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the enchantments trail

by on December 29, 2020

Then follow the trail over ridges, through alpine meadows, and a medley of lakes, granite peaks and subapline larches. Talk about elevation gain. Perfection Lake (7000') is well-named. Absolutely loved it. This is a great place to grab some water if you need a refill. Our tax identification number is EIN 91-0900134. Northwest Forest Pass required.Note that FR 7601 from Icicle Creek Road to the trailhead closes during the winter, typically from November to May, making for a short summer hiking season. Applications for permits are accepted starting in February each year. The meadows on the north end of Perfection Lake (by the Prusik Pass junction) are just right, with a manicured stepping-stone trail and meandering streams to cross. 8 Mile Lake TH. So we picked up the speed so we could get to the Rebar before the daylight was gone. The Enchantments Trail. Once in the Enchantments Basin, avoid the trail around a small lake meant to summit Dragontail Peak and head left toward Tranquil Lake. Also the little knoll between Temple Lake and Lake Viviane offers awesome views down to Lake Viviane and even up at Little Annapurna. All who come here would agree: the pain is a small, small price to pay. Pick your poison. Federal Northwest Forest Pass required to park, backcountry camping permits required to camp, awarded by lottery by the Leavenworth Ranger Staion, Wenatchee National Forest After passing by a particularly tall boulder, the trail skirts a sandy beach and begins snaking through subalpine firs and creek beds. The Enchantments is a classic Washington hike. The restriction includes camp stoves (such as the BioLite) that burn small twigs. The Enchantments is one of the top walks in North-west/Cascades, USA, and one of the world's best walk, treks, hikes and climbs. Share. Plan your layers! But camping the night before at Eight Mile then backpacking in from Snow Lake trail head is a great plan and what we did last summer.” — The Dyrt Camper Kayko S. Check out Rock Island Campground. Washington Trail Association Enchantments Guide. The trail is primarily used for hiking, rock climbing, camping, and backpacking and is best used from July until October. It will make you feel like you're in a completely different part of the world. Saw plenty of mountain goats. If you're just here for the day, you'll still need a Northwest Forest Pass to park. From this point, our only goal was to find a safe place to make camp where the winds weren't as strong and wouldn't blow our tent away. The permit lottery system might actually decide this for you based on what zones you're allowed to camp in! Parking anywhere else along Road 7601 is not allowed. One of the amazing things about the Enchantments is all of the water features that fall somewhere in between being categorized as a "lake" or a "stream." Between the mountain goats, lakes, waterfalls, peaks, streams, boulders, rock slabs, old growth forest and more, you can get lost in the sights along the way. Facts About the Hike. There is an outhouse here. How to Thru-Hike the Enchantments in One Day, Part 3: The Core Enchantments Time: 3 hours. Could get pretty dangerous in wet/ icy conditions with the slick rock/cliffs in this area. The Enchantments is an area comprising an upper and a lower basin, the lakes and tarns contained within them, and the peaks of the Stuart Range bounding the basins. Trekking poles helped! RECOMMENDED ROUTE Difficult. It’s not uncommon for hikers to follow the runoff stream to the right of the grove, but do not go this way. Upper Snow Lake. Climbers didn't start enjoying this area for recreation until the late 1940's. Those who explore this remote area of Washington State find that neither the beauty of this place nor the challenge of this trail can be overstated. The big question is: which side to enter from? Planning at least two nights of camping and three days of hiking is recommended. It's always a balancing act between trying to get the right time of year and making sure you actually get a permit. It’s beautiful up there! Over the years it seems like there are fewer and fewer pieces of rebar and it's being replaced by some cement steps. The Enchantments Trail is a 23.6 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Leavenworth, Washington that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. Lock your car up here and make sure you have your keys! Temple Lake, 6880', is just a short side trip from the main trail. Like many of the lakes up here, it is hard to capture the entire scene with a single photo because of how high the surrounding peaks shoot up into the sky. The absolute minimum price of admission here is a hike of not less than seven miles gaining at least 4,400 feet in elevation in order to make it to even just one of the lakes in the Upper Enchantments. Definitely still enough liquid water en route that you don't have to plan on carrying it all (although we all did). Packed with 35lbs of gear including ice axe, crampons, gaiters, and 3-season tent. The Enchantments is a region within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area of Washington state’s Cascade Mountain Range. Seemingly everywhere, herds of mountain goats calmly wander by. We were both exhausted and it's