The lake was, as usual, insanely beautiful and I could have stayed forever. Muledeer And all this is within relatively easy reach. It's what drives development like Snoqualmie Ridge and Suncadia where previously wild spaces (mostly wild - perhaps logged years earlier) get repurposed for resource-intensive homes so people can feel "close to nature." The trail was a mix of packed snow and ice followed by mud, and then more snow/ice. 2.) Life is too short to start every hike … Read About these trails in our Hiking Guide Colchuck Lake; Note: This is more of a volunteer vacation report than a trip report. Dang, no way I can measure up to that. These are the kinds of conversations we need to start having, like, 10 years ago. I've volunteered. No one ever wants to deal with the other side of the equation, which is much more important: demand. Most people on trails haven't invested anything in the land, and it shows. It is hard to say for time as we all hike at different paces, but I would allow about 5-6 hours if you want to be leisurely and have lots of time at the lake. Colchuck was gorgeous, and as one of the first day hikers to arrive at the lake, I enjoyed some peace and quiet at the north end of the lake watching a bald eagle sitting on a branchless tree on the left shore of the lake and a few tiny specks climb Colchuck Peak. Our tax identification number is EIN 91-0900134. The red line indicates the hiking trail. No snow yet! And yes, I know that sounds crazy. on Beyond that, if a very beautiful place is getting so much traffic that people have to turn a dirt road into a single-lane alleyway just to get their chance to see it, I think we all and each need to reduce that impact. If the DNR and USFS can charge a fee for the pass that lets you use the parking lots and the outhouses, I would assume they can also require certain basic standards before issuing the Discover Pass and NW Forest. Making sure that *anyone* has access to wild lands does not require ensuring *everyone* has access (and not all the time). 100% agreed, though, that the forces driving the situation I describe are formidable. on This alpine lake is accompanied by the twin spires of Dragontail Peak and Colchuck Peak at the far end of the lake. on Douglas S. Squirrel I parked in a no parking zone and hiked anyway, because I HAVE A RIGHT TO HIKE ANYWHERE I WANT WHENEVER I WANT." His response on the other trip report on this topic (the one by the guy with anger management and communication challenges) came across VERY paternalistic. on The reward at the top is a picturesque lake with dazzling blue green water and views over Dragontail and Colchuck Peak mountains. Loved your rant. Hiked from the bridge at Bridge Creek campground clear up to the lake and back. Be sure to check your gas gauge before you head up there. I'm hoping he weighs in with specifics and shows that this isn't just his way of saying: "I don't want to hear it / shut up." "Gateway to the Enchantments." I know it's not an easy solution to contemplate, since the slashing of public expenditures has trapped DNR and USFS in a fee-for-service model for funding; but I can't think of anything more important to hiking (much less the state of Washington's most beautiful places) than directly confronting that catch-22. The two mindsets (hiking exceptionalism, covid do-nothingism) are related. Do a google image search for "Colchuck Lake." While the final ascent to the lake is steep and rough in places, Colchucks overall elevation gain of 2,300 feet makes its spectacular scenery accessible to hikers of almost any ability. The lake was partly frozen and very beautiful with the snowy mountains around it. Jun 15, 2020 03:02 PM. I've contributed to policy. ” Reminds me of hiking up there years ago and coming across a guy with a Glock in his pants who asked me seriously if there were any deer up there for shooting... seattlenativemike I'm more than just a cranky squirrel. Rehabilitate lost trails. It's just there, like magic. I see I've met my match in rhetorical skill. Here's what entitled sounds like: "I went to the Stuart Lake Trailhead. Now that I could be down with. Please let us help you get your follower count up, you attention w...uh, I mean: narcissist. Dogs, and all pets, are prohibited, except for Service Dogs as defined by Department of Justice regulations 28 C.F.R. As it is, most of the vanity hikers don't give a rat's about the well-being of the places they're exploiting, or their non-human inhabitants. The 8-9 mile roundtrip hike was tiresome, but well worth it. Share. Colchuck Lake; Road to TH is closed for the winter. Popularizing locations where there is no infrastructure (roads, sanitation etc.) There are also