The Enchantments: Hike to Colchuck Lake

Details

Distance

8 miles

Elevation Gain

2280 ft

Route Type

Out-and-Back

Added by Mikaela Tangeman

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!

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Know for

Hiking
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Cliff Jumping

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Reviews

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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.

🥇Top Contributor

about 3 years ago

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.

🥈 Contributor

over 3 years ago

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.

🥉Contributor

almost 4 years ago

Amazing

This was an amazing hike to do. Only downside is that the road leading up is very steep and it's extremely bumpy which makes for a slow four miles if you drive a sedan. Other than that I would highly recommend that if you go on a hot day to cool off by taking a jump in the lake. Feels amazing.

Colchuck Lake

Highly recommended! Easy hike to do just for the day!

1569 total saves

4.4/5

Leave No Trace

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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