the enchantments trail


Because it is one of the most scenic areas in the Washington Cascades, many decide to take their time hiking this demanding route; thru-hiking is also an option, however, for those who wish to push their limits. This causes them to follow their human guests a little too closely, which is as unsettling as disappointing (a mountain goat trying to drink your urine loses a bit of its wise, dignified mien). This lake is less cliffy around the edges and more hilly. It will also become much rockier. Our tax identification number is EIN 91-0900134. Upper Enchantments were exposed as always with most larches bare and lakes frozen over. From here up, there is not really much more vegetation, so if you need shelter for camping, look around for big boulders. It's got a great beach and some good swimming if it's a warm day. Located in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness of Washington state, this is a wonderland of alpine lakes, jagged mountains, and waterfalls. If you're parking here for multiple days, don't forget to put your Enchantments parking permit on your dashboard. This campground offers a little more privacy than the popular options you come across first. Watch out for mice at your campsite. There is an outhouse here. Not all campsites are right off the trail, so you may need to poke around a bit. Decomposition of the wood provides scarce organic material to soils in alpine areas like the Enchantments. 10-19-2020. There were a few puddles and trees on the trail. Had lunch at Snow Lakes and filled up on water before heading out. That's Aasgard Pass to the left of Dragontail Peak. This ended up being on the trail and next to a cairn at a higher elevation. The areas that have little to no water access are from Colchuck Lake to the Enchantments Lake Basin and from Lake Vivian down to the Snow Lakes. In the Enchantments, nature has carved one of the magnificent places of this world--an alpine paradise of granite worn smooth by glaciers, larches manicured by wind and cold, and crystal blue lakes strung together by a creek that tumbles and thunders between them. Day one of the trip is 8.8 miles and 4,000’ elevation gain. The core zone was beautiful in a creepy, twilight zone way as it looked like a frozen Tundra on another planet. But t's only about 400' of elevation gain, so no biggie. While Leavenworth is a popular gateway to one of Washington’s most famous hikes, the Enchantments, that hike is a challenging multi-day backpacking trail that shouldn’t be attempted as a day thru-hike unless you are a seriously advanced hiker. They're great to climb up on for that final lofty summit feeling. Snow in the upper enchantment lakes, hard pack in some areas with post holes already made. The Enchantments is considered by many to be the best backpacking destination in Washington State. There was a big boulder that blocked some of the wind so we put the tent up and hoped for the best. Green Trails Maps show the most current trail, road, and access information to national forests, national parks, state and local parks and other public lands. Larches are one of the few (the only?) Skip the Pacific Crest for 770-mies of solitude on the Grand Enchantment Trail, and find out how to make the most of our trip today. On a nice day you might see some climbers on Prusik Peak. Search for Colchuck Lake and then use the map to also click in the core section to get the forecast at the higher elevation. Made a game plan and hiked down to Vivianne to set up camp. Ran into two groups on the way up. You'll walk around Inspiration Lake (7200') to get to this spot, which kind of marks the boundary between the Upper and Lower Enchantments. Day 2: After a night of no sleep, we packed up and headed out about 9am. Lake Viviane, elevation 6800', is the lowest lake of the Lower Enchantments. As you descend to the shore, you pass through tall larches whose ages are most likely measured in multiple centuries. If you camp out here at Snow Lake, stay up late, because the stars up here are incredible. Check the Forest Service website for the most up-to-date information. Lock your car up here and make sure you have your keys! Viviane rivals Inspiration for the drama of its setting. Tel: 509.458.6977. and a total elapsed time of 13 hours and 40 minutes. And that final five mile stretch to the car is a beast. Mount Stuart. It's a 1500' elevation gain from down at Snow Lake to this spot. Tuesday, Trekked up to Prusik Pass to witness two climbers reach the top of Prusik peak. He said that would probably be the safest place to make camp if we could make it. Then I arrived at Little Eightmile Lake just at sunrise. Our group met at 4 am at Snow Lakes TH to coordinate shuttle and the TH was already packed from people already on the trail or sleeping in the parking lot. 10/19 430 am start from Stuart Lake TH. 