Blue Lake Trail

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Washington

Distance2.2mi
Elevation Gain1,313ft
Trailhead Elevation5,381ft
Top6,290ft
Elevation Min/Max5381/6290ft
Elevation Start/End5381/5381ft

Blue Lake Trail

Blue Lake Trail is a hiking trail in Chelan County, Washington. It is within Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. It is 2.2 miles long and begins at 5,381 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 4.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,313 feet. The Blue Lake Trailhead parking is near the trailhead. There are also restrooms. Along the trail there is a scree.

Blue Lake Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"The granite spires of the Washington Pass area—Early Winters, Liberty Bell, Silver Star Mountain, Cutthroat Peak, Whistler Mountain—are world famous, and they are all visible from this short trail.

Indeed, the views of the mountain-spiked horizon captivate hikers on the trail into Blue Lake basin. But it’s the beauty of the lake itself that captures your eye once you reach the cool pool of water set against the glittering white granite at the base of Liberty Bell Mountain."

"An uninspiring name for a pretty tarn tucked beneath the impressive Early Winters Spires. Short and sweet, this trail will leave you sitting by Blue’s shimmering waters in no time.

From a shoreline resting post marvel at the surrounding soaring walls of granite. Listen for clambering climbers scaling them. Despite the occasional clanking of carabiners, Blue Lake is a peaceful place above the busy state highway."

"This trail offers a modest trek in the vicinity of Washington Pass, climbing into the larches of the timberline to reach a deep lake surrounded by impressive walls and pinnacles of granite.

The trail begins by running eastward through the subalpine forest beside the highway. It soon turns south, climbing moderately through a sparse growth of large mountain hemlocks. Gaps in the trees offer early views across Washington Pass; the tawny summit is Cutthroat Peak."

"Blue Lake is a lovely destination for a cool run on a hot day. The trail is easily accessible from State Route 20 and provides a nice break if you’re doing a long drive across the mountains. This is a nice, gradual, uphill run on the way in and runnable downhill on the way out.

The trail starts in a silver fir forest (A) and passes some wildflower meadows before it begins to go up. On the ascent, the surrounding scenery reveals itself. Cutthroat Peak and the craggy peaks of Whistler Mountain jut out to the west, and just above you on the trail are the cliffs of Liberty Bell and Early Winters Spires."

"Many lakes have been named Blue, but to date this is the only one reached by a designated National Recreation Trail, a formal recognition of its outstanding beauty that does not, unfortunately, preserve it from logging or motorcycles. An abandoned old miner’s cabin at the lake makes a good playhouse, and campsites are plentiful near the shoreline.

Before leaving the car, gaze up at Liberty Bell Mountain. Its bell shape seems to change as the trail ascends, and it becomes more like a turreted castle. Climbers headed to Early Winter Spires share this trail before turning left for their high camp in meadows below the cliffs. Trail No. 314 is in good shape and modestly steep. At first, highway sounds follow hikers, but at ½ mile they fade out as the path switchbacks from forest to flower-covered avalanche slope."

Blue Lake Trail Reviews

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7/29/2018
It's been hot, hot, hot so thankfully a lot of this trail is shaded by awesome old growth trees. Blue Lake is a crazy beautiful gift without having to work too hard for it. This hike's pretty easy and the views are incredible. In the past I've seen mountain goats but this time just some goofy marmots. Love those guys.
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9/16/2014
My wife & I did this hike in mid September during the week. Hardly any hiker traffic. Saw a few crazy climbers at the tops of the granite spires. There is a very old miners cabin that is interesting located on the lake. Still some snow patches at the far end of lake even in September. A very nice hike with a beautiful lake awaiting for you at the end. There is a sign posted on the trail that states no camping within 1/4 mile of the lake. Just like the name indicates - its a blue lake!
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9/7/2009
Great run, but the boulder field presented a problem. Anyways, the view is great and the trail was even better.
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Blue Lake Trail Photos

Trail Information

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Nearby City
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Parks
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly
Accessibility
Moderate
Skill Level
Okanogan National Forest, Pass required for most trails
Local Contacts

Activity Feed

Nov 2018