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Blue Lake

Intermediate
 4.8 (17)

With stunning views of the nearby mountains, this trail leads through a forest to a majestic sub-alpine lake


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Map Key

2.2

Miles

3.5

KM

Point to Point

6,272' 1,912 m

High

5,385' 1,641 m

Low

957' 292 m

Up

70' 21 m

Down

9%

Avg Grade (5°)

33%

Max Grade (18°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Lake

The North Cascades Highway, which allows access to this trail, closes during the winter. Snow may obstruct the trail well after the highway re-opens.

Description

The trail to Blue Lake climbs through the forest via steep switchbacks up this sub-alpine lake. Surrounded by green forests and great rocky peaks, Blue Lake is great destination along the North Cascades Highway, and is a relatively easy route for those with less experience. The lake can sometimes be busy over the summer, so you may want to get an early start.

The trail begins running along the highway, but quickly turns away. It maintains a fair grade as it quickly climbs up to the lake. Your first view of the surrounding mountain ranges comes as you pass through a meadow a little under halfway along the trail. As you continue climbing, the trees slowly become scarce as amazing views of the mountains reveal themselves once again.

You'll likely hear the trickling of Blue Lake before it comes into view. Snow can remain on the far side of the lake well into the summer. Upon reaching the lake itself you are faced with a crossroads. The left path takes a short climb up overlooking the lake, though it descends and quickly becomes obstructed, and the right path heads to the lakeside itself. You'll have to cross a log bridge over a stream in order to get down to the lake, which may be difficult for those slightly less able. Upon crossing, most travel along the lakeside, though smaller side trails travel up into more secluded, higher areas with even better views.

Shared By:

Ryan W

Trail Ratings

  4.8 from 17 votes

#250

Overall
  4.8 from 17 votes
5 Star
82%
4 Star
12%
3 Star
6%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#17

in Washington

#250

Overall
7 Views Last Month
1,268 Since Feb 29, 2016
Intermediate

0%
13%
75%
0%
13%
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Photos

Approach in Washington Pass
May 12, 2019 near Stehekin, WA
Looking west towards the Isolation Traverse from Liberty Bell
May 12, 2019 near Stehekin, WA
Blue Lake in the North Cascades
Dec 20, 2020 near Stehekin, WA
View South from High on Blue Lake Trail
May 17, 2019 near Stehekin, WA
Whiskey jack at Blue Lake
Oct 14, 2019 near Stehekin, WA
A panoramic view of Blue Lake.
Sep 14, 2021 near Stehekin, WA

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All Clear 88 days ago See History
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Check-Ins

Oct 18, 2021
R Wu
One of my favorite hikes so far. Do on a week day around mid-October. 5.7mi — 3h 36m
Sep 25, 2021
Claire Showalter
Sep 13, 2021
July Nguyen
A nice steady hike with a gradual incline that leads to a beautiful blue lake! Also loved seeing the color changing of the leaves 4.4mi
Aug 25, 2021
Denis de REYNAL
Oct 5, 2020
Eric Bryant
Eric and Kath
Aug 22, 2020
Cassie Hudson
Beautiful lake, saw yellow finch and trouts, no mountain goats Got up at 7, started at 8:30, got to lake at 9:30, headed back down 10 after 11. 5.5mi
Aug 8, 2020
Phil Kwon
Aug 2, 2020
Sungyeal Kim
2.2mi