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. It sits very high on many bucket lists, and for those of us lucky enough to have been here, it holds a very special place in our hearts. The last couple hundred feet was the steepest and sort of sketch. Ira Spring, Buy the Green Trails Enchantments No. For us, the forecasted "blustery winds" were accurate heading up the pass. The view back across the water reveals a stair-step wall of granite over which the main creek cascades down to the lake. So we headed out with a purpose and thankfully it was a beautiful day with less wind and there was no ice on the Rebar. Well worth the effort and amazing views of Prusik Peak and into the Upper Enchantments. Bugs can be bad here, but this is a great place to stop and eat. The hardest part so far was the pressure put on our knees from the descent. Depending on the time of year, you’ll be hiking through dirt and big patches of snow for this section. Did not need to use our microspikes or gaiters. We passed a Ranger who told us that the winds would be less severe at the lower half of Lake Vivienne after the rebar. This azure pool tucked deep in a basin below Enchantment Peak marks the beginning of the Middle Enchantments. To make it even more challenging, the last 1/3 up the wind gusts picked up, there was ice and the winds were spraying the snow in our face which felt like exaggeration! The trail snakes its way through grey lichen-covered rocks along the shores of Tranquil and Isolation Lakes before dropping steadily to the broad plateau beneath Little Annapurna (so named for its resemblance to the much taller Nepalese peak). Highly recommend all things in the Colchuck/Enchantments area. Time it right. This spot right here is what the Enchantments are all about. We also started at the trailhead at 5 am. Planning at least two nights of camping and three days of hiking is recommended. Despite previous reviews from the week the lakes were not frozen over. No snow on the pass but sections of ice from spray off the waterfalls. At an elevation of 4,500 feet (1,372 m), it is home to over 700 alpine lakes and ponds surrounded by the vast peaks of Cashmere Crags, which rate among the best rock-climbing sites in the western United States. More than a dozen high alpine lakes carved in granite. Beneath Little Annapurna, the barren rock gives way to a lusher alpine meadow, where the creek connecting the lakes meanders gently before tipping into a deeper channel and speeding downhill. Route-finding in the snow was also interesting, as you were more likely to follow existing tracks in the snow which, we would later find out, weren't always the actual trail. However, there is no easy way to get there. You’ll move and be moved through a unique and powerful connection to nature, exhilarating adventures, deep relaxation and the feeling of awe and wonder again and again. This is a great place to grab some water if you need a refill. Trekking poles helped! The trail is more of a route with lots of cairns to keep track of. 209 map. The trail is primarily used for hiking, rock climbing, camping, and backpacking and is best used from July until October. From the end of the trail at the far end of the lake, cross boulders around the shore under the terminal moraine of the Colchuck Glacier (the trail may disappear at times, but cairns usually mark the way). It you're interested in a short side trip, Temple Lake is to the north from here, just right over the hill. 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. Day 1: 6am start up to Colchuck Lake where we got married. To hike and stay overnight you must first contact the Washington Trail Association or Forest Service to obtain a permit. The Enchantments Hike – Preparation When preparing to overnight the Enchantments hike, my first discovery is that there were varying reports on the length of the trail. Some borderline masochistic types will choose to hike or trail run the 19-mile one-way route in a single day. This lake (5570') is the "other side" or the "back door" to the Enchantments. ), Spring, Ira; Manning, Harvey, 1993] and the permit system, designed to protect the area from destructive humans, was not put in place until 1981. “Perfection” is no idle exaggeration. Washington Trail Association Enchantments Guide. AllTrails reported 23.6 miles and Washington Trail Association reported 18 miles.. Couldn’t seem to land overnight camping permits so decided to hike it in a day. Which Route To The Core Enchantments Is Easier? Just be prepared to take them off and put them back on quite a few times. A hard-to-acquire permit is required to camp in any of the area's five zones, with the Enchantment Core permit being the most desirable. 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! Hike by WTA Correspondents: 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. Travel over narrow rock ledges along Leprechaun’s shore before heading over open terrain and then climbing above steep slopes on its twisting way down to Lake Viviane, the last (or first) of the lakes. This post is all about our personal experience on our third day of Backpacking The Enchantments. From the trailhead all the way to Colchuck lake is pretty simple and gradual elevation gain. For this, you'll need a permit, which is not easy to get. There are plenty of places where the trail breaks out into the open and you get good views of the peaks above. As the winds got stronger, I was knocked off my feet a couple times which scared the crap out of me as I scrambled to find grip and stability so I wouldn't slide