Hike to Lake Stuart
Washington › Lake Stuart Trailhead
Added by Rose Freeman
- Hike into a valley with a large, shallow lake at the base of the face of Mt. Stuart!
- Enjoy grassy meadow (often filled with wildflowers)
- Total mileage: 9.0 miles, roundtrip
- Elevation gain: 1,665 ft.
- Highest Point: 5,065 ft
Begin this hike at the Lake Stuart trailhead at the end of Eightmile road just outside of Leavenworth, Washington. The trail follows Mountaineer Creek and leads you across a log bridge over the falls. After the bridge, the trail narrows and steepens through several switchbacks. After 2.2 miles, follow the fork in the trail to the right to continue on to Lake Stuart. When you arrive at a wide open meadow, enjoy a wide view of the valley spotted with groves of pine trees at the base of Mt. Stuart! Continue on past the meadow another 1/2 mile to arrive at the lake.
In the summer, enjoy wildflowers and tall green grass lining the lake. If you visit in the fall, keep an eye out for alpine larches covering the hillside with golden beauty.
If you're hoping to backpack and stay here, take note that you will need an overnight permit!
- Northwest Forest Pass Required
- Osprey Mira 26 Hydration Pack
- Lowa boots
- Trekking poles
- Extra clothing layers
- First aid
- Waterproof matches
- Extra food
- Water filter
Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.
Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More
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Go during Golden Week
Plan your trip during the first half of October to experience the Enchantments Golden Week (Google images of "Enchantments Golden Week" to see what I mean), and see how these spectacular alpine larches light up in autumn. The weather in October will also be more mild and make hiking much more bearable compared to the searing summer temps.
Stuart is a great permit alternative
The most popular permit request is Colchuck, by far. Makes Stuart more of the path less traveled. We camped at Stuart and then made a day hike up Aasgard and it was great. There is a FANTASTIC picture spot that you need to bushwhack a bit for..... As you're coming into the lake on the trail (consider this about 5 o'clock on the lake), if you branch off to the left and skirt the bottom side of the lake to the rocks at about 7 o'clock, you can get a wonderful reflection shot in the mornings. It's one of the best photos I've taken.
I was able to score a permit for the Stuart Zone for Memorial Day weekend. Hiked in at night and set up camp in one of the awesome spots near the lake. When I woke up, I was bummed it was windy, overcast and still pretty cold (this whole weekend). I decided to day trip over to Colchuck and got rewarded with some sunshine and mountain goat sightings. Awesome trip!
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