lot. This is a very popular hike, get there early the lot fills up fast, cars were parked around the corner and down the road.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked this for the first time and it was beautiful!! I'm so glad we went really early though. We counted 125 people as we came down. Too busy for my liking. The trail was getting a little slick in places. We will be going back though next year! Hiked it Oct 6.

hiking
3 months ago

What a beautiful day for a hike! Clear skies and not too cold. Glad we brought microspikes-they we’re required for the last half mile to the lake. The views were incredible, so the trail was busy, but it was totally worth it to see the larches and beautiful Blue Lake.

3 months ago

Snow and ice. Bring traction.

3 months ago

I go every late September to see the color. Best fall colors in Washington

3 months ago

Hiked on 9/22/18

Blue Lake is absolutely breathtaking! The trail is so nice and nicely maintained, the views are absolutely gorgeous, and the lake is crystal clear and pristine.

Absolutely perfect day hike and one of my new favorites!

*Need Forest Pass

hiking
4 months ago

Nice hike, no bugs. Ran into 3 mountain goats on the trail :)

hiking
4 months ago

No complaints, this trail is now one of my favorites. The views we're breathtaking, trail well maintained. Rocky and rooty throughout the trail so wear good tread hiking boots, if you have trekking poles that's a plus. Bathroom and parking at trailhead. The lake was so green, I could of stayed here all day. Very popular trail on a weekend

5 months 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
5 months 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
5 months 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 months 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!

5 months ago

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

5 months ago

Great trail home to many mountain goats

5 months 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
5 months 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!

5 months ago

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

hiking
5 months 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!

hiking
5 months ago

8/3/18
The hike is short but uneventful until about the last 1/2 mile where it starts to open up to some decent views. Do yourself a favor and hike up to an overlook on either side of the lake (especially if it’s sunny), the water looks so much more blue and picturesque from above.

5 months 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
6 months 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!

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