Trip Report    

Backpack - Lake Stuart

Fun quick trip to a quiet corner of the Enchantments. Good skills-building practice and good humor despite rain!

  • Sat, Sep 15, 2018 — Sun, Sep 16, 2018
  • Backpack - Lake Stuart
  • Lake Stuart
  • Backpacking
  • Successful
  • Road rough but passable
  • The trail itself is in good shape though occasional spots reveal its heavy usage -- people have widened the trail, cut switchbacks, or made social trails near the lake.

    Surprisingly little trash (though I did pick up and pack out several pieces of garbage). The trail does seem to shed the water pretty well and was neither very muddy nor full of puddles. 

We arrived midday on Saturday, 9/15/18, under cloudy gray skies with rain in the forecast, yet the trailhead parking lot for the Lake Stuart trail was full- and literally dozens of cars were parked along the road as well! We had an overnight permit for the Stuart Zone and had expected congestion, but this was astonishing.

The trail itself was not too crowded though: maybe folks had spread out and were parked at this trailhead for Colchuck Lake and the Core Zone (there's a junction you  would take about 2.6 miles from the Lake Stuart trailhead to reach those destinations.) We saw hikers and anglers exiting from Lake Stuart as we hiked in.

Fortunately, thanks to the permit system, we easily found a suitable established campsite at the lake itself and enjoyed a nice evening and morning there before hiking out on Sunday morning, 9/16/18.

It rained Saturday night through Sunday with overnight lows in the upper 30s and daytime temps in the 40s to about 50 degrees F.-- but when we made it back to Leavenworth for lunch, it was sunny and clear down there. So keep in mind that the weather could be dramatically different up high!

Enjoy this special place-- but maybe not on one of the last snow-free fall weekends?!?