on Jun 13, 2020 02:17 PM. - The Tana Mongeau: We need selfies. He has opened up quite a few trails off the MLH and in the North Cascades doing this. For the first 1.7 miles, the hike is relatively easy with rolling hills and about 600 feet of elevation. Loved your rant. 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"). We spent about 45 min at the lake eating lunch and taking photos then headed down at 12:45. This alpine lake is accompanied by the twin spires of Dragontail Peak and Colchuck Peak at the far end of the lake. The first time you round the corner and come out of the trees at Colchuck Lake is something of a religious experience. Trail Conditions Trail in good condition ... Washington Trails Association 705 2nd Ave, Suite 300 Seattle, WA 98104 (206) 625-1367. I think the crowds just represent a different way to enjoy the wilderness, and the parks and national forest should provide some means to handle them, like in Canada, perhaps well engineered trails, more toilet facilities, trash service and personnel to handle the crowds. You will hike counter-clockwise around Colchuck Lake. The lake was partly frozen and very beautiful with the snowy mountains around it. Washington Trails Association is 501(c)(3) nonprofit. 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 We can solve it if we want to. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from May until October. Yes! Willful narcissism: it's what's for breakfast (and lunch and dinner and Instagram). Colchuck Lake is one of the gateways into the Enchantments. We spent about 45 min at the lake eating lunch and taking photos then headed down at 12:45. It was cold (mid 30's-low 40's). The parking area can be busy, as visitors access the Enchantments and Stuart Lake from this trailhead. on We started hiking at 8:40am and reached the lake by noon. The Colchuck Lake hike has been on our Pacific Northwest Bucket List ever since we could remember, so we were almost too excited to sleep when we finally decided to do it. I love Colchuck - who doesn't? 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. It’s also the perfect place to take a short break and have a snack. Cobalt blue waters beneath a wall of rock and ice. This: "If all the people out there actually LOVED the wilderness, we wouldn't see cut switchbacks...etc" Excellent point. That makes this the perfect forum. on If you plan to camp overnight in this area you will need to come prepared. We hiked Colchuck yesterday and it was absolutely beautiful. 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. Another great hike with the 40+ Meetup group. I brought spikes but didn't need them even at the top. They don't care what it takes to maintain trails and trailheads. In fact, it's on more than ever - we've done a great job spreading coronavirus. This makes the Enchantments a whole lot less enchanting! With stairs. The first time you round the corner and come out of the trees at Colchuck Lake is something of a religious experience. Agreed 100%. Another great, honest report. It is a larger cousin to the nearby fabled Enchantment Lakes and offers many of the same payoffs – including groves of larches on its far shore – but can be reached with less than half the effort. Life is too short to start every hike … I understand the annoyance, but I don’t think this is the right forum to complain about this trail’s use. Here is a link to the hike and it gives a very good description of what to expect. We saw many elk and mountain lion … Somedays there will be 50 people waiting for the drawing early in the morning. Trip Report. Agreed. There are also campsites near north end of lake. The argument has always been: if we let people use these lands, they will protect them. This mass stupidity is what hiking has become. Jun 13, 2020 01:44 PM, Yep, people want to enjoy nature and fresh air. 705 2nd Ave, Suite 300 Vanity Hiking Areas would be Open to All, while other trails would require a license, which you'd acquire by proving knowledge of and respect for the natural world. Jun 13, 2020 04:54 PM, new name wasn't my first choice, but lawyers said there would be "issues" with "David S. If nothing else, it is a temporary salve for the anguish I feel at watching places I love get treated like disposable distractions. on Colchuck Lake; Got up to the lot around 9am. You have a different appreciation for a place when you've invested sweat in. But want to know something crazier? “ 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. Douglas S. Squirrel Jun 15, 2020 12:24 PM. on Trip Day Hike - Colchuck Lake. Tell everyone to let the mountains breathe for a while. 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. Without hourly reports, an unwitting hiker might show up and twist their ankle on a rock that has been loosened in the last 60 minutes or they might be caught unawares by the last remnants of a small snow patch and - having not been told to pack microspikes, crampons, ice skates, bear spray, and a zamboni - slip, strike their head AND DIE. I like your name change, BTW. Create an extra hurdle that shows you care. There are beautiful views of the lake -- with Dragontail Peak and Colchuck Peak rising 3,000 feet above south end of lake. Jun 13, 2020 12:24 PM. 