Lake Ingalls is a 8.8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Cle Elum, Washington that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until October.

Distance: 8.8 miles Elevation Gain: 2,893 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

camping

hiking

rock climbing

snowshoeing

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

snow

no dogs

From Seattle drive east on I-90 to East Cle Elum, exit 85. Cross over the freeway overpass and turn right (northbound) on State Route 970. Cross the Teanaway River bridge, and in another mile turn left onto Teanaway Road. Drive north on Teanaway Road, veering right as it becomes first the North Fork Teanaway Road and then unpaved Forest Road 9737 at 29 Pines Campground. Follow Road 9737 about 9.5 miles until it ends at the Esmeralda Trailhead where the trails to Lake Ingalls and Longs Pass begin.

recorded Lake Ingalls

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
2 days ago

hiking
5 days ago

Trail has a steady incline right from the start. The last .6 - .8 miles is what makes this one challenging but the view at the lake is amazing. It got windy and cold so be prepared. We saw a bunch of mountain goats. One of my favorite hikes.

hiking
bugs
muddy
no shade
rocky
5 days ago

Very popular spot, prepare to arrive early or park on the side of the road

hiking
11 days ago

The hike was awesome! The views were amazing!! We saw some goats. When we got to the lake, it was just eh...

hiking
11 days ago

I love trails where you have lovely views pretty much the whole time and this is one of those hikes. There are views of the surrounding peaks from the very beginning. Even if you don’t go all the way to the lake it’s beautiful and well worth it. The trail is also a nice steady grade most of the way so it’s not particularly difficult. Our 5 and 7 year old kids made it most of the way to the lake pretty quickly. I would rate this hike moderate other than the short, steep scrambly section right at the lake.

hiking
blowdown
snow
12 days ago

hiking
12 days ago

Saw some Wolverines and a bunch of goat. Really pretty. Backpacked and camped below the lake. Wish the camp was a little closer to the lake

backpacking
13 days ago

Had an amazing (first) backpacking trip. The trail was a bit rocky/gravelly at places but not terrible. The trail to Lake Ingalls was rocky and a scramble but again, not too bad. There were a couple trees in the way that we had to climb/hop over, and still some snow at the top (yay, snow). The weather was awesome the first day but got cloudy and very windy at night at our campsite. Saw lots of people skinny diving at the Lake - attempted to get in the water but was way too cold with the wind chill. Next time!

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
scramble
25 days ago

One of the best hikes in the area.

backpacking
bugs
no shade
off trail
rocky
scramble
27 days ago

Took a 2 night stay up at the campsites nearest the lake (which is actually not very near at all). The closest campsites are a good mile and a few hundred feet elevation away from the lake but the hike is worth it. The lake is beautiful, blue, and very crisp and cold. Hiking in late August 2018, the wildfires had taken a toll on the air quality and heavily impaired the visibility. Despite this, the campsites were great and with wonderful views of the valley and the goats made for some neat new trail friends. The hike up from the parking lot is very exposed, barren, and rocky but with a few water sources here and there. A ranger greeted us at the top and showed our group where the campsites were which was very helpful. From the campsites a number of trails are available including those through the valley, past the lake, and atop the ridge leading to the saddle of Mt. Stewart. Beware of the mosquitos at around 7:00-9:00. I would recommend this hike earlier in the season but greatly enjoyed it as it was.

hiking
bugs
no shade
rocky
28 days ago

Did this hike on the Fourth of July 2016. Favorite hike so far! Areas of patchy shade, but no much so bring water! Lots of flies in the dry spots and TONS of mosquitoes near the lake. Also lots of mountain goats by the lake! Small section as you get within 3-4 miles of the lake where we went on trail in the rocky section for quite a bit, so watch for cairns. A little bit of snow pack but it doesn’t affect the trail. We scrambled over some rocks around the left side of the lake to get to the other side and camp on the rocky cliffs overlooking the valley. Excellent secluded spot! We had mountain goats in our camp early in the morning. They leave you alone as long as you don’t move aggressively or get too close. It’s not too steep, but the lack of shade and areas that need a little more navigation make it a hard trail. Def recommend!

hiking
scramble
snow
1 month ago

Wonderful hike. Can't believe this is the first time I went up there. One of the best I've been on. Before the ridge (first 3 miles or so) there is some snow, but easy to get around. When I went there was lots of snow past the ridge before you descend before the final ascent. The ridge on is sort of a snow scramble. Entirely worth it! The lake itself was covered in snow. The various peaks around the lake are truly incredible. Saw a couple mountain goats and what seemed like a couple marmots climbing above the lake on the rocks. Wasn't surprised so close to the enchantments.

6 months ago

First snow hike of the season!

backpacking
8 months ago

Went backpacking with my daughter, her 1st trip and it was a perfect blend of difficulty and reward. At the top of Ingalls pass,we did get confused on how tondrop down into headlight basin as there were branches placed blocking what looked like the obvious way down, but after a bit of a scramble we made it. plenty of creeks for water. Recommend scrambling up to the lake from the basin (counterclockwise) as there were hardly any people. once we got to the lake there were himers who took the clockwise trail to the lake.

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