Colchuck Lake Trail

HARD 605 reviews
#2 of 33 trails in

Colchuck Lake Trail is a 7.7 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Leavenworth, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until October.

DISTANCE
7.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,319 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

bugs

rocky

snow

no dogs

This is a challenging hike with beautiful scenery in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area of Washington State. This alpine lake is accompanied by the twin spires of Dragontail Peak and Colchuck Peak at the far end of the lake. Colchuck Lake Trail starts at Stuart Lake trailhead off of Forest Service Road 7601, which can be accessed from Icicle Creek Road. The parking area can be busy, as visitors access the Enchantments and Stuart Lake from this trailhead. A northwest forest pass is required. The hike starts out with an easy mile and a half, creek side walk through the forest. At some points along this portion of the hike you will catch a glimpse of Mountaineer Creek. After the walk through the woods, you will cross the creek on a bridge before beginning the first real incline of the hike. After a series of rocky switch backs you will reach the trail junction for Stuart, and Colchuck lakes. Stay to the left and you will happen upon another log bridge, stunning vistas that act as the gateway to the wilderness. You will stay to the right after crossing the bridge, and walk along the creek before your next big push uphill. The climb remains pretty consistent rocky, and with tree roots but manageable. You will have a few areas with views perfect for photo opportunities on your way to the lake. Once you reach Colchuck lake, you will be rewarded with beautiful views of the blue/green lake with the peaks towering behind it. The trail continues past Colchuck Luck up Aasgard Pass to the Enchantment Lakes if you choose to extend your hike. If not, return the way you came.

2 days ago

The best hike in Washington

4 days ago

Wonderful hike! Long but moderate in comparison to other “difficult” hikes !

hiking
5 days ago

BE WARNED: This hike is 12 miles round trip, NOT 7.7. However, it was perfect! Incredible hike, gorgeous fall colors everywhere, 1000% worth the work for the pristine lake at the top! There was crystal clear blue water and larches!

5 days ago

It’s the most picturesque reward you’ll ever get after a long, hard hike. My husband and I actually hiked this at night so we could be at the top by sunrise. It was GORGEOUS! Totally worth every steep climb up, and painful knee-aching step down. We clocked in over 10 miles. It was very cold, and near the top there were so many boulders to climb we thought we were off the trail, but eventually found our way. Could’ve been the dark though. :)

5 days ago

Great hike. Worth the effort once you get to the lake. Oct 12...perfect time. Weather was 49-59 over the whole hike. No bugs and few people.

11 days ago

Amazing hike, water level low. Stunning views

hiking
11 days ago

I’d love to see pictures of what this trail looked like before it got so beat down. Major trail erosion is everywhere and path width is extreme. I wonder how much longer this section will be able to handle such high hiker volume? We are unintentionally destroying the places we say we love.

11 days ago

Amazing

hiking
13 days ago

The best hike I’ve been on so far in my young hiking career. I clocked it at 9.31 miles up and down. Definitely a hard hike, but being 28 my fiancé and I were able to do it in our sneakers. Pack accordingly as it can get chilly and we did encounter some snow about half way up. Enjoy the breathtaking view!

14 days ago

Probably my favorite hike. Defiantly a hard hike but SO many great view spots that you can take a rest. We clocked around 9 miles round trip. Beautiful lake! We got snow, rain and sunshine. Can’t wait to go back!

hiking
17 days ago

Totally worth it,, beautiful

hiking
17 days ago

Just breathtaking! Highly trafficked.

hiking
18 days ago

Beautiful! Totally worth it!

backpacking
18 days ago

Amazing! Beautiful lake.

hiking
23 days ago

The fitbit said 10.64 miles and 2970 feet elevation gain. Parking lot to parking lot.

