Hike to Melakwa Lakes via Denny Creek Trail

Hike to Melakwa Lakes via Denny Creek Trail

Denny Creek Trail

Distance

9 Miles

Elevation Gain

2300 Feet

Activities

Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Scott Kranz

Bathrooms
Forest
Lake
River
Scenic
Waterfall

Start off with a quick glimpse of Denny Creek’s Waterfalls, and once you pass them, expect for the crowd to dissipate. Once you reach Melakwa, get your shot of Chair and Kaleetan Peaks’ reflections in the lake.

This hike has it all: old-growth forests, rivers, waterfalls, alpine lakes, views, peaks, and so on. The hike starts from near Denny Creek Campground in between the separate I-90 viaducts. Almost immediately, you will cross over a walk bridge over Denny Creek's waterfalls, and then eventually under the westbound I-90 viaduct, which, from the old-growth forest underneath, is a cool, almost-post-apocalyptic site. Keep following the trail, which passes over Denny Creek in several places. After a few miles, you'll have great views of Keekwulee falls. After some elevation gain, at about 4 miles into the hike, you'll make it to Hemlock pass, which is the starting point for some downhill hiking until you reach lower Melakwa Lake.

Once at the lake, you have the option to travel to the north end of the lake which will give you access to the second upper Melakwa lake. Both lakes provides great views of Kaleetan Peak and Chair Peak.

Once you're ready to head back, just return on the trail the way you came.

Community Photos

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations.

Nearby Lodging

From $400/night

LOGE at The Pass Life

Snoqualmie Pass, Washington

From $55/night

LOGE Leavenworth

Leavenworth, Washington

Reviews

Leave a Review

Overall rating: 

Best Solo-Hike

I was having a rough week and wanted some nature therapy so I picked this one from my bucket list. Definitely was not disappointed! In 9 miles you get magical views of the forest, waterfalls, meadows, boulders, and a beautiful lake at the end! Also did this one by myself (like a big girl) so I had plenty of time to reflect and by the end of the hike I felt very refreshed (and hungry). Definitely recommend waterproof hiking boots for this one because you pretty much have to walk through the creek and a lot of rocky paths which can be harsh on your feet if you don't have the right support!

Awesome!

Done this hike a few times...love the varying scenery and the lake conditions are always different!

Did this as a backpacking trip on a rainy September weekend and it was great. Even on the rainy weekend the sites were filled up by the evening that are situated around the lake. There are only a few as some are in restoration. Plenty to explore as you can hike mostly all the way around Melakwa Lake and Upper Melakwa Lake.

Distance

9 Miles

Elevation Gain

2300 Feet

Activities

Hiking

Skill

Intermediate

Season

Summer, Autumn

Type

Out-and-Back

Added by

Scott Kranz

Nearby Adventures

Adventure

Scramble up Kaleetan Peak

Adventure

Hit the Denny Creek Trail to Kaleetan Lake

Adventure

Tackle Beautiful McClellan Butte

Adventure

Snowshoe to Franklin Falls

More Nearby Adventures

Tours

More Tours

Related Stories

destinations

A Magical Yosemite Valley Winter Storm

A Yosemite Winter Wonderland

gear

La Sportiva Women's Skwama Climbing Shoe Review

Super sticky, super responsive, and just as badass as the men’s version of the shoe.

travel

A Few Days in Rossland, BC - A Must-Stop on the Powder Highway

If this town of less than 4,000 friendly folks doesn’t charm your socks off, the terrain at RED M...

destinations

WATCH: A Way of Life Under Attack - 'Welcome to Gwichyaa Zhee'

All over this country, indigenous people are literally just fighting for their identity.

More Stories