Colchuck & Dragontail Peaks

Scramble or climb one or both peaks via Colchuck Col or Assgard Pass in The Enchantments area of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

getting there

From US-2 in Leavenworth drive Icicle Creek Road (Forest Road 76) for 8.4 miles. Turn left on Eightmile Road (Forest Road 7601), about one mile past Eightmile Campground and signed Lake Stuart/Colchuck Lake.  Continue 3.8 miles to the trailhead (3,400 ft).

approach

Head southwest on the Stuart Lake Trail.  At first the trail parallels Mountaineer Creek and gains 1,100 feet in 2.5 miles. At the junction take the left fork, the Colchuck Lake Trail. The trail is steep and reaches Colchuck Lake via switchbacks in 1,100 feet of elevation gain and 1.6 miles.  At Colchuck Lake, an easy going 1.1 miles travels the east and south shores. There are campsites on both the west side and the south end of the lake. Camp as near the south end as possible.

Ascent

Colchuck Peak/East Route (8,705 ft)

13 miles round trip, 5,100 feet of elevation gain, Difficulty: Basic Alpine Climb or Scramble Strenuous 4, Technical 4

Ascend snow (early season) or talus to glacier (no crevasses but can be icy by mid-season) and follow glacier to Colchuck Col.  From Colchuck Col scramble northwest to the summit.

Dragontail Peak/Colchuck Col (8,840 ft)

5,440 feet of elevation gain, Difficulty: Basic Alpine Climb

Ascend snow (early season) or talus to glacier (no crevasses but can be icy by mid-season) and follow glacier to Colchuck Col. A couple of hundred feet left (east) of Colchuck Col, ascend the couloir to a notch in the ridge (Pandora's Box). Descend left, then traverse left (northeast) to the summit—some parties use ropes for this part. Alternatively, ~30 feet below Pandora's Box, exit left and scramble up Class 4 rock about 20 feet, then follow the ridge line left. 

Dragontail Peak/Aasgard Pass (8,840 ft)

16 miles round trip, 5,300 feet of elevation gain, Difficulty: Scramble Strenuous 5, Technical 5

Ascend southeast on a broad, steep slope to Aasgard Pass. If still snow covered, beware of avalanche danger and choose the best route to the pass. If snow free, there is a climber’s trail in the scree on the left side of the slope--look for cairns. From Aasgard Pass (7,800 ft), ascend southwest up the slope to the saddle at 8,500 ft. From the saddle, ascend northwest about 300 feet to the summit. The summit is a small bedrock clump that drops on the north. 

Dragontail & Colchuck Peaks

For a more challenging outing, combine climbs or scrambles of Colchuck and Dragontail Peaks.

DESCENT ROUTE

aasgard Pass

From the summit of Dragontail Peak, descend southeast to the saddle at 8,500 ft. Then descend east on a long snow slope to Aasgard Pass. From Aasgard Pass descend to Colchuck Lake. Routefinding from Aasgard Pass can be tricky. Stay to center left at top to avoid cliffs. Below the cliffs move to right side of gully. NOTE: In early season, almost the entire descent can be glissaded. But use caution—serious accidents have happened glissading from Aasgard Pass.

colchuck col

Descend the climbing route to Colchuck Col and then descend Colchuck Col to Colchuck Lake. Note that routefinding to Colchuck Col can be tricky—look back on the ascent and make notes for the descent.

EQUIPMENT

Standard alpine equipment including crampons.

NOTES 

  • In early season, nearly the entire descent from Assgard Pass can be glissaded. But use caution—serious accidents have happened glissading from Aasgard Pass. Review our blog posts about Assgard Pass to learn about its hazards.
  • Suitable Activities: Climbing, Scrambling
  • Climbing Category: Basic Alpine
  • Seasons: May, June, July, August
  • Weather: View weather forecast
  • Difficulty: Basic Alpine Climb, Strenuous 4, Technical 4, Strenuous 2, Technical 2
  • Elevation Gain: 5,440 ft
  • 8,840 ft
Map
  • Green Trails Alpine Lakes East (Stuart Range) No. 208SX
  • USGS Enchantment Lakes
  • Green Trails The Enchantments No. 209S
  • USGS Mount Stuart
Activities

Upcoming Activities

There are no activities scheduled at this location.

Trip Reports
Titles

This is a list of titles that represent the variations of trips you can take at this route/place. This includes side trips, extensions and peak combinations. Not seeing a title that fits your trip? Log in and send us updates, images, or resources.

  • Colchuck Peak
  • Colchuck Peak/East Route
  • Dragontail Peak
  • Dragontail Peak/Colchuck Col
  • Dragontail Peak/Aasgard Pass