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Merritt Lake Trail is a 7 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 accessible year-round.

Length 7.0 mi Elevation gain 1,991 ft Route type Out & Back

Hiking

Mountain biking

Nature trips

Snowshoeing

Bird watching

Forest

Lake

Views

Wildlife

Bugs

Rocky

Snow

Description
Waypoints (0)
Contact
Getting There

Please check conditions ahead of time. Snow was still reported in June as well as several downed trees and muddy conditions. Please dress accordingly and be prepared for various trail conditions.

Washington State Tourism, P.O. Box 42500 , Olympia, WA, 98504-2500, Phone: 360-586-2088, tobyg@tourism.wa.gov

Directions from Lake Wenatchee: Take State Route 207 south, then U.S. Highway 2 west to Forest Service Rd #657. Follow 657 north for approximately 1.5 miles to the trailhead.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (86)
Photos (57)
Recordings (51)
Completed (152)
Ben White
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jul 05 2020
BlowdownBugsMuddyOver grownRockySnow

Significant elevation gain over the first couple miles. Road to parking lot is in rough shape, with many potholes and large rocks. Vehicle with higher ground clearance definitely a must. Trail to Merrit Lake is well maintained and highly trafficked. Mosquitos were a problem. Bring bug spray!! Our group headed onward to Crescent Lake via the Nason Ridge trail. This route is primitive and not well maintained in areas. Snow fields, multiple water crossings and downed trees made for difficult passage in places. There is a lookout point about 2.5 miles from Crescent that yields impressive panoramic views. Crescent Lake is about 7 miles in, and provides nice alpine views in every direction. temps are cooler given the elevation so plan on bringing gear that is rated for sub 30 degree temps if you plan on camping over night. Overall this hike is difficult but well worth the effort.

Meghan J.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarThu Jun 25 2020
HikingBugsMuddySnow

Road was rough but passable, mostly just bumpy rocks. The beginning of the trail is in good condition. After the first stream crossing, on the flatter portions of the trail, the trail gets a bit mucky and in a few areas the trail is under a stream of water. Nothing a little bit of bush whacking and rock hopping won't fix! Within the last mile or so to the lake there are patches of snow but easy enough to manage, but be aware the snow is soft and easily makes holes if you step in the wrong place. I hiked to the ridge in hopes of making it to Lost lake, but the snow is solid, slippery, and about up to 3ft deep. Mosquitoes were an annoyance at the trailhead when I started at 630 and lightened up until the first creek then they came back with vengeance. By the time I reached the lake I had inhaled 5 and had well over 50 bites with spray. Mosquito head net thing recommended. Stay safe and happy hiking!

Jenna Bergeson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Jun 02 2020
HikingSnow

What an adventure! I brought snowshoes, which made me feel much safer and more equipped than spikes or yak trax (esp as snow softens and streams flow beneath the snowpack). As someone else suggested, I used GPS/All Trails app to help navigate the trail through the snow - great tip! All-in-all a great day and fun getting a bit lost meandering up to the lake. Est time: 2 hrs up; 1 hr down (fit 32-yr-old). (Note: road is doable but I had to drive very carefully w my FWD, low-clearance car)

Anna Sheffield
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 01 2020
HikingSnow

Definitely a challenge! Switchbacks were burning our thighs the whole way up. Had to stop at about 2 miles because of the snow.

Bob Allen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun May 24 2020
HikingSnow

Snow about 1 mi from lake. Considerably cooler once traversing this section and a map is required.

View Bob's Recording
Jerome Cruz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun May 24 2020
HikingSnow

Our family of 4 arrived at the trailhead at 9:30 AM. Very few cars (the surface road to get there was exactly as others have reviewed--hey, our 20-year old Toyota Sienna van made it, but definitely got some brush marks both up and down). Conditions at the trailhead were sunny, dry, and cool. No bugs the entire time-whoop! Very pleasant steady climb with just a few steep parts and (heaven's) no steps. We encountered a few snow patches at 1.5 mi (two a bit difficult/sketchy) and then full snow at 1.7 mi. On with the Snowtrax from that point on and the air cooled perceptively. Trail totally lost in the snow, so GPS (AllTrails) to the rescue. There were some very steep sections of snow here and there. We arrived at the lake and found it just starting the spring melt. We had stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains. On the way down, we encountered around ten sets of hikers (some with dogs, all on leashes-Thank You!). Warning: It is melt-off time. Watch out for hollow areas under the snowmelt and around the trees. Trekking poles helped a great deal with this. All-in-all a great hike to celebrate my 33rd wedding anniversary.

