Offering a wonderful day trip, Colchuck Lake via Stuart Lake Trail is a beautiful trail and offers a number of activities. The trail has a distance of 14.5 km and an elevation gain of 696 m. It is a loop trail located near Leavenworth, Washington.
It’s a great trail that provides great views as it takes you through a forest to an easily accessible lake. Many hikers who have hiked this trail describe it as a religious experience. Although the hike is quite difficult, the experience and views are worth the effort. There are different spots for swimming and snoozing.
To get to the trailhead, drive from the town of Leavenworth and follow the Icicle road. Follow this road for 8.4 miles and turn left to NF-7600. Then, follow the road for 3.6 miles and you will get to the parking area at the trailhead. It’s a highly trafficked trail, so get there early to get a parking spot. If you have the NW Forest Pass, you can park for free; otherwise, you have to pay a fee. There are toilets as well as a picnic table at the trailhead.
So, begin hiking the Stuart Lake Trail. The trail begins with a gentle climb as it follows a creek. After 1.24 miles, you will get to the footbridge, and the real climb begins from there. After another mile, you will get to a junction, turn left to follow the current trail as the right trail takes you to Stuart Lake. You have to cross the creek and cross over a large boulder field. There are multiple switchbacks along the way. There are some steep parts, but they are well-maintained and you can follow the trail easily. As you are climbing, you will get a beautiful view of the waterfall.
Before, you reach the Colchuck Lake; you will get mesmerizing views of Mount Stuart. As you get closer to the lake, you can see a sign of a pit toilet. It’s the only toilet there, with no walls. Soon, the lake would appear through the trees and you would feel like magic. Find a good spot, to get the best views and capture this moment by taking photos.