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. During a pandemic. on on Dogs are prohibited on Colchuck Lake trail, Stuart Lake trail and within the Enchantment Permit Area. The belief that each of us is the only person in the world (despite ample evidence to the contrary) and that our individual pleasure can be pursued regardless of impact to others is why beautiful places are getting trashed and why we've lost more people to a manageable outbreak than any other country on earth (until Brazil one-ups us - but trust me when I tell you that "not quite as bad as Balsonaro's Brazil" is really faint praise). Spread out. on "Don't be so uptight. Nice work!! These are the kinds of conversations we need to start having, like, 10 years ago. I enjoyed the variety of this trail - forest, views etc. Colchuck Lake used to be a hidden gem but is now quickly gaining in popularity. Here's what the opposite of that sounds like (I'm quoting myself here): "I in fact have stayed away from the mountains since the shelter in place order went into effect..." As for garbage, you are entitled to your opinion, but a lot more people like my opinion than like your opinion. I'll wait. Scratch_That_Hiking_Itch 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. Sir-Hikes-A-Lot As the saying goes “if you can’t stand the heat....” My advice? That's why I stay away. There are just more people here than there was even 10 yrs ago. on there's still a pandemic going on. "Nunh unh!!" Quick Facts. I hope you are able to find some happiness. on on Overall, the icy spots are hard to spot so keep your eyes peeled! - 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. Douglas S. Squirrel Stampede, indeed. The land is public and everyone can use it, but the improvements to it are classified differently. Yes: I in fact have stayed away from the mountains since the shelter in place order went into effect, and I encourage everyone to do the same. Only a few are allowed in each day. Many people camp in this area during the summer months and others are brave enough to do it in the winter. Seattle, WA 98104. It’s a pristine alpine lake with soaring, jagged mountains above you, turquoise clear water below, and the added plus: water warm enough you can stomach swimming in. There was compact snow the entire trail to Colchuck Lake… If it took a snarky squirrel to shake us out of this assumption that hiking is an intrinsic good no matter how it's done and in what quantities and start dealing with the mess on our hands, great! How many photos did you find? 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. Do a google image search for "Colchuck Lake." It's gated down at the Eightmile turnoff (FR 7601). Hike of the Week for Friday, August 26, 2011 Colchuck Lake. I highly suggest getting started early as it gets very busy later in the day and it's a bit annoying to keep stopping to let people pass. Douglas S. Squirrel Running won't help. Lotteries are arbitrary. on Jun 13, 2020 05:41 PM. I vote for Mr Squirrel to head up WTA and turn this ship around. Many great spots for swimming and snoozing. Colchuck, ricola COVID actually is terrible for you. 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. Jun 14, 2020 06:07 AM. 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. Colchuck Lake; The black fly population was out like I haven't seen in a long time, they would literally swarm you from the trailhead to the Lake. As if Colchuck Lake alone weren’t 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. on The lake is all thawed so we are back to that beautiful aqua sparkling water! It is the bigger brother to the nearby Enchantment Lakes, much easier to reach (as a day hike, especially), and some have described it as a religious experience.The glacier-fed waters of Colchuck Lake are an ethereal aquamarine blue. Jun 13, 2020 12:52 PM. Maybe we need sacrifice zones for vanity hiking, same way we have them for mining and logging. Douglas S. Squirrel Sadly, the trail is closed right now due to fire. The trail was a mix of packed snow and ice followed by mud, and then more snow/ice. I parked in a no parking zone and hiked anyway, because I HAVE A RIGHT TO HIKE ANYWHERE I WANT WHENEVER I WANT." Testudo montana I can think of a few off the MLH that make excellent family hikes, but you can't get there in your average paasinger car anymore. Jun 13, 2020 01:46 PM, Agree..it’s nice to have a few hikes that attract the masses so the rest of us can find peace and solitude elsewhere. Making sure that *anyone* has access to wild lands does not require ensuring *everyone* has access (and not all the time). 3.) on If all the people out there hiking actually LOVED the wilderness, we wouldn't see cut switchbacks and piles of human waste, and we wouldn't have to listen to others' music and boisterous conversations, while dodging their off-leash dogs. The Lake wasn't frozen over yet. Jun 13, 2020 08:09 PM. Trip Day Hike - Colchuck Lake. Coming up with creative approaches to managing that overuse isn't a policy priority, near as I can tell. With my newfound power, I command you, oh hikers of Washington: WRITE MORE TRIP REPORTS! Jun 14, 2020 11:05 PM. 1599) and dives right into the forest. Douglas S. Squirrel Central Cascades. and focusing on controlling capacity in other areas e.g. Jun 20, 2020 08:44 AM. 