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Blue Lake



2.2 mile 3.5 kilometer point to point


Ascent: 957' 292 m
Descent: -70' -21 m
High: 6,272' 1,912 m
Low: 5,385' 1,641 m


Avg Grade: 9% (5°)
Max Grade: 33% (18°)


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Trail shared by Ryan W

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

Ryan W

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.


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.

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Family Friendly, ADA Accessible, Need to Know, Dogs Allowed, Flora & Fauna

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Sep 22, 2019
Patty Paquin
Aug 25, 2019
Jas Kanwaldeep Benipal
3.5mi — 3h 00m
Aug 22, 2019
Briana McDougall
5.5mi — 3h 01m
Aug 4, 2019
Joey Altchech
Jul 20, 2018
Alden Olmstead
Jul 15, 2018
Sasha Conley
Beautiful but crowded 4.4mi
Oct 16, 2017
Cristianna Farias
Sep 13, 2017
Baylee Lorraine

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 12 votes


  4.7 from 12 votes
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in Washington


11 Views Last Month
711 Since Feb 29, 2016



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
Whiskey jack at Blue Lake
Oct 14, 2019 near Stehekin, WA
Blue Lake in Okanogan National Forest.
Feb 29, 2016 near Stehekin, WA
View South from High on Blue Lake Trail
May 17, 2019 near Stehekin, WA


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