Melakwa Lake via Denny Creek Trail

MODERATE 293 reviews

Melakwa Lake via Denny Creek Trail is a 8.1 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near North Bend, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
8.1 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2631 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

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.

23 hours 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!

1 month ago

Access road closed so trail was inaccessible beginning of May

hiking
7 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
7 months ago

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

hiking
7 months ago

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

hiking
8 months ago

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
8 months ago

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
9 months ago

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!

9 months ago

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
9 months ago

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
9 months ago

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.

9 months ago

Not only a great hike to a beautiful lake, but lots of scenic places to stop along the way!

hiking
9 months ago

I loved this hike! It was a great challenge for me given the circumstances, and was a great distraction from issues at hand!

I’ll go back some day with a swimsuit. That lake is gorgeous!

9 months ago

We started early so it wasn't too busy. Set out to summit Kaleetan Peak but didn't make it to the top this time. Need to get more confident on very steep boot paths.

hiking
10 months ago

10 months ago

Beautiful lake and hike. It's a grind so make sure to bring some water and good boots and a extra pair of clothes for jumping in the lake.

hiking
10 months ago

Started off at 10:30am. Used the $5 day pass that you can purchase online and print at home. Parking was full when we got there. Fortunately there is extra parking if you back track a little bit and instead of making a left at the bathrooms and across the bridge to the main lot, you would drive straight up with the bathrooms on your left and a bit further from there is about 60 spots. Fortunately we had lots of choices....

The hike itself started off easy. Took a quick rest stop at the water slide. Enjoyed the water temp. Perfect for the hot day. The intensity slowly picked up. It gets tougher once you hit those rocks, especially being out in the open with no shade for sometime. In and out of the forest trees, was grateful for every inch of shade. The hardest part was the last steep stretch up the mountain right after the rocky path, which you're already exhausted from, from avoiding slipping and twisting your ankle.

2.5 hours later, we reached the lake. That's with a dog, puppy in the backpack and a grumpy teenager. The lake was certainly worth it. Only regret is not getting up sooner and having more time to enjoy the water. Took a quick dip, water temp was refreshing and just what you need after the hike. Scenery was absolutely gorgeous. Take your time at the lake if you can.

Had to wash and take care of the dog's paws with some balm at the end of the day. The rocky part of the hike was rough on the paws.

hiking
10 months ago

Got to trailhead around 730 and there was ample parking. I would give the lake itself 5 stars, it was beautiful. However, the trail wasn't great. It was super rocky in many areas, making for slippery steps with the drizzly day. The trail was super narrow for at least 2 of the 4.25 miles one way, so passing others on the trail was difficult.

Made it up in an hour and 45 min and about the same timing back down the trail. Lot was overflowing with zero parking once we got down.

backpacking
10 months ago

Went 8/10-8/11. "Melakwa" certainly stand for its name. But it shouldn't be judged by all the bugs that await at the top. On warm days like we've been having, bugs are a given. It should be expected. But! This is a nice quiet lake. Water is amazingly clear and warm enough to swim in once you get going. At least for a Thursday/Friday one night stay kind of trip we basically had the whole lake to ourselves that night. The trail is definitely a moderate hike. The heat and the rocks on the way up make it seem a lot more difficult. You hit denny creek and a water fall that are good areas to stop at if you don't plan on going all the way to the lake. One thing is for sure, use A LOT of bug spray. It helps.

hiking
10 months ago

Some flies, kinda longish and steepish hiking, the lake is excellent swimming temperature. Loved it, will do it again.

hiking
10 months ago

Long hike, but worth it when you get there! Definitely bring bug spray though, there were a lot of biting flies and mosquitoes.

10 months ago

This should definitely be marked as Hard. Pretty challenging, but worth it. This trail has everything. Lots of wildflowers, a few waterfalls, 2 bodies of water to cross, snow, and your gorgeous lake at the end. It was the hardest hike I have done so far. Id love to go again to camp at the lake. Make sure to have hiking shoes/boots, tons of water, and plenty of time. Took us about 6 hours including 30min at the lake.

hiking
11 months ago

Fantastic and challenging hike. We saw just a few patches of snow but didn't have to walk over any. I was surprised at reviews that discussed snow! And yes, rocky. Be cautious with dogs. We carried ours (fortunately a small Boston Terrier) because we were concerned about some of the very sharp rocks. BTW, I'm 59 years old and did fine with some pauses a long the way. I hiked with my 20 something daughter and we both thought it was great workout and worth the effort. Lake is stunning! We saw very few people beyond waterslide area, but it was in middle of week.

hiking
11 months ago

This may have been the worst hike I have ever been on. Not so much the fault of the trail but it was incredibly busy. Took me 40 minutes to find parking half a mile away. The trail was a stream of people walking in a near constant stream. If you are looking for some peace and nature come very early or on a weekday.

If you have done many mountain lakes in the cascades this one is fairly typical. A couple waterfalls and look out views. Very rocky so watch where you step.

11 months ago

Gorgeous Lake, trail is beautiful.

hiking
11 months ago

Like several others have said, this was much harder than anticipated but very much worth the effort. The rocks were the tough part.

hiking
11 months ago

The rocks were a bit tricky/annoying for a beginner, however the view and lake were worth it and a trail in great shape.

11 months ago

perfect morning for a hike and a toe dip in the lake.

11 months ago

much harder than anticipated but very beautiful

11 months ago

Love it. It was so beautiful.

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