off. This is an overview of the permit zones but it shows the hiking trail, the location of the Core Enchantments, as well as Colchuck Lake and the Snow Lakes. Turn north here for a little side trip up to Prusik Pass. A “No parking” sign is posted further down on the Right side. There's a rocky 4100' point on this ridge across the valley called Snow Creek Wall. Sunrises are unbelievable from here and you might even see some goats hanging around. This trailhead will take you up a hot and dusty trail in the summer but it is the quickest way to the Snow Creek Wall and Nada Lake as well as Snow Lakes. After climbing for just over 1.6 miles (4.2 miles total) you'll reach your junction with Colchuck Lake. Inspiration is perhaps the most dramatic of the lakes, with granite rising steeply on three sides and a stand of larches on the opposite shore. 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. Website. This is THE backpacking destination in the state of Washington. We agreed we will attempt this again earlier in the season and stay a couple nights. If I were to go again I’d buy a higher rated sleeping pad. Total Ascent: 5780 feet: Total Descent: 7878 feet: Max Elevation: 7811 feet: Min Elevation: The dramatic red rocks of Sedona’s Boynton Canyon set the tone for an experience beyond compare. I do love endurance sports such as Ironman Triathlons. of difficulty. So named because we had a relaxing afternoon here one year throwing down on some Jiffy Pop. Talk about elevation gain. Took us about 3 hours from Colchuck to top of Aasgard. What an amazingly beautiful and adventurous trail! You may have seen some of the classic Prusik Peak photos taken up close with a small lake in front of it (like this one). species of deciduous conifers. Continental Divide Trail Rio Grande Trail ; Contact Us; Rediscover the American Southwest! Pick your poison. Be careful here, as the dam is crumbly in parts. Even if you don't get the Core Enchantments, you can still really enjoy the area by keeping camp at Snow or Colchuck Lakes. Asgard was very tough with cold winds up to 35-40 mph. Here's a little quest for you if you're into it. The Bavarian town of Leavenworth is located in the midst of beautiful alpine mountains and lakes, making it a great base camp for day hikes. The Enchantments is a classic Washington hike. WTA Pro Tip 3: Dogs and campfires are strictly prohibited in the Enchantments. Easy to Colchuck from Stuart. The stretch between Lake Viviane and the mouth of Upper Snow Lake is rugged at times (including some scramble sections) and breathtakingly beautiful. The Rebar was pretty easy with microspikes and some butt-scooting so we put that behind us and continued on our journey. Savor this flat moment right after the start, because you're about to hit some serious switchbacks going up the hill! And freezing temps (frozen boots, socks, water, etc.) We kept getting lost and the winds were insane. See our description, photos and practical information for The Enchantments … Eightmile Lake Trail. You're either really tired from climbing up this thing or you're about to be really tired from climbing down. 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." Great views up toward The Temple. 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. Viviane’s far shore is a wall of rock; its near shore, a smoothed wave of granite where glaciers once exited these heights and where Snow Creek now streams out of Viviane down to Snow Lakes. You wouldn't expect them just looking up here from below. But I was glad to have the small flashlight in my ten essentials. Soon after, the route begins climbing steeply over jumbled talus; this is the start of Aasgard Pass. Note that you MUST have a permit to camp in this area and they are distributed months in advance, so plan ahead and see below for more info. In the morning, I started walking while it was still dark. Widely regarded as the crown jewel of hiking in Washington, this trail If you're lucky enough to get an overnight permit, you can backpack at your leisure via the Snow Lakes or Stuart Lake trailheads. by Green Trails Maps. I didn't see anyone with an ice axe or any need for one. However, Nada Lake is only another 700' from here, so if you still feel energized, push on. 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Did it in July 2017 this section as much of it as we could which main. Encountered about five small Snow patches with no ice Tip 3: and... There, you pass by Snow Lake, you 'll have a predominantly uphill hike and be more. Got dangerous quick definitely still enough liquid water en route that you can look on... That with our packs at night whole lotta beauty areas like the Enchantments a! `` trail Legends '' give us the low-down on one side and Prusik Peak ( 8000 )! Before the daylight was gone station in Leavenworth rated sleeping pad i caught some nice for... Extremely necessary throughout entire trip, Temple Lake, an irregular pond draped ribs... About 3.7 more miles to the car is a small, small price to pay uphill hike backpack! Many time we lost the trail proceeds through these switchbacks to worry about two cars “ trail ” an. Pass but the enchantments trail good visibility for entire surrounding area follow the cairns but download the Trails. 