The Enchantments: Hike to Colchuck Lake

Colchuck Lake Trail

Distance: 8 miles round trip, and it's a hard 8. One of the most picturesque lakes you'll see in the area. Duration: Day Hike.

To reach the trailhead, turn onto Icicle Creek Road from US2. Drive 8.4 miles and turn left onto Forest Service Road 7601. Follow the potholed dirt road 3.7 miles to the Stuart Lake trailhead. Parking for about 20-30 cars and a toilet are available in the lot. Northwest Forest Pass required.

The first glance you get rounding the corner to Colchuck Lake is an awe inspiring moment. Not only do you get the views of the icy deep aqua blue glacier water, you are surrounded by the tall Glacier Walls of Dragontail and Colchuck Peaks. The water is crystal clear and on a nice day the sun sparkles on the lake. The scenery on the day hike up was a teaser and you catch a glimpse of glacier peaks that stand tall on The Enchantment areas.

Don't be surprised if you cross paths with a mountain goat, this area is their home. Moments before rounding the corner to Colchuck Lake a group of avid hikers had just crossed paths with a Mountain Goat and baby. They are becoming more aggressive so keep your distance and don't alarm them. At around two and a quarter miles, the Colchuck Lake Trail breaks off to the left. Shortly afterwards the trail begins its climb. So just keep your eyes peeled for a trail head that veers towards the left. Bring lots of bug spray. They are out on hot days with little breeze.

If you get thirsty and/ or hungry after...drive into Leavenworth which is only 15-20 minutes down the way. Icicle Brewery has the best beer in the town and will fill your growlers :) great food as well! Especially after a good hike!

Pack List

  • Snacks
  • Lunch
  • Lots of water
  • A day pack
  • First aid kit
  • Bug spray
Show More
RT Distance 8 Miles
Elevation Gain 2280 Feet
Activities Hiking
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Summer
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Cliff Jumping

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Amazing Dayhike!!

One of my top 5 day hikes in the state! You don’t see that color blue lake much here. To add to previous comments, the rangers strictly enforce an 8-member party limit policy, or they will force the “extra” members of the group to turn back. Please plan accordingly. I’ve seen this happen to a family with young kids when the group was within a half-mile of the lake.

Absolutely Stunning Hike

This is one of the better day hikes out there. I love to go right after permit season ends - around mid-October. It makes it a bit chilly, but also more relaxed. Colchuck Lake is so stunning it quiets you. Amazing day out in the Enchantments.

L-O-V-E

Arguably my favorite day hike in the state. Absolutely gorgeous, we hardly noticed the difficulty as the views and trail itself are breathtaking. Hard to believe this hike isn't more popular.


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