Lake Stuart

Alpine Lakes, Cascades, Washington

September 2007

Dave Svilar, Dad



Misty morning mountain lake.

The weather during September, usually a time in the Cascades to find solitude and clear skies, was unusually horrible.  Finally a day toward the end of September looked okay... at least on the other side of the crest.  It's never hard to convince my dad to go for a hike near Leavenworth, so when I suggested Stuart Lake I received none of the usual (of late) resistance.  My Dad and I had taken multiple trips to Colchuck Lake which shares the same trailhead with Stuart, but I had only been to Stuart once - over 10 years ago - while my Dad had last been to Stuart nearly 50 years ago.  (According to Dad's memory he visited the lake twice as a kid, and of course at that time there was no road to the trailhead and he had to carry two packs.  Whatever the case, the story certainly gets more impressive as time goes on.)

Our night at Stuart Lake was perfect - no people, clear skies - until a group arrived near sunset and camped within 50 feet of our tent.  I was outraged at this lack of a sense of privacy that seems to be common amongst hikers.  On our second day, instead of exploring the lake and enjoying a second day of good weather Dad insisted that we hustle back in order to shop for wedding outfits.  Imagine that!  Cutting time short outside to go shopping.  The fall was mostly a disappointment due to big plans in the mountains being squelched by poor weather, but at least there were a few breaks like this one to Stuart Lake.

Dad with his elephant pack at Stuart Lake.  At least this time he didn't have to carry two packs.



The reeds near our camp are somewhat unique to Stuart Lake and make for good photo opportunities.


It's called Stuart Lake, but the actual mountain is mostly obscured from the lake.  The top of Mt Stuart - 6th highest in WA state - catches the first light of day.



- compiled October 2008

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