The 20 Best Backcountry Lakes: Stuart Lake

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington
Stuart Lake

(Photo by Matthew Hall/Tandem Stock)

Clear water ringed by green larches, and granite boulders worn smooth from glaciers, all under a horizon of toothy peaks— the Enchantments in Washington’s Cascades are justifiably popular for scenes just like this. For an intro, trek 4.5 miles to Stuart Lake on the trail by the same name. Go for the day, or camp there with a permit (it’s under the Core Zone’s quota system).