Follow the popular Icicle Ridge trail into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness to Lake Margaret. A typical alpine lake, Margaret features campsites, trees, boulder fields, and granite cliffs. There are also fish in the lake available for fishing. At the junction with Icicle Ridge and Frosty Wildhorse, this lake is a great destination for an overnight trip with opportunities to connect to other lakes and trails.
There are a few ways one can approach Lake Margaret. If you want to take the longest route, start from the beginning of the Icicle Ridge trail, near the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery. The elevation and mileage in this report comes from this route. The trail climbs very steeply at first through a series of switchbacks as you ascend the ridge. Once at the top, the trail follows the ridgeline until you dip back down to cross Cabin Creek. Climb back up, stay left at the junction with the Hatchery Creek trail, and make your way past Lake Augusta on Big Jim Mountain. Once past Augusta, lose altitude past Carter Lake and Index Creek until you reach the junction with the Icicle Gorge trail.
This trail is another option for reaching Lake Margaret. If you don't want to stretch the hike out, start on the Icicle Gorge trail near the Chatter Creek Campground, farther down FS Road 76. This trail also climbs quickly up Icicle Ridge with a few switchbacks. Cross Chatter Creek and pass Grindstone Mountain on the left as you make your way up to connect with the Icicle Ridge trail.
Once there, continue on the trail past Lake Edna, straight through Ladies Pass, and past Upper Florence and Mary Lakes. Lake Margaret is just through the trees as you approach Frosty Pass, but in order to reach it you must take a left turn at the pass and follow the Frosty - Wildhorse trail for a short distance until you reach Lake Margaret. The trail passes right by the lake, so you can't miss it.
The campsites on the lake are secluded, albeit brushy and hard to reach. It is easier to explore the north shore than the south. There is a small waterfall that serves as the lake's inlet coming down from the nearby peak on the east side of the lake.
The final way to approach this lake is from the Frosty - Wildhorse trail. From Stevens pass, take the Icicle Trail southeast until it branches off into the Frosty - Wildhorse trail. Follow the trail until you reach the lake. This route involves significantly less elevation gain than coming from Icicle Ridge.