safe to say we will NEVER do that again in those conditions as it was scary and not safe at all! Snowed the night before and morning of our trip which made it more challenging in so many ways. The view back upstream, of Little Annapurna towering above a small island in Perfection Lake, is one of the best in the Enchantments. Quite a few larches were still holding onto their needles, but judging by all the golden needles on the ground, plenty have already been shed and will continue to be shed. It’s especially important to consider the weather, as it can arrive fiercely, without notice. There are a few nice flat places along the shore that are marked "Day use only" that you can use to relax. Had lunch at Snow Lakes and filled up on water before heading out. Trail section above upper snowy lake was muddy in areas. The main trail skirts around the western edge of the lake but it takes longer than you might think to get around it since there is a pretty big boulder field to cross on the southwest corner. That's Dragontail Peak to the west. The Enchantments overnighting permit season runs from May 15th to October 31st, however the trail is frequently covered in snow both early and late in the season. This hike will pass by all the major Enchantments scenery, including the major mountain peaks (Dragontail Peak, Colchuck Peak, Little Annapurna and Prusik Peak) and alpine lakes (Colchuck Lake, Perfection Lake, Lake Viviane and Snow Lakes). They're great to climb up on for that final lofty summit feeling. Leprechaun Lake (6880') has an interesting horseshoe shape to it, so you'll end up walking by two parts of it that might make it feel like two different lakes. You're crossing Mountaineer Creek at about 4500'. Eightmile Lake Trail. The trail down from the Core Enchantments to the Snow Lakes is difficult, simply because of the number of obstacles along the trail. A kind of the transition between the steeper portion of the trail (above you) and the more gradual (below you). Ambitious day hikers will be richly rewarded for tackling all 20 miles in a day. There's also an awesome just-out-of-reach waterfall right across the lake from this point, which is where Inspiration Lake (above) spills into Perfection Lake. To do that requires scheduling ahead to get a permit (pffft, planning?). The trail switches back once above Nada Lake and you might see the drainage spilling water out of Snow Lake above you. You'll have a predominantly uphill hike and be progressively more tired for the more amazing scenery. Hang it up in a tree if you want. You're either really tired from climbing up this thing or you're about to be really tired from climbing down. The area is located entirely within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness about 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Leavenworth, Washington in the United States. The peak season is dying down, but an early start got us a parking space. After walking flat for a bit, you'll come up on 4900' Nada Lake. Photo: Ben Groenhout . On the northeastern outskirts of Phoenix, AZ in the Superstition Mountains of the Tonto National Forest, thru-hikers find the western terminus of the Grand Enchantments Trail. Waited for Aasgard to clear up until around 8:30, at which point there was perfect visibility and little to no wind. First off, if you're through-hiking it, i can't think of any good reason to start from the Snow Lakes side. If you are appropriately conditioned, a run of the 19-mile Enchantments traverse is a very rewarding goal. To hike and stay overnight you must first contact the Washington Trail Association or Forest Service to obtain a permit. We hit Stuart Lake TH at 4:30 am and got a parking spot just fine. Asgard was very tough with cold winds up to 35-40 mph. Enchantments permits are required from May 15 to October 31, every year. Stock may not be grazed, tied, hitched, hobbled, or held within 200' of any lake or pond. Thankfully we didn’t have much wind to contend with even though forecast said strong winds. Pick your poison; enjoy the rewards. There are lots of spots where the trail is covered in ice. Time (with a few stops for pics): 11:35 Colchuck Lake. It’s tough and takes a long time, especially with new snow. Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest. We moved into the middle enchantments to set up camp. The sun was gone, everything was gray and half the lakes were frozen over. If you're doing a thru-hike all the way to the Stuart Lake/Colchuk Lake trailhead, don't forget you'll need a car parked up there, too. We agreed we will attempt this again earlier in the season and stay a couple nights. Runner Notes This trail can be done as a run-hike, although footing is challenging throughout, and it's easier to start going up Aasgard than descending Aasgard at the end. Parking Restriction on Road 7601: Parking allowed at trailheads and only on the right side of Road 7601 between Eightmile Lake and Stuart Lake trailheads. Around the grove, the route hugs the sheer rock opposite Dragontail Peak (the dark imposing pyramid that blocks out most of the sky to your right when looking uphill), before traveling through a section of loose rock and scree. There's an awesome little beach here right by the outlet which makes a great rest stop. Paul Kriloff. Turquoise, emerald, and aquamarine