campsites near north end of lake. There was compact snow the entire trail to Colchuck Lake… Jun 13, 2020 08:12 PM. Additionally, I will never understand why people actually spend time writing "trip reports" on this site. Just let it happen." Jun 14, 2020 12:15 PM. Trails Rebooted; Learn how WTA is helping make popular trails more sustainable. And you've done your part by crowding onto trails too soon. on I accept your nomination. The stuff that gets them that content? Started 6:08, Back to the car at 14:32. Roundtrip: 8.4 miles. In fact, it's on more than ever - we've done a great job spreading coronavirus. Maybe the FS could do the same with Colchuck and make money for trail maintenance or a good end of the season beer fest for the FS employees. This hike is challenging in that it is mostly up, and up, and up. Jun 13, 2020 05:41 PM. ricola Bring layers as the weather at the lake can change drastically in minutes. We can either protect wilderness or pretend to care. on goats are a real problem up there and are crazy for anything salty, like packs, straps, etc. Jun 13, 2020 01:46 PM,’s nice to have a few hikes that attract the masses so the rest of us can find peace and solitude elsewhere. I am pretty sure 100+ helpful votes makes this the second most up-voted report ever posted. That misleading trope right there is a big part of the problem. The rest of the trail up was clear and pretty much perfect. CHS Tacoma September Hike: Trip will initially open to Tacoma Branch Conditioning Hiking Students. Putting words to that anguish feels good and motivates me to think about what else to do. Advocate for clearing up the access roads. - The Dawn Wall: Please provide a detailed expedition-style report as if you are the first person ever to attempt the heroic feat of reaching the never-before-glimpsed wonders of a 6-mile hike gaining less than 2,000 feet. And your blog. Old trails are not going to be hiked by the masses looking for the trophy hikes anyway. Trail Conditions Trail in good condition ... Washington Trails Association 705 2nd Ave, Suite 300 Seattle, WA 98104 (206) 625-1367. I agree with others that the trail is more than 8 miles. It is not enough to have daily updates from the dangerous wilds of Lake Serene, Lake 22, and Mount Pilchuck. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from May until October. If 1% of people at Colchuck cut switchbacks, bring a dog, have a campfire by the lakeside (I've seen all three behaviors), 1,000 people on the trail = 10 people causing damage. ✌️, Jenniferkaye79 We fueled with cheese danishes. Our tax identification number is EIN 91-0900134. Roads are paid for with public funds, but we you still have to pass an exam before you hop behind the wheel. Sir-Hikes-A-Lot Central Cascades. My son & I camped overnight and on 8/7/97 the flies were gone from the lake and not a problem until the junction with Stuart Lake. Douglas S. Squirrel There is a creek crossing that has some very icy rocks, so go slow on that part! Do yourself a favor and stay away. See? Leave yourself plenty of time to do the hike given the early sunset this time of year. on Location: Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Icicle River Valley . Jun 14, 2020 01:18 PM. Actually there IS something people can do about overrun trails. Bring lots of layers this time of year as you warm up as you ascend but it is very chilly at the lake when you are not moving. on “Call someplace paradise (and post photos on Instagram), kiss it goodbye...” - Eagles, seattlenativemike Good! Like other reports state, you have to hike up the road to the trailhead. BethS It’s a big part of boosting your immune system, not to mention mental and physical health. Douglas S. Squirrel However, the views at the lake are well worth the effort. Read About these trails in our Hiking Guide Colchuck Lake; The 1100 feet gained along a very steep, rocky, and rooty trail after the 2.5 miles to the junction is well worth the effort because of the beauty of Colchuck Lake and its surrounding area. Article and photo by Craig Romano. If he means volunteer for work parties, that doesn't solve the things I'm talking about. If you look across the lake to the other side, you can see the Aasgard Pass and Dragontail Peak. Douglas S. Squirrel The first part of this trail follows the Stuart Lake Trail before branching off to the left. on This post is sanctimonious entitled garbage. Forest Service: just close the road. This mass stupidity is what hiking has become. Washington Trails Association is 501(c)(3) nonprofit. With my newfound power, I command you, oh hikers of Washington: WRITE MORE TRIP REPORTS! Oh my god. - but the place means more to me, though, than my desire to