Lake Chelan National Recreation Area: Coon Lake

Climb above the Stehekin River Valley, passing rugged cliffs and bird's-eye views, to a remote mountain lake at the foot of McGregor Mountain.
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Climb above the Stehekin River Valley, passing rugged cliffs and bird's-eye views, to a remote mountain lake at the foot of McGregor Mountain.

Located in the North Cascades, this 3.8-miler travels across remote landscapes accessible only by boat or plane. After a scenic, 50-mile boat ride to Stehekin, ride the Stehekin Shuttle to the High Bridge stop. From here, it's a 1.3-mile walk up Stehekin Valley Road to the trailhead on the north side of the road.
The first part of the hike winds across the valley floor on glacial moraine (deposited by the retreating North Cascades Glacier). After half a mile, the climb to Coon Lake begins. Turn left at the 3-way junction, and ascend through lush forest. In 0.3 mile, the forest transitions to talus-covered slopes bordered by cliffs—look southeast for views up the Stehekin River Valley. At mile 1.2, the route joins the Pacific Crest Trail and travels north for the remaining 0.7 mile to Coon Lake. Massive ponderosas dot one shoreline of this tear-dropped shaped lake, and silver snags from an old burn cover the south and west ends of the lake. Drop the packs and grab a snack before backtracking to the trailhead.
Info: Lady of the Lake and Stehekin Shuttle
-Mapped by Alan Bauer, Alan Bauer Photography

Trail Facts

  • Distance: 6.1

Waypoints

CON001

Location: 48.3802185, -120.8126373

From the dirt Stehekin Valley Road, hike northwest on a narrow trail covered with mossy rocks. The path winds across a glacial moraine left thousands of years ago from the retreating North Cascades Glacier (which carved out the Stehekin River Valley).

CON002

Location: 48.380703, -120.8206482

Turn left @ 3-way junction (a trail enters on the right). Next, ascend to the west through lush forest.

CON003

Location: 48.3808937, -120.8271484

The forest opens as you traverse talus-covered slopes bordered by cliffs. Listen to squeaking pikas and look raptors soaring overhead. Views extend up the Stehekin River Valley and the Agnes Creek Valley.

CON004

Location: 48.3816605, -120.8344955

Turn right onto the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), and hike north to continue toward Coon Lake.

CON005

Location: 48.3836098, -120.8349228

Turn left on the PCT @ signed 3-way junction. The trail that continues straight leads to a dead end.

CON006

Location: 48.3883095, -120.8370285

Coon Lake: Massive old-growth ponderosas dot one shoreline of this tear-dropped shaped lake. Silver snags from an old burn cover the south and west ends of the lake. To the northeast, McGregor Mountain rises dramatically above the lake. Drop your packs and grab a snack before retracing your route to the trailhead.