Lake Ingalls

HARD 85 reviews

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.

8.8 miles
2893 feet
Out & Back




rock climbing








wild flowers





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.

6 days ago

This is one of the best hikes that I have been on. Starts off a bit steep but then once you are off the tree line and enter the clear its a walk in the most breath taking view a mountain can offer then it's a snow hike which we couldn't do because we didnt have the right gears. I enjoyed a lot on this hike. Didn't see a lot of hiker on the way. There are streams of water so that's a good thing.
Saw micro climate change started of sunny then cloudy drizzling in the mid section n snowing on top it was brilliant!
I am no serious hiker found this hike a little difficult but it's ok walk your pace and you should be fine. :)

12 days ago

Beautiful trek! Requires snow shoes, snow trek clothing and equipment.

17 days ago

No dogs. Not sure who comes up with these backwards policies.

7 months ago

This is an incredible overnight trip. I know there are a lot of questions right now about trail conditions and trailhead access. We were skeptical ourselves. However, as of Sunday morning, the trailhead is easily accessible for high clearance vehicles. Two friends and I went out in a Honda Accord and had to park before the last wash-out, although this wash-out is only MAYBE a quarter of a mile from the trailhead, so the extra walk is not bad at all. Intermittent snow on your way up to Ingalls Pass, although its all easily passable. Once you reach the pass the North side is all under snow. The trail can be hard to find at times, but now that the snow has been worked in, you should be able to follow where others have gone. You will need microspikes or crampons for sure. We camped in the basin for a night and it was spectacular. Got a little chilly at night but not bad. The lake is gorgeous and worth the hike up from your camp site, although, it is quite steep and will make you work for it. If the weather turns and the trail gets more snow, I don't see how it would be passable without snowshoes--there is already 4-18" depending on area.

8 months ago

The ridge line and meadow was my favorite part, with all the beautiful golden Larches in full display.

9 months ago

Stumbled upon this by mistake. We planned another hike, but was closed off due to fires. This definitely is a moderate hike. Uphill nearly all the way for about 3 miles. The views up the side are nice! Once over the ridge, you have two paths to the lake. We took the shorter path down to set up camp. These views were even better! The next day we did the one mile hike to the lake - then my breath was taken away (and not just from hiking!). The lake is surreal. Definitely go to the left around the lake to the far side. You don't want to miss that!
Hiking back from the lake we found plenty of spots for water. Still - we filtered most of it.
The last day, we hiked up and then the 3 miles down hill.
So very happy we came here! Would absolutely come again!

9 months ago

Nice view

10 months ago

10 months ago

Spectacular setting once you crest Ingalls pass. It's a bummer the road is closed 1 mi from the trailhead (no good reason), but maybe it keeps (some of) the crowds away. Headlight basin is a spectacular spot to camp as well (as many know).

10 months ago

Awesome awesome views. Not much more to say. Pictures really don't do it justice.

10 months ago

Great Hike, hit this beautiful Alpine lake along our way to Climb the South Ridge of Ingalls Peak! The lake is worth the trip on it's own!!!

10 months ago

Great hike!

11 months ago

What a view! Made the hike up on a Friday to avoid some crowds (counted less than 20 people total) and was everything the reviews say and more.

The trail has an extra 2 miles r/t due to the road closure but that stretch is easy going so it's more a hassle than effort. The first half of the hike is in good shape with a few narrow ridges for the height-adverse but easy to follow. The second half (stick to the right side / high trail to avoid down climbing) has a few patches of snow and some melting out rocks but nothing too bad to deal with.

The final stretch is not all that defined with several paths up and various carins around the way so plan on route finding along the way.

As for the lake, Steward, the goats and the views at large. Wow!

Friday, May 05, 2017

I've hiked this trail a number of times, some as day trips, once as a multi day backpacking trip. I'd have to say while the lake is beautiful, it's much easier to camp in the valley between the first peak and the lake. Going around the lake with a backpack took me and my partner over an hour. Definitely want to go back though

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Did this Hike Last summer Late July ... I think this is definitely a strenuous hike . No time to warm up the second you get on the trail your climbing at a incline . I went up with a group with out poles or a map . Would of given it 5 stars if the trail was easier to follow but either way it was a good hike . Following the pile of rocks is confusing but doable. Didn't see any of the goats which sucked but it was a great hike ... was a 95 degree day in the Yakima valley that day but was only 75-80 degrees at the top and the lake was freezing . Well worth the hike . I used a fit bit to track my hike out and back to rig was 12 miles ...

Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Amazing hike and view!!!.About 10 miles before you get to the parking lot, road is full of dirt, gravel and small potholes, I drove around 20-25 mph while passing that road, it's passable not too bad. I got there around 7:00 am on Sunday morning and the parking lot was full but you can park on the side of road too.
I started at 7:00 am took few small breaks and got up at lake around 9:35am. Last half mile Trail is not marked well, I was told by people to follow cairns but they were everywhere, it was hard to find the directions of lake. First 3.5 miles Trail is in very good shape, but be careful after that.(if you are not sure just ask someone, stay on trail. ) Weather changes really quick there. lake was amazing, view was mind blowing!!!! I did walked around the lake to the other side which is totally different view. There were no goats at lake may ,be it was too cold the day I went but I saw one while coming back. Took me 2 hours to hike back to parking lot. Hike is not too hard if you are regular hiker but it was hard for me.

Check list:
1. Gloves, rain gears, hiking shoes and poles are important specially for this hike (since the weather changes really quick, also because of the tail condition you need all the above).
2. Bug spray, first aid kit (bugs were not bad at starting but as you get to lake they are annoying).
3. Start early the parking lot gets full quick and be careful for the 10 miles before you get to parking lot.
4. Get enough water and snacks.
5. Take map with you it's posted on board too, take a picture it helps since the tail after 3.5 is not marked.
6. Northwest forest pass required.

Be safe :)
It's Is such a nice hike, will highly recommend!! (Not easy, but worth it)

Have a blessed day!!

Sunday, September 04, 2016

We hiked into Lake Ingalls trail as a group of 4. It was quite an amazing experience but definitely not easy. It took us more than 2 hours to hike in. The weather was bad, so chilly during the entire hike. The sun barely came out. It rained and hailed for quite a bit. But proudly we have made it to the top. Probably it is the best hike for me and Alex so far.

Some tips:
In September, you probably want to bring thick clothes with you, wearing long pants. Weather is definitely changeable. We saw many good camp grounds on the way, some of them are even close to the stream, but remember to start hike-in earlier around noon so that you can get a good spot.

Saturday, September 03, 2016

Very good trail. Well maintained. But not easy. It was straight up the whole way. I went looking for goats. Didn't find the and scrambled around the back side of the lake. This is a super sketchy pass!!! I found the goats and made my way out. It was sept 1 and 34 degrees. It snowed, hail and rained. Weather was bad high elevation rock was deadly slippery. End of the day I would go back. I did a ultra light bag, would have been 4 hrs round trip but I spent 2 hours looking for goats. This is a very hard hike.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Aug 11, 2016 (Thu - Sat) - Lake Ingalls seems to be the best kept secret everyone knows about. It's a way to experience the beauty of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness for those of us unlucky enough not to win an Enchantments permit. With full packs the hike in took us 2.75 hours. The hike out took 1.75 hours. Lots of people hiking in on Saturday. The parking lot was packed around 11am and cars were stacked up on the side of the road. Bugs this year are out of control. They were pretty much a constant annoyance even with bug spray. We're still nursing our "wounds" a day after returning. Despite this, you can't beat the beauty of the place and it was the perfect location to watch the Perseids. Oh yeah, goats everywhere who like to remind you that you are the visitor and they live there.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Hiked into Lake Ingalls yesterday, 07/25/2016. They just opened it to the trail head yesterday afternoon. Rough in spots.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

By far the best hike I have done yet!
The road to access parking lot is closed. You have to park at iron horse trailhead, the road is blocked with concrete blocks. This will add an additional 1.1 mile but keep walking on the road past the road closed sign and u will come to the trailhead! Make sure to get there early. We arrived around 8:30 and there was already about 20 cars parked.
Great views the entire way! Tons of goats so be careful! This hike is just beautiful! It was a little hard but I'm 16 weeks prego and still did it so its do able! Is not as hard as the rating made it seem. Bring plenty of water and make sure u take lots of stops to see all the wildlife and flowers! Beautiful scenery up there!

