Trail Distance: 10 miles Elevation Gain: 2300 ft.
Terrain Rating: Fairly simple – roots, dirt and some loose rocks
Hike time: 6 hours
Dog Friendly: No
Recommended Seasons: Fall, Summer
Trailhead: Stuart Lake Trailhead and Colchuck Lake Trailhead are about three hours from Seattle (pass required). The road to the trailhead is paved but not very steep so a sedan (non high clearance vehicle) will work.
On a Saturday in summer, we started late and parked about 0.7 mile from the main trailhead parking lots at 10 AM. It was one of the busiest trailhead parking lots that I have seen in quite some time. We started the shaded, tree-covered route once we reached the trailhead. It seems quite long, as the trail continues for 1.5 miles until you reach a bridge. Continue on for 3/4 mile to reach a (sort of?) junction. discrete trail junction. You should turn left towards Colchuck Lake. This is how I hiked it 2 years ago. However, I accidentally kept going straight and ended up 8 mi later at Horseshoe Lake.
You will reach this trail junction once you’ve reached the trees. From there, you can see Dragontail Peak. To help you navigate your way, look for cairns as soon as the trail becomes rocky. Soon you will reach the Colchuck Lake. You will find the lake’s bottom by wandering around the trail. You can go swimming if you are brave. I wasn’t brave
After we arrived, we took a break for an hour and enjoyed the sunshine. We kept going until we reached the base of the scramble up to Aasgard Pass. We arrived at the base of the rocky scramble to Aasgard Pass around noon. So we decided to turn back and push on instead. It was a long hike, and I would love to return. It was quite arduous, especially when we were going down the approach. We finally made it back and returned to Tye Haus, where we stayed for the night.
What I packed:
- Osprey 36L Sirrus Pack
- Leki Corklite Trekking Poles
- My favorite water container, MSR Dromlite 2L is still my favorite.
- Hoka One shoes – Recently replaced my traditional hiking boots
Tye Haus is a great place to spend a weekend if you have not been. The facility now has 3 a-frame cabins with hot tubs. The hot tub was great for sore legs and made it a pleasant way to wake up in the morning. Since I was last there, they have added a second bed downstairs. Sky Deli, which sells sandwiches and snacks, is also close by. You can sign up for Airbnb here if you don’t already have it.