Zofia Demecka
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarTue Apr 28 2020
HikingFloodedMuddySnow

We had to parked around 1 mile from the trailhead because of snow on the road. Trail doesn’t have snow till like 4100ft though. It’s a little flooded and muddy. Snow after 4K ft looks easy to pass, but we didn’t try

View Zofia's Recording
james metz
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarTue Oct 15 2019
Hiking

Hiked in Friday morning (OCT-11) around 10am. Service road the the trail-head is very narrow in spots (so narrow that two cars meeting would have a decision to make). Sign-in log well kept and utilized frequently. Weather at the base was around 40 degrees with barely any snow. Trail was moist and soft with steady switchbacks that allowed fairly easy hiking. The trees are dense and spectacular! Fall foliage at peak as well. Trail continued uphill, but the switchbacks transitioned into more of a regular uphill path. Snow increased about halfway into a winter wonderland through the heavy pine areas. Temperatures held steady around 32-35, a bit colder in heavy shaded areas. Very little wild life to speak of except occasional birds chirping high above. Trail gives way into spectacular views of the lake. Snow covered trees and cliffs surrounding the lake made for awesome photographs. I counted 6-8 folks fishing/lounging at the lake. Water was clear brown with deeper spots a more greenish-blue color. Noticed zero marine life along the shore. Overall, a trail well worth the uphill challenge regardless of the season.

Brandi Ohlsen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Oct 04 2019
Hiking

Beautiful fall colors and trail was in great condition. We did get snow close to the lake and beyond.

Better Sweater
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarWed Jul 03 2019
Hiking

The dirt road leading to the trailhead is very narrow and rocky and our truck could not avoid contact with the brush in many spots. No toilet. Arrived at the TH at 9 am and we only crossed paths with 3 other parties.This hike is a steady, gradual uphill climb the whole way, with a few steeper spots and a few not-so-steep spots as you near the lake. Hiking down is rough on the knees. Trekking poles help. The trail has been cleared, no blowdown left, is easy to follow. There are a couple of very rocky areas on the trail. We crossed three tiny, shallow creeks that you can walk through easily. They will likely disappear later in the season. Shaded most of the way with a few brief sun breaks. The lake is small, pretty, and there were tiny fish jumping all over the place. The lake has a reputation for lots of mosquitoes, but it wasn't too bad with the cool temperature and nice breeze we had until we got to the lake. Not many wildflowers. Happy hiking!!!

Brandon Marchand
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 01 2019
Hiking

Great trail. There is a sign on highway 2 for the turnoff.

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Kit McCoy
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 29 2019
Hiking

This is a lovely hike! The trail is in good condition-just a couple spots where you have to walk through brush. No logs covering the trail. I was there in the late afternoon and there was a light breeze, so no problems with bugs. The incline is gradual, very doable. The lake is beautiful!! I had the entire place to myself, no other humans for miles. Wonderful way to start the weekend. I will say that the road off Hwy 2 to the trailhead is rocky and narrow (in parts), so be prepared with a good off-road vehicle.

Bill McGaw
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSat Jun 01 2019
HikingBugsSnow

Great hike up to a Beautiful (but small) lake. Trail is not well marked in the snow which made parts of the hike go slow while we figured out the path. Take bug spray...the mosquitoes were brutal. One of our party had a light orange hoody and they didn’t bother him at all...but the rest of our party was inundated with them.

Bob Allen
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun May 26 2019
HikingRockySnow
View Bob's Recording
Danny Haley
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon May 13 2019
HikingSnow

There is snow on the last 1/4 of the hike but it’s manageable with GPS. The lake is still frozen but it’s beginning to melt.

Jen Hitchcock
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSun Jan 27 2019
SnowshoeingOff trailSnow

Road to TR was snow plowed shut. We parked down the road a mile and cut our own trail straight up to the TR and from their attempted to follow along the trail (cutting switchbacks because of the snow) and we made our way to a clearing on Nason Ridge but the time it took and the short daylight didn’t allow us enough time to make it to the lookout. Quiet trail, beautiful views, and LOTS of snow. Will do it in the summer or fall after the snow has melted and the daylight it longer.

View Jen's Recording
Luis Campos
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Nov 26 2018

I went snowshoeing this morning and had the place all to myself. The lake was completely frozen but still very pretty. It was a beautiful sunny day!

Hanna H.
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Oct 22 2018

Awesome views all around.

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