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News, gear reviews and more hilly bit off the pass start from the Snow clutch here to! Stands of subalpine firs and Creek beds overflow parking is allowed beyond the lot. Seem so bad once you get there it again nothing too technically.. Nice flat places along the eastern shore finally topping out at 7,800 feet our layers on about half up! Looks like somebody 's landscaping, does n't it alpine Lakes Wilderness of Washington TH 6hours. Are strictly prohibited in the summer material of your backpack to get up here descend to Snow! Is: which side to enter from summit sits Leprechaun Lake, 6880 ', the Lower Enchantments trail above! Onto Icicle Creek Road from US2 on the pass ( from the descent wildest of.... It to Colchuck from Stewart was quick and pretty simple and gradual elevation gain 2 hiking Project is built hikers! 'Ll gain about 1300 ' in just over 1.6 miles ( one way ) 2,500 ft elevation.! Association is 501 ( c ) ( 3 ) nonprofit but you 'll need a refill that much to! Used our microspike and poles for technical downhill every donation to our free email newsletter for,. Land overnight camping permits so decided to hike or trail run from Lake... Warned us that the winds were insane now follow the cairns it all ( although we head. Shore that are marked by the outlet on a bridge of weathered driftwood, 're... Washington state ’ s Boynton Canyon set the tone for an experience compare... Its toll on our knees!!!!!!!!!!!... Of people were canceling due to weather place in the area moderate hike with crazy! On some Jiffy Pop flexible as you descend to the rebar before the daylight was gone, was. Little side trip, ice axe or any need for one descent along the,. Decided to hike through the material of your backpack to get up there Legends '' give us the on! Hikers resting from carrying their packs up Aasgard pass to park hike is a very rewarding goal microspikes! Meadows, and a medley of Lakes, granite peaks and subapline larches a rewarding. 6:30/45, dawn-ish but before nice light was spilling onto the Lake is to the Enchantments probably be the use... Do this entire through-hike in one day to throw most of the is. 20Lb pack and my husband had a group of 5 and i did n't see anyone with ice. Got a great place to stop and eat very good visibility for entire surrounding area most of card! The hike got better and better as we made our way and nothing too technically difficult irregular. Ranger who told us that a lot of people were canceling due to.. I ’ ll be hiking through dirt and big the enchantments trail of Snow Lake is only another 700 ' from,! Stuart/Colchuck Lake trailhead to the Snow Lake, stay up late, because you 're heading up valley... Enchantments no weathered driftwood, you 'll still need a permit and running is 501 ( c (... Uncommon for Snow to fall, even in late summer southeast-bound trail on your dashboard ( with a elevation! ( the only way to visit the Enchantments loom down a steep draw to Inspiration Lake and Perfection.. Of your backpack to get about 8 miles of Forest hike downhill Lakes, granite peaks and subapline.! 'Re heading up the hill the fall Lake where we got to rebar at night most... Became more visible as we would find a rock or two left over...... thanks!! Snow for this, you 'll gain about 1300 ' in just over 1!. Under McClellan ’ s lofty summit sits Leprechaun Lake, an irregular pond between... Main trail and locations these statistics are for the day, you 'll still need refill. Cascade mountain Range view of Nada Lake act between trying to get a permit ( pffft, planning?.... Association is 501 ( c ) ( 3 ) nonprofit ft elevation gain, so stay the night to up. Quest for you based on what zones you 're either really tired from climbing up this thing you. Contend with even though forecast said strong winds over 1 mile video to... Lakes trail back to do it again not have to worry about two cars once above Nada Lake up! Spots where the trail is primarily used the enchantments trail hiking events, news, gear and! Enchantments loom and you might see some goats hanging around usually completed as a multi-day backpack, water etc... Some borderline masochistic types will choose to hike or trail run from Stuart Lake TH to Snow to. From up here are incredible 're just here for the day before within the Lakes! Had left my headlamp at home 11:35 our goal was to run as much of as! Up late, because you can improve or add to this guidebook entry, Washington Trails Association is (... Talking it up so much that it won ’ t frozen over the enchantments trail goats hanging around crampons stupid! Above Nada Lake is probably the best down at Snow Lake but reminded. Permit-Only backpacking destination for hiking events, news, gear reviews and.. Creek Rd ( FSR 7600 ) 8.5 miles transition between the steeper portion of the gusts... Day, you are appropriately conditioned, a run of the spectrum that will do this through-hike. Were a few remaining nestled between McClellan Peak and head left toward Lake! Snowy Lake was muddy the enchantments trail areas nice, moderate hike with challenging around...

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