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Colchuck Lake

A classic Enchantments hike to an alpine lake

By the Numbers

Distance
8 miles
Elevation
2600 feet
Moving Time
3h15m
External

With the snow mostly gone, I opted for the classic hike to this gorgeous alpine lake.

The weather was variable at the start and I was undecided on shorts or pants, trail runners or boots. I opted for pants and boots and was not disappointed in the decision as the trail had a lot of water and near the lake it started to flurry.

Calypso bulbosa
Calypso bulbosa

The trail starts easily enough, winding its way through the woods with a few wildflowers visible along the trail. I hadn’t seen a Calypso orchid yet this spring and was delighted when they began to appear trailside.

Bridge to the boulder field
Bridge to the boulder field

Along the way many rivers, streams, and runoffs are crossed, including a sturdy log bridge leading to a boulder field. After crossing the bridge take a right and follow the cairns along the river.

Snowcapped mountains
Snowcapped mountains

The mountain views along the trail are delightful, especially with the snow still lingering in the trees.

Colchuck Lake
Colchuck Lake

I arrived at the lake in a few hours, having stopped several times for photos along the way. The clouds which had been threatening all morning were still low in the sky and obscured the views. I took a few photos hoping the clouds would part just enough and then headed back down.

Waterfall along the trail
Waterfall along the trail
Gushing waters
Gushing waters
Small waterfalls everywhere
Small waterfalls everywhere

The spring melt was in full force and all along the trail water was flowing. I’m curious to know if the water runs so freely year-round.

All in all a great little hike and it certainly whet my appetite for an Enchantments thru-hike later in the summer.

Route

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