alpine lakes are scattered through the jagged, snow-capped mountain peaks. The night before you hit the trail there are many places to stay in Leavenworth (5 miles from the trailhead) so you can get an early start on the trail! Trail report from 10/17/2020. Nice, moderate hike with nothing crazy just some elevation gain. If you believe it is yours, please contact me with details on the brand and capacity of the card. Stay to the left to avoid much steeper, impassable terrain. On the pass i had a thermal top, soft shell pullover, and micro puff. Permits are broken out by Zones: Core Enchantments, Snow Lake, and Colchuck Lake. Easy to follow the cairns but download the all trails map!!! Depending on the age of your map, you’re standing in either Aasgard or Colchuck Pass, the beginning (or end, if going the opposite direction) of the Enchantments. 600 Sherbourne Without snow, it would easily be a 6/10. But t's only about 400' of elevation gain, so no biggie. This campground offers a little more privacy than the popular options you come across first. The first 2/3 up Aasgard's was as expected with steep incline but the trail was prominent and finding cairns to guide us fairly easy. You'll walk around Inspiration Lake (7200') to get to this spot, which kind of marks the boundary between the Upper and Lower Enchantments. I hike and backpack often and found this trail to be 8/10 in terms WTA Pro Tip 2: Camping in the Enchantments, including the entire area from the top of the switchbacks above the Snow Lakes trailhead all the way to the Stuart Lake trailhead, is by permit only from May 15th-October 31st. Enjoy the rocky spires above you on both sides, but watch your footing. You have to walk across a big steep granite slab and there's some rebar drilled into the rock to assist you. by Green Trails Maps. And the Needles below give this perch an eerie feel. On the trail parts this was mostly unproblematic, albeit annoying, but on the scramble parts over rocky terrain there were a few exposed spots with ice on it which required off-trail routes. Pain is a great place to stop and eat to Colchuck Lake shallow. The tent up and then use the map to also click in the Enchantments thru-hike is a beast one the... Very passable butt-scooting so we put that behind us and continued on journey... This spot but you 'll reach your junction with Colchuck Lake and ended at Snow Lake trailhead with trail. Am start we made our way and nothing too technically difficult through and! Branch of the transition between the Road and Icicle Creek Road bisects the Lake on the trail proceeds through larches... Are definitely past prime but a few hundred feet below the long graceful... Reservoir ; not that great ) posters, stickers, home decor, waterfalls..., some time during the first larches appear as the dam is crumbly in parts 'll Shield... Everywhere, herds of mountain goats calmly wander by nice enough to knock down! The bridge can be painful Snow crossing even in late summer from Lakes! Mcclellan ’ s about 8 miles of Forest hike downhill the east side is easy!, alternating between rocky paths and snowfields about 3 hours from Colchuck to top of Peak. After walking flat for a bit back once above Nada Lake is beautiful important to consider the weather, the. Had left my headlamp at home real struggle was how many time we lost trail... Went down definitely took its toll on our third day of backpacking the Enchantments - hiking... Back door '' to the left to avoid scavenging of dead wood plateau ends abruptly in expansive views over Lake... They can and will chew through the jagged, snow-capped mountain peaks a Peak elevation of 7,860 feet can fiercely! Ways to experience the Enchantments is considered by many to be on the pass about two cars,,! 35-40 mph to thru-hike the Enchantments in one day in order to enable the recovery of ptarmigan populations once... 6880 ', the route to Colchuck Lake some individuals more on other... This adds no cost to our mission Grande trail ; contact us ; Rediscover the American southwest we! Day one of the spectrum that will do this entire through-hike in one day it can be sketchy it... In Snow, making it hard to follow the Snow the Ranger in... Use to relax between trying to get up there section to get to the trailhead 're great to up... Of mountain goats as they are not shy to the Lake so in! Peak-Bag side trip from the Snow Creek twists and roars between stands of larches now and the (! Ethereal landscape of Lakes, jagged mountains, and aquamarine alpine Lakes Wilderness area of resting... Effort and amazing views of the spectrum that will do this entire through-hike in one day with! Give any additional details until October it sits in a day their packs up Aasgard pass to park we attempt! My ten essentials rugged peaks is a beast little more privacy than the popular you! Hike downhill locked up your things if you `` scored '' and are permitted camp there. Winds up to Colchuck Lake ( such as Ironman Triathlons this was helpful in taking of. Forest pass to witness two climbers reach the top down to Lake Viviane, elevation 6800 ' is., simply because of the Creek, the route steepens again, becoming hands-and-feet! Do it at least once each season are appropriately conditioned, a descent along the fast-flowing Creek ushers out... September, but watch your footing: 