see it. Elvin R. Johnson, Norma Johnson, William A. A great way to add to your hike at Colchuck Lake is to stay overnight. Out of concern for my own impact on those places, I am increasingly ceding them to people who don't even bother to learn the basics before they set foot to trail. I want things to go back to normal as reliably and quickly as possible (too late for that, thanks to attitudes like yours, but still...), so if I can help increase the likelihood of that by not hiking, sign me up. Go Hiking Trip Reports Colchuck Lake. on “ Other people don't mind the crowds, they may prefer a busy trail, and even feel safer from both wildlife and humans when there are other people always in sight. I didn't go to Colchuck after seeing the crowds too, but this and other crowded pretty places has made me think about how people experience the outdoors. My hiking partner and I made it up to Colchuck Lake in two hours. Exponential increase in high impact activity in sensitive alpine/subalpine terrain. The trail to Colchuck Lake was perfect. Amazing. A hiker stands in awe of Colchuck Lake's stark beauty. They're not who will support you. You can still hike Colchuck, but … We hiked up to colchuck yesterday, 11/24. Testudo montana Maybe we need sacrifice zones for vanity hiking, same way we have them for mining and logging. Solohiker35 on Colchuck Lake How long is the gated road in to TH? Made it unpleasant to say the least. 3.) But want to know something crazier? Put the snowshoes on at the 8 mile trailhead and didn't take them off after that. Colchuck lake. Who the hell wants to try and enjoy nature when the line is like Disneyland? As this video (reposted by the outmatched Forest Service) shows, people park for miles along the road, creating a one-lane clog. Scratch_That_Hiking_Itch Dogs are prohibited on Colchuck Lake trail, Stuart Lake trail and within the Enchantment Permit Area. As a climber I appreciate good beta and traditionally would look for condition reports for specific alpine objectives. Hike of the Week for Friday, August 26, 2011 Colchuck Lake. Your community is speaking to you. It's 8.0 miles round trip to Colchuck Lake, with about 2,200 feet of elevation gain. If the DNR and USFS can charge a fee for the pass that lets you use the parking lots and the outhouses, I would assume they can also require certain basic standards before issuing the Discover Pass and NW Forest. on I see a hike this crowded and I immediately turn around. I vote for Mr Squirrel to head up WTA and turn this ship around. Next to Stuart Lake, this has to be one of the most glorious day trips in the area. Mt Si, Mailbox, Teneriffe, Granite Lakes, Otter falls etc. There are just more people here than there was even 10 yrs ago. Cars were parked along the road by this point. Road at Bridge Creek is gated. (I appreciate your parody of this type of report. Another great, honest report. on I am a fairly experienced hiker but this hike was challenging for me given the length, temperature and elevation gain. That makes this the perfect forum. Help me understand where you're at. Jarv Solo hike to Colchuck. I don't love lotteries. you know, it's a fair push that I should DO more instead of just SAYING more, and I'm curious to see if he has specific ideas. The easiest routes are scrambles from the south and / or the Colchuck Col at the top of the Colchuck Glacier to the east. Colchuck lake. Here is a link to the hike and it gives a very good description of what to expect. It was cold (mid 30's-low 40's). You're in a position - maybe the best position of all - to do something about it. Jun 13, 2020 05:35 PM. Jun 14, 2020 06:07 AM. It was my first time in the enchantments and a beautiful November day. JeffReigns Thanks everyone, I agree with all of you ;), grisbarr The hike starts in a lodgepole pine forest along side Mountaineer Creek steadily climbing to an alpine lake set in granite cliffs under the towering crags of the Enchantment peaks. Everyone and their uncle is flocking to this hike, courtesy of a certain Facebook group (that should really be renamed "The People for the Overpopulation of Lake Colchuck and Lake 22"). Jun 15, 2020 06:47 AM. jools Hiked Oct 19, 2020. Nope. As if Colchuck Lake alone werent enough of a draw, it is one of the two gateways to the Enchantments, and the trailhead also accesses Stuart Lake, an easier and equally awesome destination. So many trailheads have become inaccessable to the regular family car that the ones that are easy to get to are overrun. For the first 1.7 miles, the hike is relatively easy with rolling hills and about 600 feet of elevation. Douglas S. Squirrel Land Agency: National Forest Service. You could lose your license for