Central Cascades, Leavenworth Area

Colchuck Lake – Hike Washington

Hello and welcome to another hiking blog post, content that you all seem to enjoy very much! Colchuck Lake hike is the one you should be hiking if you have never hiked in this Eastern side of Washington. It’s a fun hike with unbeatable views, especially at the lake. On sunny days, the alpine water is deep blue in the shade and bright aquamarine in sunlight. The water is so clear and mesmorizing. Definitely on my top 10 hikes I’ve ever done in Washington.

You’d notice some campers packing ropes and camping gears passing through, it’s possible that they’ve gotten their camping pass a year in advance to hike the Enchantments. It’s one of my goals and hope I’ll get to do the Enchantments one of these days.

Location: Central Cascades, Leavenworth Area.

Length: 8 miles, roundtrip

Elevation gain: 2300 feet.

No dogs are allowed.

Northwest Forest Pass required.

Parking for about 20-30 cars, and the rest has to be parked on the right side of the road and hike in. There’s a toilet available in the lot.


  1. Download the Google map area to plan your hike!
  2. It’s a very popular trail, so hike EARLY on the weekend! Hike midweek if you can.
  3. Overnight stays are by permit only from May 15th – October 31st.
  4. There’s a free public parking lot in Leavenworth if you plan to arrive a day early and hit the trailhead early. I’ve stayed in my car overnight there once, and there are some cars and RV camping with trailers parking there as well. Rules: Overnight parking restricted to 1 in 7 day period. No parking of unattached trailer. There is public bathroom located a block or two down the road, but they might be closed due to COVID. I suggest checking the public bathroom (810 Commercial St, Leavenworth, WA 98826) in Leavenworth or go inside the Safeway or gas station.
  5. Bring BUG SPRAY if you hike this in June and July.
  6. Pack at least 2 bottles of water per person.
  7. Make sure to turn LEFT at the fork to Colchuck since going straight will lead you to Stuart Lake. Many people don’t pay close attention to the signs and get lost this way!

It took about 3 hours to get to the trailhead, called Stuart and Lake Colchuck trailhead, and about 6 – 7 hours to finish the entire hike. It was intense and exhausting but well-worth it.

You can read about the trail conditions and other people’s reviews, pretty up to date, here. I hiked this one two weekends ago and got really lucky because it was one of the most gorgeous days we had in awhile. It was super sunny, hence the gorgeous blue green lake color.

We for sure did not anticipate this long of a hike and wish we packed more food and water for sure. It was really closed to Leavenworth, the cute German town, so we stopped by for some brats and beers afterward. Such a fun day to explore the eastern side of Washington.

Enjoy the photos! – Hiked this 2 weekends before the live date of this blog post.

outfit details: Lulu Lemon crop bra | Outdoor Voices leggings | Smartwool socks from REI | Nike Pesto shoes | Nike running jacket (sold out style) | H&M NYC hat (old)

Thanks for reading!






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10 comments so far.

10 responses to “Colchuck Lake – Hike Washington”

  1. Alyx says:

    Doesn’t even look real! What a gorgeous area. Putting this on my travel list!

    • antrieu says:

      Thank you! Washington for sure has a lot to offer! Definitely check out its many gorgeous hiking trails!!!!

  2. Ana says:

    Beautiful photos! I haven’t been there (yet), but it’s on my to-do list for next year!

  3. Allison says:

    How cute are you guys?! What a fun little trip to go hiking! I’m definitely putting this on my Adventure vision board this year. I’m loving the views but also loved that you owned up to beers and brats afterward. Haha! I would have done the same thing. xo

    Allison | http://www.peplumsandpie.com

  4. Dang. I need to get out more!

  5. sara nena says:

    The sea side is nice, but I think that the mountains are so much more magic


An Trieu

Currently based in Seattle, Style & Senses is my digital life and style journal of all things that inspire my senses and beyond. Hope you stay inspired, as always! - An Trieu.

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