Sitting outside of Leavenworth, off of Hwy 2, is the trailhead for Stuart Lake. It is a very popular hike and backpacking trip to say the least. We played our cards right and got a backpacking trip to Colchuck Lake the weekend before permits went into affect for the season. That meant however we had chillier weather to hike in (but few bugs, so that was a bonus).
The hike up to the junction for Colchuck is smooth and gains elevation in a decent manner. It goes through open eastern Washington forest. The turnoff is well marked and a great place to take a breather before the uphill really starts in earnest.
The trail promptly crosses the creek, in a narrow spot, then winds through a rocky area for a bit.
Ford and I heading up through the rocks.
The trail winds up, sometimes in woods, often through rocks, with so many views to have.
As we reached the basin, we saw the open air privy for the lake.
The peaks are what make Colchuck Lake. The lake is massive, with the peaks sweeping up.
Eating breakfast above the lake.
In the early morning. We camped in a sheltered spot but had quite an adventure climbing down to the lake to get water for cooking and drinking.
The views though, they were worth it.
In the morning we had an aggressive mountain goat visit us.
He was looking for salt and was overly obnoxious about. We packed up and left not long after, and he left us alone.
The hike out goes fast, it is 4 miles, nearly all downhill to the parking.