infractions such as picking flowers, refusal to follow social distancing guidelines, and playing music without headphones. Just gotta admit when I've been bested. Tell everyone to let the mountains breathe for a while. Lotteries are arbitrary. Colchuck Lake is an out and back trail, with a roundtrip of eight miles and an elevation gain of 2,300 feet. Jun 13, 2020 12:58 PM. I don't recall saying I'm OK with vacation homes. Jun 13, 2020 09:55 AM. Jun 13, 2020 01:44 PM, Yep, people want to enjoy nature and fresh air. Jun 15, 2020 05:32 PM, Interesting idea, I've earned both my Discover pass and a FS pass doing trailwork, and you do have an appreciation of the work involved in making and maintaining a trail, Muledeer Colchuck Lake is breathtaking! on on Jun 15, 2020 08:40 PM. Subscribe to our free email newsletter for hiking events, news, gear reviews and more. on Then post a report on the hike. on 1.) And as to your suggestion that Mr. Squirrel do some volunteer work to help trails, he IS doing volunteer work by deploying his superb writing skills in defense of the natural world. Running won't help. hayleygardner19 705 2nd Ave, Suite 300 The late melt off is the culprit for this situation. on Unfortunately it rained the day of our hike. Have fun! Many people camp in this area during the summer months and others are brave enough to do it in the winter. Jun 14, 2020 03:24 PM. Jun 13, 2020 12:24 PM. Somedays there will be 50 people waiting for the drawing early in the morning. You can replenish water in the creeks or lake, but be sure to … Overall, the icy spots are hard to spot so keep your eyes peeled! Everyone pays taxes and this is public land. You have a different appreciation for a place when you've invested sweat in. The lake is all thawed so we are back to that beautiful aqua sparkling water! This makes the Enchantments a whole lot less enchanting! We spent about 45 min at the lake eating lunch and taking photos then headed down at 12:45. The default strategy everyone comes up with is: increase capacity. Sorry not sorry. Mark my words, the more we enjoy nature the more nails in our coffins. Colchuck Lake is one of the gateways into the Enchantments. Did you listen to your own advice and not go? Really good and quiet day in the mountains. I was up there once in the fall during the week, not near as crazy. On July 2nd we headed to Colchuck Lake near Leavenworth. This: "If all the people out there actually LOVED the wilderness, we wouldn't see cut switchbacks...etc" Excellent point. Douglas S. Squirrel on Colchuck Lake The land is public and everyone can use it, but the improvements to it are classified differently. Or even worse than that: just more and more impact on fragile, beautiful places. Douglas S. Squirrel Other vehicles had compacted the snow, making it possible for my car to get up. I have no way of knowing for sure, but a trip report like this probably generates more chatter than all their blog posts and 1,000 normal trip reports combined. Just reminded me how quickly the weather can change out there! How many photos did you find? on Social media is killing hiking in general. Colchuck lake. All it takes is one schmuck who decides he/she wants some imaginary internet points to post some pictures of a place, drop the name and how to get there and BAM stampede because now every Karen, Kyle and Jane has to go up there, take the picture doing the same tired yoga pose with the scenery in the background, Kyle walking down the trail blasting his music on his Bluetooth speaker... and then most have the nerve to complain about how busy the trail was and how they wish they could have more solitude. on The people swamping trails? What are the criteria to be used to determine this, unless it's by permit lottery, which the majority of people commenting seem to be against. Print. Jun 20, 2020 08:44 AM. and concluded that the right and useful thing to do is to postpone hiking. However why do any of the basic hikes along I-90, Route 2, SR20, Rainier and "Colchuck Lake" require reports? It's not even a real lake! Muledeer I like your name change, BTW. It's gated down at the Eightmile turnoff (FR 7601). Have a great day. The Enchantments: Hike to Colchuck Lake. A moderate, 9 mile round trip day hike with 2,100 feet of elevation gain. on There are the lonely trails waiting for those of us who love them. "Don't be so uptight. on Create an extra hurdle that shows you care. Douglas S. Squirrel Trails aren't their problem. Stop rushing there and snapping photos of yourself like you've just stumbled on a natural beauty no one's ever seen before. Trip will open for registration to all Mountaineers, based on availability, 7-10 days prior to date of the hike. Colchuck Lake The forest road has some serious washboard and potholes and while you might make it in a regular sedan without damage to your vehicle, I think high clearance is recommended. Colchuck Peak Weather (Days 0-3): The weather forecast for Colchuck Peak is: A heavy fall of snow, heaviest during Sat nightTemperatures will be below freezing (max -2°C on Sat night, min -14°C on Mon night)Winds decreasing (extremely windy from the W on Sat night, moderate winds from the … Scratch_That_Hiking_Itch on Colchuck Lake. Wyoming is already plenty crowded in its own right, and the more people pursue the strategy of finding their own empty corner of wilderness, the fewer empty corners will remain. 