Many hiking and running options (long and short, easy and hard) are available from this trail. This entry describes day trips up to about 11 miles in length (roundtrip) to the Larch Lake cut-off. Our link (below) touches upon longer hikes up to Timothy Meadows (16 miles round trip) that can be accessed by this trail.
Consider this hike to be pretty in its close-ups rather than in its vistas. Because the area is heavily wooded, Chiwaukum Creek does not offer spectacular mountain views until you’re farther up it than most day trippers wish to travel. However, the views at trail level during the spring (wildflowers) and the autumn (fall colors) is beautiful. The walk is also a good heatwave escape in summer.
Difficulty and Length: To The Larch Lake cut-off is intermediate (fitness level of 2) in difficulty for day hikers while going to Timothy Meadows as a day hike requires a fitness level of 3.
Access: Drive Highway 2 about 9.5 miles west of Leavenworth and at milepost 89.7 turn left on Road 7908. Go 100 feet to a Y, turn right, and in a few hundred yards enter a parking area. Northwest Forest Pass needed to park. You can access the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and Lady’s Pass Area from this trailhead.
- Follow a dirt road away from the parking area. You’ll pass a split in the road in half a mile, take the right fork.
- In about a mile you’ll see a road across a bridge. Don’t cross the bridge but keep going straight for another 100 feet where you’ll reach the actual trail (Chiwaukum Creek Trail #1571). Follow the trail upstream (you’ll enter the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in roughly half a mile).
- Go for as long as energy time allows. The fork in the trail that takes you either toward Chiwaukum and Larch Lakes (right) or Timothy Meadow (left) is about 4.5 miles from the start of the trail and 5.5 miles from the car).
- If going to Timothy Meadow, turn left at the junction and go another 2.5 miles to the meadow.
Activities: Hiking, trail running, and horses allowed. Not allowed: bikes or motorized vehicles.
Map. See our topo map below for more information. Print on 8.5″x11″ paper in portrait mode. Use ‘Print Preview’ to scale the map properly before printing.
Nearest Town: Leavenworth/Plain
More Info: For more information and, possibly, an updated condition report, see the Washington Trail Association (WTA) trail report about this hike.
Permits. A Northwest Forest Pass is needed to park. Hikers should self register at the trailhead for the day-hiking and overnight hiking permits the Forest Service wants you to carry when you enter the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.
Leave It Better Than You Found It. This should be every outdoor user’s goal. Pick up trash left by others, pull some noxious weeds along your route, throw branches over unwanted spur trails, don’t ride or walk wet trails when you’re leaving ruts/footprints deeper than ¼ inch…
Disclaimer. Treat this information as recommendations, not gospel. Conditions change, and those contributing these reports are volunteers–they may make mistakes or may not know all the issues affecting a route. You are still completely responsible for your decisions, your actions, and your safety. If you can’t live with that, you are prohibited from using our information.