Colchuck Lake Hike

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We hadn’t heard of this hike until my sister’s husband mentioned it during our stay in Spokane.  We had every intention of doing some hiking while in the Leavenworth area, but we didn’t think we’d know of any awesome hikes until we arrived in the area and maybe checked with the local National Forest ranger station.  The trail to Colchuck lake is about 9 miles round trip and has 2200 ft of elevation gain.

Let me just say that the hike, overall, was great.  When I say things like that it makes me feel better about dragging it through the mud, so here goes!  The elevation gain was consistent for a while, and then brutally steep for a long while.  I was still feeling the after effects of it for about 3 days after we were done.  That, and the lower half of the hike is absolutely inundated with flies, mosquitoes, overly curious bees, and all manner of irritating bugs.  It was so bad that we almost quit part way through just to get away from the swarm of bugs that persistently followed us up to the 5,000 ft level.  For some reason, after 5,000 ft of elevation, 90% of them just disappeared and made for pleasant hiking again.

The pictures tell the story the best, but once we made it up to the lake, the whole hike was worth it!

She’s smiling because in the middle of the bridge, the bugs mostly left us alone.

Finally, above 5000 ft!  The scenery was amazing and the lack of bugs was even better!

Consistent, uphill climbing.

Another nice overlook.

C, posing with the lake and one of the glaciers in the background.

The color of the water was unreal.  Thankfully, it seems the camera was able to capture it.

Dipping feet in glacial waters.

The whiteness of my chest clearly overloaded the camera’s sensors.  You can tell that the shirt doesn’t come off very often.  It’s for the best!

This is the facial expression you make when jumping into frigid waters.  While painful at the time, it’s pretty refreshing after a long hike, but maybe only once you get back out.

Another shot of some of the mountains surrounding the lake.

In the upper right you can see Colchuck Glacier.


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