CHS - Just for Fun - Lake Ingalls

Field trip: Conditioning Hiking Series

CHS - Just for Fun - Lake Ingalls

Visit a stunning blue lake set high in a basin beneath rocky peaks, showcasing striking Mount Stuart as its backdrop. Views of the craggy Esmeralda Peaks and the imposing Stuart Range, a walk through beautiful Headlight Basin, plus the opportunity to see mountain goats and larches in fall colors are just a few of the highlights!

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Moderate/Strenuous
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 9.2 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 2,600 ft
  • Pace: 2.0-2.5 mph

We will meet at the Lake Ingalls Trailhead, also known as Esmeralda Trailhead, at 7:50AM ready to go. This is a popular trail with both hikers and backpackers, especially in fall, and both the parking lot and campsites can fill up quickly. You may want to arrive a little early in case you need to park further down the road from the trailhead than usual. 

Northwest Forest Pass required. Vault toilet available at the trailhead.

You're welcome to make carpool arrangements with other fellow participants if you wish to do so. (Tip: You can look at each participant's profile in the roster to see if they have any carpool preferences). Email addresses of participants will be available on the Hello Hiker email a few days before the hike.

Leaders may postpone or cancel this hike due to inclement weather including rain. Keep an eye on the weather forecast for this area. We are looking forward to a hike in a magical place with golden larches, rocks, pikas, goats, vast views of surrounding mountains, and imposing Mount Stuart in the background and would like to be able to see as much as we can.

This will be led at a CHS 1.5 pace that moves along but includes breaks for photos. The larches should have turned brilliant golden by the day of the hike. We plan to stop at Lake Ingalls for about 20 minutes to enjoy lunch, snap some photos, and soak up the views. 

Please bring the following:
1.  Your usual 10 essentials.
2.  Warm gloves/mittens and a hat--it can get cold this time of year in the mountains.
3.  Photo equipment. There is a larch grove that is spectacular this time of year, the view of Mount Stuart from the lake is incredible and if we are lucky we will encounter goats.


Ingalls Lake

  • Green Trails Mt Stuart No. 209

    USGS Mount Stuart

    Green Trails Alpine Lakes East (Stuart Range) No. 208SX
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

Ten Essential Systems

  1. Navigation (map & compass)
  2. Sun protection (sunglasses & sunscreen)
  3. Insulation (extra clothing)
  4. Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
  5. First-aid supplies
  6. Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candle)
  7. Repair kit and tools
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter (tent/plastic tube tent/garbage bag)
Trip Reports