One of the best places for hiking in the state of Washington is Colchuck Lake. The first time you see this pristine lake you will be taken away by its beauty! A truly remarkable area, this region of the state is perfect for hiking. Most of the trails in this area are rated difficult, but if you are prepared and physically fit, you should not have a hard time going through them. If you would like to hike this area of the country, you are in luck! Today we are going to learn more about this region and what it can offer you.
Before heading down the trail you will need to obtain a Northwest Forest Pass. Make sure you have this pass ready in advance.
The Colchuck Lake trailhead is located near the town of Leavenworth, Washington. This is a rather small town but easy to find on the map. To find the trail from Leavenworth, take US2 from the western side of Leavenworth. You will need to turn off of US2 onto Icicle Road. Travel down Icicle Road for 8.4 miles until you reach Forest Road 7601. Take a left onto Forest Road 7601. Keep in mind that this dirt road can be very bumpy and full of potholes. Drive down the dirt road for 3.7 miles until you reach Stuart Lake trailhead. This trail will be your starting point which will take you to the Colchuck Lake trailhead. Once you have your gear, head down the Stuart Lake trail. Move down the trail for 2.2 miles and you will notice another trail veering off to the left. This is the Colchuck Lake trailhead which will take you to your desired destination.
What To Expect On The Trail
Once you have arrived at the Colchuck Lake trailhead, it is time to begin your great adventure. Hiking on this trail is very fun but there are some things you will need to know before heading out. While hiking the trail, you will experience some of the most beautiful views in the world! But you will also have to work to get to them.
The Colchuck Lake trail has an elevation gain of 2,280 feet. At the peak of the trail, you will be standing at an elevation of 5,580 feet. The trail is an out and back trail with a round trip distance of 7.7 miles. For those who are not in good physical shape, this trail may be very hard for you to complete. It is rated as difficult. Only those who are in good health should attempt to climb it.
A Very Popular Trail
The Colchuck Lake trail can be very difficult but a lot of people seem to love the challenge. This trail is very popular with locals and tourists, especially during the warmer months. During the spring and summer, hundreds of people hike this trail and you are bound to run into someone. So if you are looking for a trail that is off the beaten path and away from most humans, this might not be the one for you. If you are in good shape then the trail might be one of the best hikes you have ever taken. The sheer beauty of the lake and the surrounding alpine forest is something that everyone should see at least once in your life.
Colchuck Lake Weather
When it comes to weather, the Colchuck Lake area has heavy snow and ice during the winter months. This can make the trail and the roads leading to the trail very dangerous. From November to May, Icicle Road is shut down for safety precautions. This makes the trail system unreachable by most people.
On the other hand, those who love adventure may access the trail by other means. You must be experienced in winter hiking to do this. Large amounts of snowfall could potentially leave you stranded on the trail and you need to be prepared if this happens.
The best time to visit the area and hike the trail is during the summer months. While you may encounter lots of people during this time of year, it is by far the safest time to hike in this region. During the summer months, the weather can also be unpredictable and a thunderstorm may pop up at any given time. So, before you head towards the trail, make sure to check the local weather. Keeping an eye on the weather will keep you safe and your trip will be more enjoyable.
Camping at Colchuck Lake
A great way to add to your hike at Colchuck Lake is to stay overnight. The area has several wonderful places to pitch a tent. Many people camp in this area during the summer months and others are brave enough to do it in the winter.
If you plan to camp overnight in this area you will need to come prepared. You will have to pack everything in and out so you should always try to travel with enough gear to make it there and back. Depending on the time of year and the weather, you may also want to bring a heavy duty tent and sleeping bag.
Also, there are many wild animals in the area, so keep that in mind when cooking food. Never leave food out overnight, and always clean up after you have cooked your meal. This will help you avoid animal encounters in the middle of the night which can be dangerous. For those that love the outdoors, a night out under the stars is a great way to spend your vacation.
Colchuck Lake Washington is one of the most beautiful places on earth! This is a great place to enjoy nature while taking in the views. So if you are looking for a new adventure, why not head out for a hike in this amazing alpine forest? Remember before going on a Colchuck lake hike, plan ahead and bring along with you the items you will need to have a safe trip.