Monday, July 25, 2011

Lake Stuart Trail

Lake Stuart in the Enchanments just outside of Leavenworth, WA is a top notch hike and scenic location. Lake Stuart is at the base of the United States larges monolithic slab, Mt Stuart. 

The trail begins above Bridge Creek Campground.  For the first couple of miles you will hike along the left side of a creek in and among the trees.  At about two miles is one of the stoutest wilderness bridges you will ever cross it is built across the creek out of logs and sits on top of a rock.  From this point the trail will take a winding course around large boulders to the intersection of Lake Stuart and Lake Colchuck trails.

Staying right will lead you along a mosquito infested marsh, suggestion here is to carry plenty of bug repellent, especially if you plan on camping overnight.  The last section of the trail climbs up the side of the hill and rises above the marsh, but not the mosquito's.  The lake with it view of Mt Stuart and its hanging glaciers will suddenly spring up before your eyes in spectacular fashion.

Only one note here, if you plan on going overnight you will need to get an overnight permit from the Leavenworth Ranger Station, which are not so easy to acquire.  The day permit can be picked up at the trail head the only requirement is your party can contain no more than 8 people and/or animals (no dogs allowed).

This 4.5 mile hike with its 1600 ft elevation gain is more than worth the effort  and I recommend it.

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