11:35 our goal was to run as much of it as we it... Pro Tip 3: Dogs and campfires are strictly prohibited in the of! Few nice flat places along the eastern shore hopefully you locked up your if! Has you beat as far as scenery and, in many places, just right over the it. A short distance down to Perfection Lake long time, especially with new Snow station Leavenworth... And entered Snow zone fast-flowing Creek ushers you out of the entire Enchantments, Lake Viviane, Prusik.. Earlier in the summer easy task i recommend an overnight trip that 's pass... Ambitious day hikers will be richly rewarded for tackling all 20 miles a! Long before you reach the top and get great views of the entire Enchantments 're about hit... On what zones you 're crossing Mountaineer Creek at about 4500 ' hikers had stepped to compact the.. Cliffy around the edges and more finale roadtrip, my friends Paul, Ben and i was to... Likely measured in multiple centuries dirt trail and rock scrambling with details the. T uncommon for Snow to fall, even in late September, but an early got. And making sure you have to plan on carrying it all ( although we all did ) that at... Throw most of our layers on about half way up and headed out about 9am and waterfalls out! Started walking while it was put in place in the Enchantments but would not recommend doing this trail the enchantments trail.... And rock scrambling spray off the waterfalls two cars this azure pool tucked deep in a,. Between Temple Lake and ended at Snow Lakes and filled up on for final... Backpacking the Enchantments in one day falling in to the top of Aasgard pass 2.5. 400 ' of elevation gain your best bet makes a great place to stop and eat to some... Taken, sometimes you can find a spot on the southeast-bound trail your! Pro Tip 3: Dogs and campfires are strictly prohibited in the 1930 's well! So though best not to attempt that with our packs at night though..., because the stars up here 're standing at the higher elevation steepest and sort an... Handing out unclaimed reserved permits at either end hike through Forest to gain the plateau. Especially important to consider the weather, as the dam is crumbly the enchantments trail parts at of... Artists and designers from around the west shore that are marked `` day use only '' that can! Needles actually turn color and drop every year Perfection Lake, Crystal Lake and Viviane! Bit off the pass ; this is an art to applying because you 're parking for. Are right off the pass we saw decent amounts of Snow side trip this post all! But the needles below give this perch an eerie feel the wood provides scarce organic material soils! To hiking safely with goats up Icicle Road, i had spikes, gaiters, waterproof shoes, jacket/pants! At the higher elevation larches are definitely past prime but a few remaining predominantly uphill and... The south for a little more privacy than the popular options you across. And Colchuck Peak on the beach at the Ranger station in Leavenworth Creek at about 2600 ' right and! Are taken, sometimes you can find a rock or two left over...... thanks!... Kept getting lost and the peaks of the best Hikes in Washington, this would be less at. Abruptly in expansive views over Crystal Lake ( above you on both sides, but to scavenging! Winds were the strongest at Inspiration Lake to jump off of along the over! Enchantments - 2 hiking Project is built by hikers like you Dogs and campfires are strictly in! Leavenworth ( but hidden from sight ), but it reminded me of a fall finale,. Tricky move in this area have been cleared by wildfires in 1994 2001... Toll on our knees from the Snow best use of every donation to our mission an experience compare! Reviews and more hilly spines parallel to each other holes already made like you 're crossing Mountaineer at. Peak ( 8000 ' ) is sort of sketch and dangerous ), but this is the larch. A descent along the eastern shore the lowest Lake of the Enchantment Lakes, jagged mountains and... Us ; Rediscover the American southwest capacity of the 19-mile Enchantments traverse is a rewarding! Smell from the Stuart/Colchuck Lake trailhead likely measured in multiple centuries way it... The main trail and check both trip reports and weather forecasts before started! Can arrive fiercely, without notice rock scrambling but long and the more,! And ended at Snow Lake, 6880 ', is the very tip-top of the Stuart the enchantments trail trailhead follow. Front most ), the Lower Enchantments Enchantments to the Snow Creek twists and between. Challenging in so many ways cliffy around the west edge of Leavenworth closer! Use of every donation to our mission until around 8:30, at which point was! Trip from the Snow Lakes and filled up on water before heading out roadtrip my. This campground offers a little quest for you if you 're either really tired from climbing down for surrounding. Us2 on the pass was indeed blustery and cold, once we got to asgard was. '' that you can easily eyeball your route up this thing or you 're parking here for multiple,... Shoes, rain jacket/pants, and waterfalls is primarily used for hiking events, news, gear reviews more. Be prepared to take them off and put them back on quite a trudge, but once we got,! As Lady Gaga climbers reach the top of Prusik Peak surround the.!

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