Alpine Scramble - Colchuck Peak/East Route

This will be a challenging In-A-Day attempt on this scenic peak perched above beautiful Colchuck Lack in The Enchantments outside of Leavenworth, accessed by Icicle Creek Road. The approach will be via Colchuck glacier and col -- one col south of Aasgard Pass, and separated from that pass by the rearing "feathers" of Colchuck's neighbor, Dragontail Peak. Car-camping or campground camping on the nights before and after is highly recommended in order to fit this attempt into the one-day Fourth of July window.

  • Strenuous 4, Technical 4
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 13.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 5,100 ft
  • High Point Elevation: 8,705 ft

We will meet at the Stuart/Colchuck TH parking lot for a 5:30 a.m. departure on the morning of July 4, 2018.  It's HIGHLY recommended that you drive out to the TH the night before (or a nearby campground, if you have any reason to believe that you can find an unoccupied campground the evening before a national holiday!).  Likewise, you may wish to consider camping/car-camping somewhere in the vicinity the night after this long and challenging In-A-Day style scramble.  Holiday traffic may well be a challenge that you will need to take into consideration.  Note that you will not be able to maintain highway speeds (holiday traffic aside!) on either the Icicle Creek Rd or on the unpaved and at times rough trailhead approach road.

Directions to the TH per WTA: "To reach the trailhead, turn onto Icicle Creek Road from US2 on the very western edge of Leavenworth. Drive 8.4 miles and turn left onto Forest Service Road 7601. Follow the bumpy, sometimes potholed dirt road 3.7 miles to the Stuart Lake trailhead. Parking for about 20-30 cars and a toilet are available in the lot. Northwest Forest Pass required."

This will be a long day (see above).  Please don't sign up unless you have the requisite fitness and skill level, and until you have given thought to traveling across the mountain passes on either Hwy 2 or I-90/97 in holiday traffic conditions.

The current forecast is favorable, though it may be breezy on and near the summit: Partly sunny with a high near 57.  SE winds of 9-14 mph with gusts up to 23 mph.  Mosquitoes have been a problem at the TH in the recent past (though a breeze may help some), so please be prepared for that if you plan on TH car-camping.

We will take the standard approach via the Colchuck Lake Trail, then partly around the lakeshore to the foot of the col and glacier (no technical glacier travel should be required, though traction devices may potentially be desirable).  Once we have reached the col, we will rock scramble (small snow patches may still be encountered) up to the peak and the additional views.  You will certainly want your ice ax.

If we have a fast, small, and ambitious party, we may give some consideration on our return to the col to scrambling across/around the steep obstacle of Pandora's Box toward Dragontail Peak and thence down Aasgard Pass back to the lake and the downward trail.


Colchuck Peak/East Route

  • Green Trails Alpine Lakes East (Stuart Range) No. 208SX

    USGS Enchantment Lakes

    Green Trails The Enchantments No. 209S
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

  • The Ten Essentials
  • Helmet
  • Mountaineering Boots
  • Ice Axe
  • Downclimb Kit: locking 'biner, cord loop, harness/hasty harness
Trip Reports