Bring lots of water and snacks no matter what time of year you go. It begins at the Stuart Lake Trailhead. The road to the trailhead will be closed on Monday 11/09/20 to the Spring 2021. Northwest Forest Pass required.Note that FR 7601 from Icicle Creek Road to the trailhead closes during the winter, typically from November to May, making for a short summer hiking season. It's 8.0 miles round trip to Colchuck Lake, with about 2,200 feet of elevation gain. So don’t get your panties in a twist just because the uphill hiker doesn’t always pass first. Be prepared to share the trail with hundreds of people; this is an extremely popular route, especially on summer … Colchuck Lake used to be a hidden gem but is now quickly gaining in popularity. You pay at the trail head. The Colchuck Lake trailhead is located near the town of Leavenworth, Washington. Stuart Lake (#1599), Colchuck Lake (#1599A) Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Wenatchee River Ranger District 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 If you can, head to Leavenworth the night before and spend the night or camp. (Seems obvious but we noticed many others were a bit under prepared). I love the hikes this region offers, but it takes six hours from our house to the trailhead and back…throw in a hike and you are talking a long day. You will need to turn off of US2 onto Icicle Road. 209S map. On one hand, I would say if you’re a beginner, if you go in the summer you can definitely do it. Follow Icicle Road for 8.5 miles and go left onto dirt road 7601 (signs to Colchuck Lake). From the lake you can view Aasgard Pass which is for more serious hikers/backpackers to enter the Enchantments and that have received a pass to camp overnight. Views are incredible! But it put us close to the Colchuck and Stuart Lake Trailheads for an early start on Sunday. Colchuck Lake Trail starts at Stuart Lake trailhead off of Forest Service Road 7601, which can be accessed from Icicle Creek Road. In summer, cars fill not only the trailhead parking lot, but the road leading to it. You will stay to the right after crossing the bridge, and walk along the creek before your next big push uphill. Park at the Stuart Lake trailhead. To the left of Dragontail is Aasgard Pass, the climb that serves as the unbelievably steep “shortcut” to the Enchantments. After the walk through the woods, you will cross the creek on a bridge before beginning the first real incline of the hike. With an elevation gain of over 2000 feet, the hike to Colchuck lake is challenging. Poles and spikes are not NEEDED, but probably helpful in some sections. Leavenworth also provides a strong offering of sausages for pre-hike dinner. It was a good, hard hike, but nothing crazy – we took maybe 2:15 or so on the way up and flew down in 1:45 or so after the technical icy bits toward the top. I’d recommend going earlier because now that the sun sets so early, hiking back in the dark wasn’t my favorite. The first glance you get rounding the corner to Colchuck Lake is an awe inspiring moment. How to Find Colchuck Lake : To hike to Colchuck Lake, you’ll want to start at the Stuart Lake trailhead and parking area. The trail was in good condition but icy for the last 1-1.5 miles to the top. This is a great place to grab lunch and take in the scenery. Straight ahead the path to Stuart Lake rolls out, while the Colchuck Lake Trail #1599.1 breaks off to the left. Also many parts of the trail are wide so no one needs to stop at all. 11/2 Monday. However, the way back was difficult for me. After a series of rocky switch backs you will reach the trail junction for Stuart, and Colchuck lakes. You’ll want at least one liter or more. Occasional breaks in the trees offer glimpses of the steep walls of the valley. It wasn’t such that you need microspikes but poles were helpful. This is truly a brutal trek with 4,500 feet gain and 6,500 feet descent on not so easy terrain. recommend attempts at proper hiking footwear and winter clothing (crazy what i saw today...) and dont act like you’re late late to an important date (seriously self centered, rude, and dangerous); right of way goes to those going uphill. This is a challenging hike with beautiful scenery in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area of Washington State. The roundtrip covers 7.7 … Many parts of the trail were slick with ice. Hiked 11/7. At several spots along the way, views open up, first to the valley you’ve just climbed out of, then up to the toothy ridge of Dragontail Peak. Some parts down are steep so they would have been super helpful. I was scared based on the hard rating and other people’s stories but it was easier than I actually thought. The kind of picturesque Earth porn you find in destination magazines. The 8-9 mile roundtrip hike was tiresome, but well worth it. Hiked 10/27 - I have done this hike in the summer and have now done it in late fall. While the final ascent to the lake is steep and rough in places, Colchuck’s overall elevation gain of 2,300 feet makes its spectacular scenery accessible to hikers of almost any ability. There is a NO PARKING restriction for the entirety of Road 7601, from the start at Icicle Road 7600 to its terminus at Stuart Lake Trailhead. road is in good shape (but last turn off road closed for the season tomorrow 11/9), no snow or ice, yes to potholes but not too deep. At the end of this first mile and a half, the trail crosses to the right bank of Mountaineer Creek on a sturdy log bridge. 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