Trail Distance: 10 miles
Elevation Gain: 2300 ft.
Terrain Rating: Fairly straightforward - roots, dirt, and some loose rock
Hike Time: 6 hours
Dog Friendly: No
Recommended Seasons: Summer, Fall
Colchuck Lake is a beautiful, blue lake with dramatic peaks in the background. As part of The Enchantments, this is a must hike in Washington
Trailhead: Stuart and Colchuck Lake Trailhead, about 3 hours from Seattle (pass required) The road to the trailhead has some potholes but is manageable with a regular sedan (non-high clearance vehicle) - just be careful and drive slow
We started a little late on a summer Saturday and parked about 0.7 miles from the main trailhead parking lot around 10AM. It was probably one of the most crowded trailhead parking lots I’ve seen in a while. Once we arrived to the proper trailhead, we started on the shaded, tree-covered approach. The approach itself seems fairly long - the trail winds around for 1.5 miles before you hit a bridge. After the bridge, hike another 3/4 of a mile until a (kind of?) discrete trail junction. Make sure you go left to Colchuck Lake! I hiked this 2 years ago and accidentally kept straight and ended up 8 miles later at Horseshoe Lake, whoops.
Once you hit this trail junction, you have a bit more to go until the trees open up and you get a few glimpses of Dragontail Peak. Look for cairns once it becomes rocky to help guide your path. Soon enough you’ll hit the beautiful Colchuck Lake! The trail approaches high so wander around and find your way down to the bottom of the lake. If you’re brave you can take a swim. I was not brave :)
Once we got there, we sat around for about an hour, relaxing and soaking up the sun. We decided to keep pushing ahead until we hit the base of the rocky scramble to Aasgard Pass. It was around 1PM by the time we got here, so we decided to head back instead of push on. I definitely want to come back and do this full hike though! The way back was a bit of a slog, especially heading down the approach. But finally we made it and went back to Tye Haus where we were staying for the night.
What I packed:
If you haven’t been to Tye Haus yet, I highly recommend you spend a weekend there. They’ve now expanded to include 3 a-frame cabins, each with a hot tub. The hot tub was perfect for our sore legs, and it also made for a good morning wake up. They’ve added an additional bed downstairs since I was last there. It’s also fairly close to Sky Deli which has sandwiches and snacks. If you don’t have Airbnb yet, you can sign up here.