Melakwa Lake via Denny Creek Trail

HARD 367 reviews

Melakwa Lake via Denny Creek Trail is a 8.5 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near North Bend, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
8.5 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2,680 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dogs on leash

birding

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

trail running

walking

beach

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

bugs

old growth

rocky

snow

Hike along Denny creek, underneath I-90 past a couple of waterfalls, ending at a high alpine lake. Please note that snow has still been reported in June further down the trail. If you are planing to do the full length of the trail, please bring appropriate gear and pay attention to any blazes/markings on trees, as the trail may be covered by snow. Access road was previously closed due to snow. Please check park website ahead of time for any trail and road closings.

4 days ago

Saw different mushrooms. Lakes are beautiful. Worth the effort. Went there on 10/12/2018.

11 days ago

Nice

hiking
12 days ago

Wonderful hike! Steady elevation gain most of the way. Lovely fall colors all the way up to the lake currently. Peaks up top were clouded in, making for moody photography. Lake was a vibrant teal nonetheless. Quite nice against the orange leaves! No snow anywhere, and although quite cold, no snow falling today.

The second half is definitely pretty rocky. Just have to be careful with your footing especially on a rainy day like today. Nothing sketchy, just couldn’t go as fast as I’d like. (Did get passed by a dude trail running, so it just depends on what you’re comfortable with.)

hiking
14 days ago

This was a great hike. The lake was amazing as well. The upper trail had snow on the trees and peaks. But this is not a 8.5 mile hike. My tracker put me at 11.1 miles from trailhead to the end of the lake. I wasn’t expecting to put my dog through such a long hike, but he did great.

17 days ago

I would say if it's your first time hiking or you don't have good shoes. stop at the first second water fall, stay there a bit and look. there's a secret way to get on it. Then just head back. if you want to keep going, pack a wind breaker or something light but warm cause near the lake it's bloody cold.

hiking
22 days ago

We planned on this being our lighter hike of the trip and only doing the Denny Creek trail but ended up going all the way to the lake. This may have been my favorite in the end. We had some beautiful views along the way and a great variety of scenery. The falls, creek, woods and a good amount of wildlife. Several Pika, frogs and chipmunks were spotted. Turned out to be a perfect way to end our time in the mountains.

1 month ago

I enjoyed this hike. One of my favorites. However the hike down to the lake and back was closer to 11.5 miles.

hiking
1 month ago

Great hike with lots of changing scenery. It got busier as the day went with other hikers coming in as we were going out. Hardly a bug to be seen.

'Northwest Forest Pass' required for parking. I think you can get them for 5$ right at the parking lot, our vehicle already has one.

Trail begins wide and meanders thru the forest. It's loud due to the highway above you but this quickly fades. The trail will come alongside Denny Creek and then stairs will lead you right to the creek. You have to cross here and look for the small sign on a tree. More forest and then it opens up. Next you'll see Keekwulee Falls. Alternating forest and open rock switchbacks. We had low cloud for the hike in, and then the sky cleared while we had lunch at the lake. The second lake pathway runs to the left side of the main lake, only takes a few minutes to get there.

hiking
1 month ago

Fantastic hike. You get to experience all sorts of terrain :) And no bugs whatsoever this morning. It was good knowing that most of the elevation gain occurred as you approach Hemlock pass. Consistent pace is the key.

hiking
2 months ago

Bring bug spray! There are a lot of open areas, so you'll be under the sun quite a bit. Trail is pretty rocky too. I got to the trailhead at 830am on a Sunday, and the lot was getting close to full.

hiking
2 months ago

Your relationship will be tested unless you bring bug spray

2 months ago

Nice place to hike !

hiking
2 months ago

Worth the effort for the stunning lake! Wonderful for water dogs, many places for them to cool off along the trail. Trail is dry and snow free now, wildflowers our but not too numerous. Steep and rocky the last 1/3 or so. Camp a night at the lake if you can. MOSQUITOS bring spray and stay in the breeze at the lake

hiking
3 months ago

Such a beautiful hike. I thought the waterfall was called Snowshoe Falls? The wildflowers will be in full bloom by 7/20. But there are other trials with much more wildflowers than this trial. Snowshoe Falls is great. Both Upper Melakwa and Melakwa Lake are picture perfect alpine lakes. The bugs just came out this week . . soooo it’s time to start bringing the bug spray. There is snow past Upper Melakwa to the pass.

3 months ago

beautiful lake! i even jumped in. I'd say its more like 9 miles. it took us 5 hours to hike there and back, not including the break at the lake. pretty gradual and lots of sun so wear sunscreen!

hiking
3 months ago

Awesome hike!! Sarts off moderate and increases in steepness throughout the hike towards Melakwa lake. I managed with regular running sneakers but it would have been more comfortable during the rocky portions with hiking shoes. Made it up to the lake in 3 hours with a lot of rest stops and took 2.5 hours to get back down. BRING A SWIMSUIT AND A TOWEL so you can take a quick dip!! We went into the water for literally 10 seconds because it was so cold but it was an amazing experience. We were lucky and didn't experience any mosquitos at the lake.

