Blue Lake Trail North Cascades

Wanderers are welcome in the North Cascades. The name could use some more imagination, but like so many sites in Washington, it's hard to capture it's beauty in words. You just have to go see it for yourself. Check out more about Blue Lake Trail North Cascades from our friend Peter (@petezelinka).


What's the must do and see here?

I'd highly recommend checking out Blue Lake, it's a 2-mile hike in and absolutely breathtaking! The water is a stunning blue / aqua and perfect for a polar plunge. Bonus points if you arrive in late September when the Larches are in their fall colors.

What makes this a special place to connect with nature?

During my first trip to the North Cascades I stumbled upon Blue Lake. The fall colors were in full swing and the yellow larch trees contrasted beautifully with the deep blue water.

Favorite memory here?

Determined to get a unique photo of Blue Lake, I decided I had to go for a swim. I set up my camera on a cliff overlooking Blue Lake and climbed down to the lake shore. I jumped in. The water was frigid! Knowing my camera was on a 5-second interval, I had to swim out a little ways to make sure I was actually in a photo. After barely 10 seconds in the water I could hardly move. Even though I was only 10 feet away from the shore, it took a lot of effort to move my frozen body back to dry land. I threw on my jacket and hat and soaked up the last rays of sunlight before it fell behind the nearby mountains. All that for a photo...

What superlative would you give Blue Lake North Cascades?


Tell us about yourself!

I am a nature photographer who loves to explore the outdoors. I recently completed a 4-month long photography expedition across the United States. Along the way, I drove over 14,000 miles and visited 15 National Parks. It was a life changing experience living as a nomadic photographer. I can't wait to embark on the next adventure!


Blue Lake Trail North Cascades North Cascade National Park is host to this particular rendition of Blue Lake, which sits about three hours east of Seattle. You can put it in the realm of the day hike with a four mile round trip trail. Splashing around in the summer to cool off is unbeatable.

Fair warning, Blue Lake can stay partially frozen through the summer months. They do say the 4th of July is the start of summer in Washington. But look at it this way you still have another two miles to warm up once you get out of the water. Not to mention some great mountain views to distract you from the cold.

What's your favorite pair of Rheos shades?

Blue Lake Trail North CascadesStyle: Palmettos
Frame Color: Gunmetal
Lens Color: Deep Sea
Description: Ahhh the pristine alpine waters look so inviting for a refreshing dip. Soak up the mountain scenery in a pair of Rheos Palmettos in Deep Sea. The lightweight aviator frames feel great on the hike and you won't have to worry about losing them in the water when you dare to take a swim in Blue Lake.

View More Palmetto Colors

Favorite Instagram Shots of Blue Lake North Cascades

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