I haven’t blogged about my hikes for quite some time, but I can promise I have been on many, and have much to share. I basically have two years of hikes to share. I normally would share in chronological order by date, but I’ve decided to write in order of my favorites for now.

I have always enjoyed hiking in Washington. This would be my first experience in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Alpine lakes are typically my favorite hikes, so I definitely had high expectations for the day’s hike.

Kat and I chose to camp nearby so we wouldn’t have to wake up extremely early to get to the trailhead before sunrise. This is a very popular trail so in order to get okay parking, you must arrive by 5:30am. I do find it quite exciting to hike with a headlamp. When you hike back down it’s like a new hike because there wasn’t much to see on the way up. In a way it’s a nice little gift from nature, because the last mile of a long hike is always really difficult for me, as I am usually ready to be done. We woke up about 4:30 to get ready, having prepared everything the night before. Before we knew it, we were on the road ready to start the hike in the dark.

Starting the hike in the dark was different and exhilarating. I could tell we were climbing, but without seeing the trail more than ten feet ahead of me, I didn’t know when the next flat section of the trail would be, so in a way I just kept hiking along. It may have been my fastest mile of the hike! Once the sun rose up, the colors of the leaves started to reveal themselves, and the stream we heard along the trail we could finally see. We were greeted with a bridge crossing the stream, and then the real climbing began.

The trail was steep, but manageable. After a number of switchbacks, we were rewarded with mountain views. I had a feeling the lake was on the other side of the mountain. I try to visualize the trail, and where we may end up by using my Garmin. It helps me keep going, knowing how far I’ve climbed and how much farther I have to go. I like all the statistics. Before, during, and after. We reached a point during the hike where we were at the steepest part of the trail, stopping every quarter mile or less to rest. I remember all I could think about was the view of the lake, and my tuna sandwich in my backpack. We came across a more even trail, and then there it was, Colchuck Lake.

I have never seen a more breathtaking lake in my life. I was in complete and total awe. The turquoise water, the larches beginning to turn, and the absolute sheer mountains surrounding the lake was magnificent. I took photo after photo, ate my delicious tuna sandwich and chocolate, and soaked in the view for as long as I could before it was time to head back down.

After a relaxing break, it was time to make our trek down. We walked down steep terrain (thankful to have my poles), climbed through a boulder field, followed the switchbacks down to the last bridge, and followed the trail along the stream until we reached the trailhead. The last mile that we missed due to sunlight, was full of fall colors in the trees and bushes. It was a great way to end such an epic hike. Even after dozens of h8ike that followed, Colchuck Lake still remains my dear to my heart.

From Leavenworth, travel west on Highway 2, left on Icicle Road, then left on FSR 7601. In total it’s about 30 minutes from Leavenworth.

One response to “COLCHUCK LAKE”

  1. Sooo Coool girl. I miss you and next summer we will be staying in your area for an extended time. Can’t wait! Love ya!


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