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. ✌️, Jenniferkaye79 It’s a big part of boosting your immune system, not to mention mental and physical health. The roundtrip covers 7.7 mi (12.39 km) with an elevation of 2,300 ft (701.04 m). I'm more than just a cranky squirrel. Jun 13, 2020 01:57 PM. 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. I say, find a way to embrace it and make it work or else, yeah, we'll get all those those vacation homes. The DNR approach of building in capacity seems the best, focus the crowds in the various 'sacrificial areas' e.g. We went very slow and encountered only seven other cars at the parking area when we arrived. 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. What a jaw dropper of a hike! Sooo... you are in favor of crowds on the trails. Colchuck Lake. Is it possible to hike this in the winter? I was up there once in the fall during the week, not near as crazy. These trip reports aren't a solution in and of themselves (i'm still wrestling with what else to do, honestly - what a strategy towards a solution might look like, if it's even not too late), but they're a small down payment: a first attempt to crack open the bedrock assumption that more = better. Only downside is that the road leading up is very steep and it's extremely bumpy which makes for a slow four miles if you drive a sedan. However, the ground was very hard packed dirt/frozen so the poles didn't dig in well. Jun 30, 2020 08:32 AM, Washington Trails Association Road at Bridge Creek is gated. But fear not, it's totally doable. Hiking to Colchuck Lake. We fueled with cheese danishes. When physical distancing is lifted we should 'point together. on Trails aren't their problem. "look what I did today" … sorry but nobody cares. At the Lake they were joined by the mosquitoes to blunt the enjoyment this lake has to offer. It's 8.0 miles round trip to Colchuck Lake, with about 2,200 feet of elevation gain. Jun 15, 2020 04:18 PM. You could lose your license for infractions such as picking flowers, refusal to follow social distancing guidelines, and playing music without headphones. The default strategy everyone comes up with is: increase capacity. That misleading trope right there is a big part of the problem. I would prefer something meritocratic. Trail overuse should be the #1 issue on your radar. Most people on trails haven't invested anything in the land, and it shows. almost 4 years ago. - 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. Leave yourself plenty of time to do the hike given the early sunset this time of year. You're in a position - maybe the best position of all - to do something about it. As a climber I appreciate good beta and traditionally would look for condition reports for specific alpine objectives. Tmber.com narrates a hike up to spectacular Colchuck Lake near Leavenworth, Washington. Share. 705 2nd Ave, Suite 300 It's very relaxing. The reward at the top is a picturesque lake with dazzling blue green water and views over Dragontail and Colchuck Peak mountains. Jun 15, 2020 02:22 PM. Go Hiking Trip Reports Colchuck Lake. on Colchuck Lake Tips & Hiking Resources. I see I've met my match in rhetorical skill. It is not enough to have daily updates from the dangerous wilds of Lake Serene, Lake 22, and Mount Pilchuck. 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. 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. on WTA trail work party. on See? Poles were helpful. on on on We used microspikes, as did most people we saw coming up, but Its maybe (barely) passable without them. Location: Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Icicle River Valley . ricola Really good and quiet day in the mountains. on “The belief that each of us is the only person in the world despite ample evidence to the contrary” YEP. 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. With an elevation gain of over 2000 feet, the hike to Colchuck lake is challenging. Testudo montana I don't believe that is really true. Jun 14, 2020 05:53 AM. Pretty soon, there isn't going to be anything worth preserving access to. I'm the type that wants to have a place all to myself, enjoy the wilderness with as few other people as possible. Colchuck Lake Trail begins at Stuart Lake trailhead and parking lot by Forest Service Road 7601, which can be reached from Icicle Creek Road. Colchuck lake. Pumpkins. Read About these trails in our Hiking Guide Colchuck Lake; Note: This is more of a volunteer vacation report than a trip report. Contributions to WTA are tax deductible, and we are committed to making the best use of every donation to our mission. on I like where your head is at. It was my first time in the enchantments and a beautiful November day. 