“A very popular trail leading to a glacially carved alpine lake in the beautiful Enchantments.”
— Sarah Baker
Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildflowers · Wildlife · Commonly Backpacked
The route to Colchuck Lake is the easiest and most popular way for people to see the glorious Enchantments. The route follows a peaceful stream through a lush forest, then climbs steeply to Colchuck Lake where the views of Dragontail Peak and Colchuck Peak won't disappoint.
Be prepared to share the trail with hundreds of people; this is an extremely popular route, especially on summer weekends. Make sure to keep this area beautiful for future generations by following Wilderness Regulations and staying on the trail at all times.
Need to Know
A $5 per vehicle/day fee or a valid Recreation Pass is required on vehicles at the trailhead. Camping within this area is managed by a reservation permit system May 15th through October 31st.
The trail starts at the Stuart Lake trailhead which can be packed with cars even on weekdays during the summer. The route starts on the Stuart Lake Trail #1599
and follows Mountaineer Creek while gradually climbing through a beautiful forest. The trail crosses the creek at 1.5 miles on a log bridge and starts to steepen.
At 2.2 miles take a left at the junction with the Colchuck Lake Trail #1599.1
. The trail immediately crosses Mountaineer Creek again and then climbs steeply over sometimes rocky and washed-out trail.
After climbing a quick 1,100 ft from the valley base, you'll reach Colchuck Lake. Meander along the lake's west edge while taking in the awesome views of Dragontail Peak and Colchuck Peak rising from the south end of the lake. Grab lunch and take in the epic views up towards Aasgard Pass where backpackers enter the upper Enchantment basin or take a swim in the deep blue lake if you want to cool off.