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.

7.0 miles
1,991 feet
Out & Back

kid friendly



mountain biking

nature trips










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.

25 days ago

Awesome views all around.

3 months ago

Had the trail to ourselves on a Thursday in August, probably due to the 91 degree forecast. The narrow 1.6 mile road to the TH does have some dips and crevasses, but the Subaru had no problem. Only 2 other cars in the parking lot. The actual mileage, roundtrip from TH to Merritt Lake, is 7.2 (not 5.4 as mentioned on several web sites). Took us 5 hours total. We had on a coat of bug spray and had no issues with the pests while having lunch next to the lake. Maybe it was the heat, maybe it was the bug spray. At any rate, we enjoyed a peaceful picnic by the lake. We did not venture onto Lost Lake for the mileage was already beyond our 5 mile preferred distance. There was only one downed tree (I scrambled under it, my hiking partner scrambled around it) and it was a non event. The trail is well marked. GPS/Cell coverage during most of the trial was good. I enjoyed the workout (2,000 ft elevation gain) and glad we started early.

3 months ago

The road to the trailhead was challenging for my Prius which is very low to the ground but I managed to make it. The hike was a good workout - and the lake was worth the trip. The length is more like 6.5 miles though. There was a downed tree about 2/3 of the way up that many have cussed to detour around, which I did too on the return.

4 months ago

Arrived at the trailhead at about 1130 and there were only 2 other cars in the parking lot. The trail is in good shape with only two smaller trees that have fallen into it but are very easy to cross. There is a lot of yarrow, brides bonnet, and even some tiger lily in full bloom! We got to the lake and planned to relax and have some lunch but the mosquitoes were INSANE. We could not stop for even 1”-15 seconds without being completely swarmed so we grabbed some food and ate on the move. It’s a beautiful lake though and under better circumstances I’d love to return and hang out a bit.

Be sure to check out my video to see how beautiful this hike really is!!

4 months ago

Nice trail. Switch backs are long and very comfortable. 1/2 to the lake. Lots of mosquitoes. We were unprepared for that. Ran into a gal
With two dogs and she was kind to offer us a Ben’s mosquitoes towelettes. From that point on we were ok. Some snow we had to walk over and a few small streams Weather got cold once we were to the lake. So glad I brought a wind jacket for two reasons. The mosquitoes and the cold wind. My fingers were numb
We are in our late 50s Took us 2 hours up and 1 1/2 down.

5 months ago

Great hike. Not super challenging. This time of year make sure to bring good bug spray. Still a little bit of snow, random patches, no need for any special gear.

5 months ago

The last 3/4 of a mile are completely snow covered. We did the ascent around noon and when we were coming down the snow was much softer and fell through more. Need a GPS to find the lake because the trail was lost. Beautiful lake will come back in the summer

6 months ago

Too much snow at the top, last half a mile snow is everywhere could not find trail. Ended up turning around. We’ll try again in a month or so when snow melts.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

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!

Monday, September 04, 2017

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.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

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.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

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!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

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.

Saturday, July 22, 2017


Thursday, July 13, 2017

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.

Monday, May 15, 2017

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

Sunday, May 07, 2017

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

Saturday, May 06, 2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

1 month ago

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