hiking
24 days ago

In town for work and decided to go hiking, 'cause you know, I could use some exercise. It is a tough hike if you are out shape. But, it is worth it. The parking lot, as everyone else mentions is packed. I got there around 8:30 and had to park about 20 yards down the road so there is a lot of traffic on the trail. Well worth it, though. If you are looking for good pics. later in the day is better to have the sun at your back for the views of the surrounding peaks. The trail goes around the lake but it can be lost at times so you may have to bushwhack it a little. While I may be walking pretty slow tonight and I look a little funny walking, the hike is worth it. Definitiely recommend it.

hiking
25 days ago

Easily the best day hike near Seattle! We got there a little late in the day, around noon. The parking lot was full so we parked about half mile away from the trail head. The hike starts off easy, the first 1.5 miles are easy but beware of roots and rocks. Once you cross the Stuart and colchuck lake intersection, the trail gets a little harder. The last patch gets pretty rocky. The views are amazing! We went on a sunny day, although it was cold and windy near the lake. I didn’t think the hike was hard as such, more like a long moderate hike. Also, seems like the trail is longer than the distance on all trails. My tracker showed 9.8 miles out and back. This didn’t include the walk around the lake or the walk from my car to the trailhead. It took us 3 hours up and 2 hours back down. Amazing hike! Definitely go for it!

hiking
25 days ago

Great post-Labor Day time for a hike, thought the lot was still just full when we arrived around 9:00.
TRAIL - Good steady uphill on a fairly rocky trail, but it is kept up perfectly given the obvious traffic this thing gets. As you can see from the recordings, the thing gets a little sporty at the end. I'm 55 and in okay shape, but my heart didn't get worked so hard I couldn't speak.
LAKE - crazy color to that water, even with overcast lighting. Lots of places to take some lunch and explore, with a great flat rock just left(south) of center when you get to the lake.
OVERALL - wonderful view, no bugs, cool weather; what's not to love

26 days ago

Amazing lake!!

hiking
29 days ago

This is one of the best hikes in this area - and probably the best day hike. We did this along with Stuart Lake and the mountain views and the water color were breathtaking

hiking
1 month ago

so gorgeous!

hiking
1 month ago

One of my favorite hikes in the PNW. It's a very popular trail, so get there early. Leave yourself at least 5 hours to complete the trail, but give yourself more time if you want to stay at the lake for a bit. Try to go on a sunny day as the water looks a brighter shade of blue in the sunlight.

1 month ago

This is an amazing hike worth every step. I highly recommend this trail.

hiking
1 month ago

Incline don’t miss leg day. Breath taking worth the hike.

1 month ago

Awesome hike! Arrived at parking lot around 8:30 and it was 95% full. Started out on the trail around 8:45. They need one of those jumping deer signs as we scared up a couple of deer and they jumped! Watch out for the tree roots that seem to be alive. We stopped counting the number of times we tripped. The lake is gorgeous. The hike was tough (we are in our mid 50s), but very doable. We were out about 4 1/2 hours with a 30 minute break at the lake and picture breaks along the way.

hiking
1 month ago

Watch out for the bees!

hiking
1 month ago

We are staying in Leavenworth and it was a quick trip to the trail head. The road up was a bit rough on my fiesta, but doable. We parked in the first lot due to reviews. But we got there around 745 and it wasn’t too busy yet.

Overall it is one of the more scenic hikes I have been on. Gorgeous views. It took us a solid 1.5 hours to get up there with some fairly steep terrain.

Let me tell you, when you arrive at the lake, your mind will be blown. Just gorgeous. We jumped in and talk about...cold! But so worth it.

1 month ago

This trail is basically an incline the entire way and the last 20 or so minutes are really intense. Do not skip leg day.. the bees were really bad too but the view was worth it

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome trail! Longer then listed but so rewarding. Garmin tracked 10.75 miles. I’d say it was moderate for those who hike more often. Hard for beginners! We got there about 8:30 & the parking lot was full. No issues with bugs! Road up to the trail head was good.

1 month ago

a truly stunning hike. the smoke cleared up a bit today and we were lucky to get some blue skies. only wish we had started earlier and spent more time at the lake. we started at 215 got to the lake at 415 headed back at 450 and got to the trailhead at 7. ps. not too hot or buggy :)

Load More