Horseshoe Lake Trail is a 11.4 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 June until October.

11.4 miles
3,064 feet
Out & Back




nature trips





wild flowers





no dogs

Horseshoe Lake is found a couple miles beyond Lake Stuart. You can do the 16 mile out & back as a day trip, or camp at Lake Stuart and head there before returning home the following day. Horseshoe Lake is found a couple miles beyond Lake Stuart. You can do the 16 mile out & back as a day trip, or camp at Lake Stuart and head there before returning home the following day. Follow the lake shore trail past the camp sites. The trail then winds in and out of the forest for two miles. You'll pass a meadow, and then back into the forest where you will look for a horseshoe nailed to a tree. Beyond that you will find the trail to the lake. The last mile covers about 1500 vertical feet to get to the lake.

1 month ago

Hiked 10/05/18 from Colchuck Lake to Horseshoe on my last permit day before leaving that evening and I will never regret it. It started snowing as I got closer to Lake Stuart and didn’t stop for my whole ascent/descent. From the trail head, enjoy the insane levels of day hiking foot traffic on the the very abused main section... before the Stuart/Colchuck junction. After the junction, the trail is very plush until you reach southern extents of the Jack Creek burn just before you start the last major uphill ascent. 1,000,000 logs are down everywhere, and there is still relatively little vegetative cover on the scorched soil. The trail is in desperate need of maintenance in the first part of the climb and you will have trail finding issues. The key is to remember that the climb mostly follows the major drainage on that section of the side slope. This is more obvious when you are descending. This is not a hike for inexperienced users. You must have well honed way-finding capability. Reading the landscape is crucial to help reduce human impacts in this area while it is in the process of healing. It is almost appalling that a bigger effort has not been made by the Forest Service to minimize human related impacts here. Isn’t that why we pay for the overnight lottery?

5 months ago

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.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

If I could live here in the summer I would!! One of my most favorite places to be!

Friday, July 21, 2017

The last bit is a bit hard, but the lake and the surroundings are just awesome.

Monday, June 08, 2015

No trail past Lake Stuart, a lot of blow down, and a little steep towards the end, otherwise a great 1 day hike. Note, most of the hike out was in the dark back to the trailhead.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Was on my way to hike into the core Enchantments but missed the sign in the dark....ended up at Horseshoe Lake- tranquil, quiet, with few (if any) other hikers. Amazing views! Best mistake I've made yet!!

4 months ago

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Tuesday, March 10, 2015