1599) and dives right into the forest. Poles were helpful. Colchuck Lake; Got up to the lot around 9am. Your odds of getting to see a place like this should be directly proportional to the extent to which you give a s***. on Colchuck Lake; What a jaw dropper of a hike! on Coming up with creative approaches to managing that overuse isn't a policy priority, near as I can tell. Jun 13, 2020 10:26 AM. Jun 14, 2020 05:42 AM, KJ the Pole Pusher A lot of people are shouting back. on Si.) I brought spikes but didn't need them even at the top. Now we seem to have "amazonified" hiking in which the masses open an app and 'scroll down' to receive step by step directions, details of bugs and even ratings so you can enjoy your "best" experience. Colchuck Lake Trail (Trip Report) Knowing how popular the Colchuck Lake trail is, we started our hike at 3am to avoid crowds and catch sunrise. We'll see if there's more to it than that. Another great hike with the 40+ Meetup group. What a jaw dropper of a hike! on Be prepared to share the trail with hundreds of people; this is an extremely popular route, especially on summer … Jun 14, 2020 05:53 AM. - The Douglas S. Squirrel: When the spectacle of 10's of thousands of people buying millions of dollars of plastic gear and driving millions of collective miles just to get their own version of a photo millions people took before them, all for an ostensible love of nature, gets to be too much, you skewer our collective hypocrisy in righteous anguish at what we're doing to the world. Comments. Colchuck Lake with Dragontail and Colchuck peaks above. on Yes! Trip Report. Next to Stuart Lake, this has to be one of the most glorious day trips in the area. I've seen the same thing at all the most popular trails. The jagged peaks and passes surrounding the lake have mystical names like Dragontail and Aasgard Pass. cuz I'm tired of doing it, Muledeer They don't care what it takes to maintain trails and trailheads. Agreed. The road up was passable in a FWD Ford Focus. These are all of our public lands, and we need to provide for all kinds of people to use them, lightly for sure, but perhaps in large numbers. The stark truth, though, is that this isn't sustainable. Full Enchantments at There are beautiful views of the lake -- with Dragontail Peak and Colchuck Peak rising 3,000 feet above south end of lake. on "Douglas T. Squirrel, Lord Chancellor of Washington Trails" - that has a nice ring to it! We spent about 45 min at the lake eating lunch and taking photos then headed down at 12:45. on I've sized up the situation (it's a pandemic yall!) It is a must to get to trailhead early as there is limited parking at base and if full it is another probably 2 mile walk from where your other parking option is. However, the views at the lake are well worth the effort. With an elevation gain of over 2000 feet, the hike to Colchuck lake is challenging. on on Trip Report By. It's an emphatic statement, and it's clearly not a void I'm shouting into. Elitism doesn't work, not in environmentalism either. When physical distancing is lifted we should 'point together. Colchuck Lake Trail starts at Stuart Lake trailhead off of Forest Service Road 7601, which can be accessed from Icicle Creek Road. Washington Trails Association is 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Stats according to WTA website: 8 miles roundtrip, 2280 ft elevation gain, high point 5580 ft. Our group thinks this may have been inaccurate for the distance. Jun 14, 2020 07:58 AM. Don’t let me scare you off, if you’re in any kind of shape you can hike Colchuck Lake, it’s just that Blue Lake is very easy for an equally awesome view. While some of the gripes you have are constructive, they have been played time and again and are well known to land stewards (areas being loved to death, etc). The Lake wasn't frozen over yet. But fear not, it's totally doable. Overuse isn't on WTA's radar in any serious way. If you plan to camp overnight in this area you will need to come prepared.