Backpacking Lake Stuart, Washington

Zach and I went on our first backpacking trip ever with some friends!

Hike Information:

Location: Central Cascades, Leavenworth Area, Washington

Length: 9.0 miles, roundtrip

Elevation: 1665 ft

Difficulty: Moderate

Please Note: Camping overnight in this area requires a permit that is given on a lottery basis only. Camping without a permit can result in a fine.

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Zach hiking through the thicket

This year we went on our first backpacking trip ever! We were lucky to win an overnight camping permit for the Stuart Lake section of The Enchantments for a weekend. For this permit, I had signed up for a permit for 8 people, so we were able to bring along a few friends as well!

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Before we set off!

For our first backpacking trip, we had a ton of fun. The scenery was breathtaking and the friendship sweet.

The only thing that made this trip difficult was the bugs! There were so many mosquitoes that we were swarmed from halfway up the trail until the same point on the way down the next day.

Other than that, it was a great first experience, and one I won’t soon forget.





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The Women: Emily, Alex, Emily, Chelsea, Courtney
The Men: Zach, Andy, Bryan
Dinner at the lake.

This rock by the lake was the only spot where the bugs were the least thick. We ate dehydrated food and shared a face net every meal to fight off the bugs! Since there was a breeze, a view and it was off from our campsite, we spent all of our meals here.

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Breakfast with the group
Andy and Zach
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Morning at the lake

Early in the morning the lake was completely still. It was magical looking like a sheet of glass mirroring the peaks above it.

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The trail to the lake.

There was so much moss around the lake. It was beautiful.

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Zach and Chelsea at the lake
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Bryan at the lake


Alex and Emily
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One of our tents at Twilight

The sunset was beautiful in a different way than I imagined. We didn’t get to see the sun itself, but seeing it reflect on the mountains was a lovely sight.

The next day we headed back down the mountain with hopes of a heavy lunch back in Leavenworth, Washington.

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There were so many bugs in this spot, but it was just beautiful. I’ve never been in a place quite like this.

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Crossing one of the 4 bridges on the trail.

Overall, I loved this trip. I was really nervous about backpacking in general. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to keep up or that I would think my pack was too heavy. However, I really loved it.  I am so proud of myself for going, and I can’t wait to go again. I am so thankful for our friends who went with us and kept positive attitudes, even when the bugs attacked. 🙂

Much love,


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Before the bug-pocolypse 😉




Author: Chelsea Yell

I write for fun and to keep up with memories I make with others.

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