Lake Ingalls is one of the most popular trails in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, eastern Washington, especially in the fall when the larches turn electric golden yellow.
From Seattle, it takes about 2 hours and 30 minutes to get to the Lake Ingalls trailhead. You’d have to drive on a bumpy dirt road for about half of an hour. It’s a popular trail, so you will most likely have to park along the road and hike to the trailhead, especially on nice sunny day and on the weekends.
I did this hike on Saturday, October 3, 2020, with some of my friends who were in town for the weekend. It was definitely a little bit early for the larches to be at their peaks, but there were still a ridiculous amount of people on the trail. It was the second most difficult hike I did this year, just a little bit after Lake Blanca. Hence, I do not recommend this hike to beginners or those who are afraid of height. It took us about 3 hours to get to the lake and 2.5 hours to get down. It was pretty long, and most of the time, you’d be hiking along the mountain sides.
Make sure you bring at least 3 bottles of water per person and plenty of food. We did two per person and almost ran out by the time we got to the lake. There were lots of people setting up tents at the basin where the larches were. We ended up asking for some water from a couple who were filtering water up at the lake, and they were super nice and offered us to drink up and refill another time. In addition, if you hike this trail in the fall, make sure to bring a long a light layer as it gets quite chilly at night. My trekking poles and knee brace definitely help my weak legs as well!
Fall backpacking at Lake Ingalls in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness is definitely on my bucket list of things to do in 2021. I’m currently doing lots of research and slowly adding things to my Camping Kit.
Please enjoy the photos and thank you for being here! I’ve linked my outfit and a few great fall hiking trail ideas at the end of this blog post, so make sure to read it till the end.
MY OUTFIT – bra: GIRLFRIEND Topanga| Hi-rise leggings: GIRLFRIEND *color of the set is TRAIL, sold out since it’s Girlfriend’s limited color spring 2020 | boots: KEEN Targhee III | socks: DARN TOUGH | flannel: thrifted, similar HERE & HERE | trekking poles: LEKI via REI (blog post review HERE)
Another excellent fall hike for larches that I highly recommend is the Maple Pass- Heather Loop Trail where you’d get to hike around Lake Ann and get a glimpse at the incredibly blue Rainy Lake. I did this hike last year and a couple days after I hiked Lake Ingalls this year. Blog post with lots of photos is to come!