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. Don’t go outside and enjoy nature, you’ll catch the plague the moment you step outside and breath fresh air. JeffReigns The hike to Colchuck Lake begins at the Stuart Lake trailhead (no. Textbook whataboutism (I could have gone and still be in the right with my comments), but I'll answer it, because in this hothouse, I am in position to throw stones. Douglas S. Squirrel The Leavenworth area has numerous hikes, but Colchuck Lake hike is one of the two gateways to the famous Enchantments goo.gl/fodFj2. Nope. Colchuck Lake is a beautiful, aquamarine lake. This! Overview of Colchuck Lake via WTA.org; Get turn-by-turn driving directions to the trailhead via Google Maps; Bring plenty of water. Douglas S. Squirrel Old trails are not going to be hiked by the masses looking for the trophy hikes anyway. And a link to your Insta. Colchuck Peak : SummitPost.org : Climbing, hiking, mountaineering. It's not even a real lake! Rehabilitate lost trails. 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). There are the lonely trails waiting for those of us who love them. Amazing. Colchuck Lake is breathtaking! 13. Maybe WTA doesn't care either, since membership isn't really that meaningful to your budget. I've taken up needlepoint. on Jun 14, 2020 06:02 AM, Cascadian_Hiker Begin on the Stuart Lake Trail #1599. And it's not the first time. Colchuck Lake is truly a gem of a day hike. Jun 15, 2020 10:49 AM. Just another tick on the ol' bucket list, forgotten as soon as the next new thing gives them a stab of FOMO. 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. Other than that I would highly recommend that if you go on a hot day to cool off by taking a jump in the lake. The area has several wonderful places to pitch a tent. How about: they divide the area up into even more zones, and you have to provide an itinerary of the zones you'll, in the correct sequence from entry point to intermediate destinations and exit point, even for day permits? 3) North Buttress, Grade II, Class 3 & 4 if one climbs west of the crest as suggested by Beckey, but with some very nice easy class 5 climbing directly on the crest.The buttress is attained from the south end of Colchuck Lake via a shallow gully leading to a col or notch low on the peak. jools Hiked Oct 19, 2020. It was cold (mid 30's-low 40's). We  started hiking at 8:40am and reached the lake by noon. Social media is killing hiking in general. Washington Trails Association This hike is challenging in that it is mostly up, and up, and up. Douglas S. Squirrel The lake itself was beautiful and we watched a lot of groups going up and down Aasgard pass.We heard reports that the mtn. We'll see if there's more to it than that. Crowds can be fun, sure, but they also bring in the lowest common denominator in greater numbers. We did this as a day hike. We can either protect wilderness or pretend to care. It started snowing on our way down which was cool. - but the place means more to me, though, than my desire to see it. It’s terrible for you!!!! Jun 14, 2020 05:32 AM, Dream Delay Next to Stuart Lake, this has to be one of the most glorious day trips in the area. Jun 14, 2020 07:58 AM. Actually there IS something people can do about overrun trails. Camping at Colchuck Lake. However, the views at the lake are well worth the effort. Jun 15, 2020 03:02 PM. That notwithstanding, I'm not cowering in fear. ” 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 DO NOT GO HERE. I agree with others that the trail is more than 8 miles. Dogs, and all pets, are prohibited, except for Service Dogs as defined by Department of Justice regulations 28 C.F.R. It used to be that you would find a location in a book, or better still a map, research and then get prepared which was part of the appeal and why traditionally hikers were survival experts. on Muledeer Be sure to check your gas gauge before you head up there. Find a trail that is in danger of being lost, take a pair of clippers and go hike it, clipping brush out at the same time. Putting words to that anguish feels good and motivates me to think about what else to do. Finally hitting the lake, our group found the perfect lunch spot overlooking Dragontail Peak, Aasgard Pass and Colchuck Glacier/Peak. Jun 13, 2020 07:09 PM, tim0 Have fun! Colchuck Lake via Stuart Lake Trail is a 9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Leavenworth, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Muledeer Get Trail News cuz I'm tired of doing it, Muledeer This post is sanctimonious entitled garbage. It was my first time in the enchantments and a beautiful November day. Oh my god. C P is an excellent example of this kind of hiker. Article and photo by Craig Romano. The first part of this trail follows the Stuart Lake Trail before branching off to the left. Douglas S. Squirrel on Jun 15, 2020 01:41 PM, This is the exact approach we that should 'not' be taking. on Colchuck Peak is a prominent peak in the Stuart Range and a worthy goal with some very fine climbs on its northeast side, though it is often overlooked in favor of Dragontail Peak immediately to the east with its spectacular north face. That they need content to get up brave trek up the road this! Place all to myself, enjoy the wilderness with as few other people as possible `` douglas T.,. The more we enjoy nature when the line colchuck lake wta like Disneyland how the... 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