Merritt Lake Trail

HARD 26 reviews

Merritt Lake Trail is a 5.4 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Leavenworth, Washington that features a lake. The trail is rated as difficult and primarily used for hiking, mountain biking, and snowshoeing.

DISTANCE
5.4 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
1991 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

kid friendly

hiking

mountain biking

snowshoeing

forest

lake

views

wildlife

bugs

rocky

snow

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.

hiking
4 months ago

5.5 out and back. It’s certainly a beautiful hike and with a moderate elevation gain of about 2200ft. We hit snow at about 2.5 miles up. The lake is amazing and worth the climb. Some downed trees on the trail, but nothing impassable. Great overall hike!

backpacking
5 months ago

Was able to make it to Trailhead with a Mazda 3 but definitely had some iffy spots. My dog and I made it to Merritt and were a bit disappointed so we continued on to Lost lake which is an extra mile. The descent down to Lost Lake is EXTREMELY steep with multiple downed trees. I had to even lift my golden retriever up and over the trees the following day on our ascent up. I would suggest only steady foot hikers to continue to Lost Lake, but worth it!! The lake itself is more beautiful than Merritt with great rocks to jump from or lounge on.

6 months ago

I agree with other reviewers that the lake is worth the work... however, this hike is closer to 6 miles in total and the first 3 are an unending climb up to the lake. Very little respite. Only kid-friendly if your kids are avid hikers. We happened to hit it on a perfect day--80 degrees and sunny. We did it in about 3.5 hours, not including enjoying the amazing views at the top.

hiking
6 months ago

This is NOT a moderate hike. It was definitely difficult! However, it was a great workout and a beautiful lake. We picked some huckleberries up there too!

6 months ago

Beautiful, well maintained forest trail. The lake was worth the hike! You get your climbing out of the way first then it's an easy rest of the way to the lake. This lake has really good access and the kids swam. Bugs were not bad and it was nice and cool at the lake. Ran into very few people. Definitely want to do this again in the fall when colors change. Beautiful views and lots of places to rest.

awsome

hiking
7 months ago

Classic urban hike around interesting inlet. Absolutely wonderful and some of the best people watching in America. Grab a bite at nearby Whole Foods and take advantage of their two hour parking. Should take about an hour to walk around.

9 months ago

lost trail at the 1.3 mile mark because of snow....shade areas had as much as 3 feet....heading back in couple weeks.

backpacking
9 months ago

Anyone know if you can bring dogs here? Also is it accessible now or is their top much snow?

hiking
9 months ago

Hard to rate it because I didn't finish. Had to park a mile down the Forest Road from the trailhead because of trees over the trail. From the trailhead really enjoyed the trail for about another 1.5 miles. Trail gets a little sketchy where there's some very significant trees down. I lost the trail climbing over and around it all. After the fact, I realized that hanging a left uphill just before the downed trees would reconnect with the actual trail which seemed to make a switchback underneath those trees, which was even harder to figure out because of the sizable snow fields above that point. Snowshoes not required, May 6th, but made the trail really hard for me to follow and I decided to turn back at this point. I did at that time encounter another person hiking who said he'd started at the same trailhead, but seemed to be coming from a different direction which was a head scratcher for me. Hope to return to this trail with less snow.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The lake is definitely worth the hike. It's absolutely beautiful. We started early with no bugs or other impediments. I would change the trail category from moderate to difficult: maybe because I am 75. It definitely is worth the effort, but keep in mind, it's straight up most of the way.

hiking
Sunday, July 03, 2016

Good directions to the access point off leading the highway. Almost exactly 9.9miles from Stevens Pass (Heading East). The road into the parking lot is a bit rough and low clearance vehicles need to be careful. The hike is a good work out for the legs. Best to arrive early in the day as there were quite a few people heading up the hill when we were walking out, a total of 34 people headed up and most were spending the night, so I presume a less than peaceful evening was spent by all. The mosquitoes by the lake were fierce and bug spray is a must alternatively just keep walking and head up to Lost Lake. Overall a fun outing and a nice way to escape the city. Using poles makes it much easier on the knees on the way down.

hiking
Wednesday, November 04, 2015

(Nov. 3rd, 2015)
Merritt Lake trail isn't lengthy, but there is a deceptive front-loaded steepness that will leave lesser hikers gasping for breath. The lake itself was lovely, as was the trail that became covered in the season's first snow midway up. Guess who forgot their snowshoes after a winter storm!

We suffered damp toes because the day was so lovely. Not a soul to break the forest's rejuvenating silence either. In fact, the quietude allowed us to stumble upon a mamma doe and her yearling fawn--a rare event in our experience on Washingtonian hikes.

hiking
Friday, June 19, 2015

Started late, around 10:30 a.m. but had lunch at Lake Merritt. Then I hiked on up to the pass behind the lake and dropped down (literally!) to Lost Lake. Coming back up from Lost Lake was much easier than going down. It was a beautiful day, temp around 70, very few bugs to contend with. I met 2 ladies on the way back, but that was all I met on the trail. The trail was in good shape except for the drop down to Lost Lake. All in all, a very enjoyable hike.

hiking
Monday, June 09, 2014

Went up the trail around 9:30. One way rocky bumpy drive on the way up to the trailhead and down. The trail was very steep and narrow 40% of the time. Got near what was probably alpine view lots of melting snow banks blocking the path great view and proximity to melting snow banks and waterfalls but did not make it to the lake. Got back around 2 to the trail head. About 4 hours total. Mosquitoes but repellent kept em away. No signs of bears but a report a few days prior stated there were some bears.

hiking
Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Merritt Lake is not worth spending time at unless you go when the bugs aren't there yet. The hike is beautiful though. We hike beyond Merritt, up and over the ridge to Lost Lake. A difficult journey but the isolated, peaceful lake is just what one needs to escape. One down side: most of the season the mosquitoes are killer. Some of the photos I posted are of Lost Lake, not Merritt.

hiking
Monday, August 22, 2011

Although I am new to hiking, and don't feel qualified to rate this trail, the kids and I did have a nice time. No viewpoints to speak of until you get to the lake, but nice scenery none the less.

hiking
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Short steep hike to a nice medium size lake. It rained the whole 3 miles up and did the same on the way back down, however gave us a break at the top when we had lunch so that was nice. Fall colors not as bright as they will probaly get yet. Hot soup and cocoa at top made up for the cold day nicely expecialy for all the kids. Not the best hike but worth doing once maybe a 2nd time to find lost lake that is above it on the map, but dont see trail to it. No snow yet but feels like its close.

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
6 months ago

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