The Enchantments: Hike to Colchuck Lake

Colchuck Lake Trail, Leavenworth, Washington, United States

  • Activities:

    Hiking

  • Skill Level:

    Intermediate

  • Season:

    Summer

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    8 Miles

  • Elevation Gain:

    2280 Feet

Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Scenic
Cliff Jumping

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
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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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Reviews

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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.

about 2 months ago
about 2 months ago

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.

3 months ago
3 months ago

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.

6 months ago
6 months ago

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.

12 months ago
12 months ago

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

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

This was wonderful for seeing the beauty our state affords in one hike. The road to the trailhead was pretty awful--potholes galore! But once on the trail, 'twas lovely. When the trail breaks off from the trip to Stuart Lake, prepare to ascend. For a first-timer, the trail seemed difficult to find in spots, but, hey, we made it there and back. The views on the way are gorgeous, and the first sight of the lake on a sunny day--spectacular and my favorite color! Not sure 8 miles is an accurate count. The ranger said it was further. Anyway, was well worth it. Oh, there were quite a few hikers on the trail too. Not a bad thing, but less serene at junctures.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Would be important to add that dogs are not permitted in any of the enchantment lakes. Drove 2.5 hours to have to turn around.

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

The enchantments are some of the best hiking spots in the PNW no dispute and to get a little taste by visiting this mountain let's you experience some of that. There is a few tricky spots on this trail and basically all I have to say is to get to this lake just stay left on the trail splits and you will get there. It's a long way with a majority of the distance being covered in the first leg and after the split off between Stuart and Colchuck the actually climb starts. Enjoy the views of the river, the valley, and the amazing alpine lake! Also jump in the lake! Just do it! And talk with the backpackers that are camping around the lake either just start their backpacking journey or are just finishing! Good luck!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

Great for seeing mountain goats

almost 3 years ago
almost 3 years ago

And the brewery has the best growlers ever to purchase :)

over 3 years ago
over 3 years ago

Turn left at Kolchuck lake for a quiet camp site with great photo opportunities.

over 3 years ago
over 3 years ago

enchantments traverse is the best

over 3 years ago
over 3 years ago

Great Alpine Lake! Awesome to get a view of the lake from one of the many peaks surrounding or from the top of Aasgard Pass.

over 3 years ago
over 3 years ago

Are we missing something? Suggest an edit

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