Friday, July 22, 2016

Lake Ingalls has got to be top 5 best hikes I've ever done. Absolutely blew me away. Went on 7/19 and had the lake to myself for over an hour. Well, to myself and the 20 mountain goats that followed me around, haha! Weather was amazing and the views are breathtaking!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

MUST HIKE!!!! If you did not win lottery to be able to go to Enchantments this is the next best thing. Spectacular-cannot even describe it. To add, you are surrounded by wondering, wonderful creatures-mountain goats. Do not get carried away, they can be dangerous.
I have done many different hikes for many years-THIS IS IT. YOU MUST HIKE THIS.
Condition of the trail: Excellent, with some scramble at the top. And don't forget to stay away from the goats. They will try to get close to you. Throwing rocks toward (not at the goats but their direction) will make these creatures to keep safe distance. There were few patches of snow but not enough to have to wear microspikes, By the lake it gets very,very cold. Grab an extra layer with you.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

This is my first-ever five star trail review! I was impressed.

POS and NEG of the trail
+ Gets you above tree line for some of the most interesting scenery I have encountered on a day hike.
+ Lots of Mountain Goat sightings including some 10 feet away and a "kid" with its mother.
+ The most challenging/taxing part of the trail is the first. There is no "warm up" leaving the parking lot. Once you start, you are gaining elevation from the first step. The nice part about this fact is that once you reach the ridge/summit, and could use a break the most, things level out to make the last hour or so very manageable.
+ Even if you don't make it to the actual Lake, the trail is so interesting, the scenery so other-worldly, that you won't feel like like you have missed a thing.

– Drive Times: From I-90 It takes about 45 minutes to get to the trail head along a well maintained dirt roads, which adds to an already long day. Bring PRINTED directions for this road as there are opportunities to take wrong turns and cell coverage was spotty to nonexistent to help find the trailhead.
–It can get chilly at the lake in October. It was 70 degrees in the parking lot, but felt 50 degrees with wind once you are lakeside. Bring a wind breaker, not just a fleece.
– There are plenty of opportunities to take a wrong turn once you reach the summit. Trail intersect, there are spur trails for camp sites, goat trails that look like hiking trails, and missing signage. Bring PRINTED directions (no cell coverage) or a good map. Fellow hikers were a good source of information as well.

TIPS: Bring a wind breaker for lake side it was chilly. I could not believe how much water I drank even on a cool fall day. Perhaps stash a few extra liters in your vehicle for afterwards. Make sure you have have printed directions and a good map as there was little cell coverage once leaving I-90 and no cell coverage at the trail head or on the trail. GPS worked fine.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Tuesday 9-29-2015: My wife and I joined our hiking group to hike to Lake Ingalls in Teanaway area. The weather was perfect. We arrived at the trailhead around 9:40 am. The parking lot was almost full. We left the trailhead around 10 am. We reached Ingalls Pass around noon. The larches were in golden color. We could see Mount Rainier and Mount Adams. The trail near the lake is rocky and sometimes confusing but we made it from Ingalls Pass to the lake in one hour. The lake is beautiful. It was a glorious day for a hike.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

This was my first real "Hike". The last half of this hike was definitely harder than I expected. We found it challenging to stay on the trail in places because it is only marked here and there with some stacked up rocks. We ran into some very nice hikers who gave us good hiking advice and also helped point us in the right direction. There were not very many people on the trail which we liked because it gave us a true wilderness feeling. There were not hardly any bugs that day either.The views were indescribable! The lake is gorgeous and the mountain goats were fun to watch. I would love to hike this again but next time we will be more prepared and will give ourselves much more time to complete it.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Absolutely gorgeous. This is one of my favorite backpacking trips of all time. In fall the larches are glorious, and though it can be cold, it's worth it. I'm craving to go back. You can camp in the basin and do the little scramble up to the lake. Watch out for the mountain goats, though. They can be feisty.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

I loved it so much I would love to build a cabin up there and be happy as a clam.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Beautiful up to Alpine Lakes Wilderness then the rain set in. Going back in three weeks for fall colors.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Very nice

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