3 months ago

Great hike. Starts off moderate, crosses the creek which gets crowded, nice waterfall on the way, then up the switchbacks which are pretty tiring, to the lakes. Almost completely snow free now. Bugs were awful by the lakes, even with spray. Get there early to avoid crowds.

hiking
3 months ago

Still some snow at hemlock pass. Helpful to have gps.

3 months ago

Very nice trail!! I little bit longer than anticipated, but the lake on a nice day is crystal clear and refreshing. The “mosquito” lake left me with many swollen bites from bugs, so make sure to bring lots of spray. Other than that, there are very many beautiful stops on the way and a great view.

hiking
3 months ago

Great hike. Did not cross at Denny as I didn’t trust my sr dog to not slip & hurt himself. The part to Denny Creek is very pretty & although you cross under I 90 it still feels remote

3 months ago

To begin, this trail is actually around 11 miles, not 8.1 so plan on a longer hike. My friends and I hiked this trail 6/18/18 and there was a significant amount of snow at the peak and the last 1/4th of the trail. I would highly recommend bringing ice spikes or trekking poles if you have them. Additionally, towards the last portion of the hike, the trail becomes obscured due to excessive snow and fallen trees. The only way my friends and I made it to the top was due to trail blazing while using a recorded version of the hike from this app. It definitely makes for an adventure! We started the trail at 8:00 AM and made it back down to the parking lot by 3:00 PM (we did stop a few times to take pictures and eat at the top). This probably had to be the most beautiful hike I have been on though to say the least. The lake is amazing, but to me it looks quite similar to Lake 22 or Heather Lake, which are much easier and shorter hikes. Enjoy!

hiking
11 months ago

The first third is genital and easy. At the river crossing stay to the left the trail is marked high on a tree. The second section is a bit harder with some switch backs to the falls. After that the trail get a bit narly and very rocky in spots. Once over the pass the last half mile to the lake is down hill and a bit steep at times. the lake is stunning.

hiking
11 months ago

Lots of rocks, make sure you have good ankle support!

hiking
11 months ago

Great trail, we got off the trail a little and hopped rocks up the creek. Beautiful place.

hiking
Saturday, September 30, 2017

If that was the last hike of the season , I would have no regrets. A “must do” for any hiker. Amazing views, waterfalls, nice lake and the change of the leaves just adds to the beauty. Will definitely be back again!

hiking
Wednesday, September 27, 2017

My friend and I did this hike in Summer and ate berries the whole way up. Lovely trail and good workout. It was chillier and windier at the lakes than we expected, but we brought our bathing suits and went in anyway. Some kids had cheap blow up rafts and gave us one when they were done with it. That was fun. Don't miss upper Melakwa lake nearby, which looks very different and is worth seeing. ...Melakwa means mosquito, but we only saw (lot's of) bugs that were similar to mosquitos. No biters.

backpacking
Monday, September 18, 2017

More like 4.5 stars due to traffic. This is also sort of a review for Kaleetan Peak.

Solid trail, moderate is a good rating for this. The waterfall was very pretty and the lake with Kaleetan Peak and Chair Peak on either side was absolutely gorgeous. Once we got to the lake, we set-up camp, and did Kaleetan via the Toilet path (Gaia app has the trail). Highly recommend doing Kaleetan if you're in good shape as the views are stunning.
I suggest doing Kaleetan this way as taking a short break once you reach the lake really helped re-energize. Dumping gear and switching out a large pack for a much smaller one felt heavenly and being able to come back down from the amazing summit to camp and stuff my face was great!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

One of the most beautiful hikes I've been on with varied views and terrain. I don't believe the 8.5 mile round trip though. Felt like 11 which is what my pedometer said.

hiking
Tuesday, September 12, 2017

9/11/2017 (Monday) -- Clear in the morning, 55F, then came the smoke, hot in the open sections, up to near 80F. The rocks pose serious challenges to my creaky knees. It's no easier than Mt. Si and Mt. Washington, though almost same length and less elevation gain. The lake view is one of the best. Little or no water in the creeks and falls. Very dry. The lower 1/3 in the woods (1.4 miles) is easy and comfortable as compared with the upper 2/3 rocky sections.

hiking
Friday, September 08, 2017

Several lovely waterfalls along the trail. Denny Creek is worth the slight detour to explore, and a good place to lunch. The tranquility of Melakwa Lake was somewhat blemished by the constant buzzing of wasps. Wildfire smoke definitely affected views.

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