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Trout Lake, Copper Lake, Lake Malachite

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Alpine Lakes Wilderness

Trout Lake, Copper Lake, Lake Malachite is a 9.1 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Skykomish, Washington that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from April until September.

Distance: 9.1 miles Elevation Gain: 2,690 feet Route Type: Out & Back

backpacking

camping

fishing

hiking

nature trips

walking

bird watching

forest

lake

views

Permit required for overnight camping.

hiking
icy
muddy
snow
1 day ago

Overall, it was a good hike and I’m glad we went. We started yesterday early morning and there were few tracks to follow once the snow started but we forged on to Copper lake. Very few campsites that weren’t covered in snow. I would think that in a few weeks the snow will melt and more campsites will open up. No luck fishing, unfortunately. Definitely a good day hike right now. Worth the trip. Wear your boots!

hiking
rocky
snow
1 day ago

Awesome hike! Yesterday we hiked from the trailhead to Copper Lake. Definitely needed hiking sticks, and micro spikes were super helpful! There was lots of snow after the flat log bridge before the waterfall before the lake, about 6 ft of it. We’ve never been to Copper Lake, so we didn’t know where the trail really was once all of the snow started (there were lots of different sets of footprints), so we, along with 2-3 other groups, had to climb a big hill of snow to get to the top. Careful, there’s lots of spots where your leg can go through the snow! From there, once at the top of the hill, we took the trail to the left and Copper was only 200-400 yards away. The lake was frozen (a couple inches thick) except for near the creek, where there was no ice, and there was only about one other group of people camping overnight. Very cold at night! We left Copper this morning after cleaning up our campsite and decided to check out Malachite. We finally found the actual trail for both lakes and looked over Malachite (frozen, too). From there we hiked back to the trailhead. It only took about 3 hours w/ water breaks to get from Copper back to the trailhead. Lots of people going up!

hiking
snow
1 day ago

Still lots of snow above 3,500 ft. There was about 6 ft. following the last bridge before the waterfall.

hiking
fee
muddy
rocky
snow
10 days ago

Going to be back for sure, avalanches are piling up the trail at the moment. Unless you have snow shoes and a great sense of direction I wouldn’t try this one for a couple more weeks at least. Oh yeah, and it’s closed for covid so....

hiking
flooded
icy
muddy
rocky
scramble
snow
5 months ago

This trail kicked my a**! There is another trail that is very similar to this on All Trails & it is rated as Hard, as this one should also be. There is no way this is a moderate trek, plenty of slippery rocks to scramble, Ice & snow, and step vert at the switchbacks. Getting up to Malachite at the junction is also a challenge as there is lots of step slippery rock. I’m sure this would be easier in the drier seasons, but in the winter this is a solid challenge, even for a somewhat seasoned hiker. Still, a great day and felt accomplished to finish! 7/10.

hiking
muddy
rocky
7 months ago

A nice hike, started high 30s and ended mid 50s. No rain but a lot of water on the trail. Fairly rocky trail, big step ups and step downs.

hiking
muddy
snow
7 months ago

backpacking
bugs
muddy
rocky
snow
11 months ago

Hiked up to Copper lake for our first overnight trip of the year. Trail is in great shape, dry to Trout lake. After Trout lake, there were occasional muddy patches all the way up, but nothing thick or difficult. There are several rocky patches, most were easy to navigate up, but led to some tricky footing on the way down. Aside from one 3' patch of snow 15' off the trail at one of the waterfall views, the trail was snow free until after the junction to Malachite and Copper Lakes. I was a bit apprehensive to do much exploring since we got a bit of a later start than I wanted and we had already decided to camp at Copper, so we didn't take the Malachite side trail and don't have an update for the conditions. We had passed a pair of hikers that said campgrounds in Copper were dryer so we chose that. After the junction to Copper Lake, we soon began to see snow along the trail. We didn't need spikes but poles were helpful. Most of the snow is alongside the trail, but most patches on the trail are very easy to cross. There was one larger section where we were fortunate to see that a small hole had formed over one of the drainage cuts (suspiciously boot shaped, so I assume someone else was not as fortunate) so we were able to step across the drainage cut without falling through the snow. The river crossing to the lake was very easy and there were several clear and dry campgrounds. As we arrived at Copper lake we ran into another pair of hikers that had ventured beyond Copper Lake a bit, they said the snow got deeper as the trail went south beyond the lake, and didn't get higher than about 4300' of elevation scrambling around. I suspect that little and big Heart lakes would be a difficult trail. They said they only had yaktrax and didn't want to push it. We had debated beforehand if we should wear our goretex hiking boots or non-waterproof trail runners with gaiters. With the prospect of snow, we chose the boots and that turned out to be a decision we reminded ourselves several times was a good one. Between mud, the rocks, the river crossings, and the snow, we would have been very wet or had sore ankles. Now on to the good stuff: The falls are absolutely spectacular, the early season snow melt has them at full awesome power. There are several breathtaking views along the way. Both Trout and Copper Lakes are gorgeous right now. Copper was so clear and calm, the reflections were beautiful. Camping fantastic, only a bit heavy with bugs, though we had plenty of bug proofing to keep from getting bit. Only critters we saw were a chipmunk and the cutest pika that just popped his head up and watched us as we relaxed by the lake. Unfortunately he dove into a burrow before I could get my camera. Overall, great trip!

hiking
snow
Sat May 25 2019

The trail is clear up until about .3 miles away from Copper Lake. There are about four or five sites at Copper Lake that are not snow covered. The snow becomes more consistent about halfway around Copper Lake. Malachite is still covered in snow. Remember no campfires are allowed at any of the lakes up west fork. Pack it in, pack it out. Happy hiking! -Local Wilderness Ranger

hiking
snow
Sat May 11 2019

Loved this trail but I couldn’t get to the end because there was snow still- early May. Trout Lake was beautiful and the first part of the trail especially was dreamy and appeared rarely trafficked. The drive there on the 2-3 miles of gravel road full of holes made me a little weary in my sedan but I made it.

hiking
8 days ago

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