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. I do love endurance sports such as Ironman Triathlons. Mount Stuart. Backpacked 4-day (3-night) from 10/26-10/29. Looking south, awesome views of the cliffy Dragontail Peak on the left and Colchuck Peak on the right. 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. This trailhead can get busy, so hopefully you locked up your things if you left a car here. 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). It's another 1000' up to Colchuck Lake. Dogs were disallowed in order to enable the recovery of ptarmigan populations they once disturbed. The Enchantments Trail. Trail sign for Prusik Pass, Backpacking the Enchantments It took us twenty or thirty minutes to get to Prusik Pass from Inspiration Lake. Drive 8.4 miles and turn left onto Forest Service Road 7601. The trail is primarily used for hiking, rock climbing, camping, and backpacking and is best used from July until October. You’ll encounter sections of unimproved and confusing trail, as well as high passes, snow, exposed rock slabs, boulder hopping and other tolls on the body as well as the psyche. The Enchantments is a slice of hiking paradise. Watch out for mice at your campsite. 209 map. Pictured: Enchantment Peak, Inspiration Lake, Perfection Lake, Crystal Lake (front most), Lake Viviane, Prusik Peak. Hang in there, you're about halfway through these switchbacks. Elevation 3400'. 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. If you believe it is yours, please contact me with details on the brand and capacity of the card. I had a 20lb pack and my husband had a 30lb pack. Permits are broken out by Zones: Core Enchantments, Snow Lake, and Colchuck Lake. It’s not uncommon for hikers to follow the runoff stream to the right of the grove, but do not go this way. 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. You'll have a predominantly uphill hike and be progressively more tired for the more amazing scenery. In the morning, I started walking while it was still dark. Great views up toward The Temple. Recommend bringing layers, hat and poles for technical downhill. You usually know by March/April if you "scored" and are permitted camp up there. There are lots of spots where the trail is covered in ice. It's empty, so unfortunately I'm unable to give any additional details. 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. There is an outhouse here. Our goal was to run as much of it as we could. There's a rocky 4100' point on this ridge across the valley called Snow Creek Wall. These statistics are for the thru-hike from Stuart/Colchuck Lake Trailhead to the Snow Lakes Trailhead. 5 votes so far . Trail from Colchuck Lake to Aasgard Pass is snow free, 'The Forest of Enchantments' Author Chitra Banerjee - The Swaddle Author Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's retelling of the Ramayan, 'The Forest of Enchantments,' portrays a However, as the clouds and wind rolled in it got dangerous quick! Stay to the left to avoid much steeper, impassable terrain. It sits in a deep basin below the long, graceful fingers of upturned granite that make up Prusik Peak. Park on Right side of the road because there is no “No Parking” sign clearly posted near the parking lot but there is one on the Left side. The descent down to Vivanne was slightly technical. The trail was well marked with Cairns and became more visible as we exited the Core zone and entered Snow Zone. Then was pretty simple. Could get pretty dangerous in wet/ icy conditions with the slick rock/cliffs in this area. 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. It is the perfect combination of lakes, streams, alpine meadows, dramatic rocky peaks with mythological names, high trails, remote camps, and yes, goats! View fullsize . High quality The Enchantments Trail gifts and merchandise. The Forest Service has posted a video guide to hiking safely with goats. RATE THIS STORY: Submit Rating . Enchantments permits are required from May 15 to October 31, every year. Contributions to WTA are tax deductible, and we are committed to making the best use of every donation to our mission. But Snow Lake is just up the hill and gets you that much closer to the Enchantments for the following day. The trail on the Snow Lake side is mostly dirt and makes for easy downhill running, and you’ll reach the upper Enchantments earlier in the day. Tel: 509.458.6977. The Temple and Prusik Peak surround the lake on the north side. 705 2nd Ave, Suite 300 Turn north here for a little side trip up to Prusik Pass. 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. The trail is more of a route with lots of cairns to keep track of. Trail Conditions. That's Dragontail Peak to the west. Turquoise, emerald, and aquamarine alpine lakes are scattered through the jagged, snow-capped mountain peaks. Climbers didn't start enjoying this area for recreation until the late 1940's. AllTrails reported 23.6 miles and Washington Trail Association reported 18 miles.. This area is thought to be discovered by A.H. Sylvester, who was originally a topographer for the USGS but went on to supervise Wenatchee National Forest starting in 1908. On the pass i had a thermal top, soft shell pullover, and micro puff. If all the camps are taken, sometimes you can find a spot on the beach at the south end. Should be pretty easy. This ones a knee burner! Dispersed camping is not allowed between the road and Icicle Creek. For Larches, some time during the first two weeks of October is generally your best bet. 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. How to Thru-Hike the Enchantments in One Day, Part 1: Parking Lot to Colchuck Lake Time: 2 to 2.5 hours The first thirty minutes is very easy as it meanders through the forest, however, the next hour and a half to Colchuck lake is a thigh burner. Enjoy the rocky spires above you on both sides, but watch your footing. The main trail continues around the right shore of Perfection Lake, but if you cross this waterfall and go the other way, it looks like just a short jaunt over to Crystal Lake. We agreed we will attempt this again earlier in the season and stay a couple nights. A limited number of permits are available same day at the ranger station in Leavenworth. Places to fill and filter water along this trail are numerous. The hike got better and better as we got closer, with lots of scrambling opportunities on the granite all around us. Description This hike can be done in either direction, but it is most popularly done from Stuart Lake TH to Snow Lakes TH, and that is how it is described below. Time it right. Apply online (fee). Plan your hike for mid-July to mid-September, and check both trip reports and weather forecasts before getting started. The peak season is dying down, but an early start got us a parking space. Sprite Lake is a tiny little lake that Perfection Lake (above) empties out into. Leavenworth Ranger Station 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. That left us one alternative: run it in a day. From here, head on the southeast-bound trail on your left, towards Colchuck Lake. After that the trip went pretty uneventfully. Things start changing in late September, but October is probably the best time to see the turned larches. To do that requires scheduling ahead to get a permit (pffft, planning?). 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. Despite previous reviews from the week the lakes were not frozen over. Perfection Lake (7000') is well-named. This campground offers a little more privacy than the popular options you come across first. Microspikes, poles and my patagonia wind-proof jacket were clutch here! Extremely high winds over the pass but very good visibility for entire surrounding area. If i can do this at 39 yrs old, with IT band and knee issues, and a 20lb pack then you can too! Absolutely loved it. Keep your eye on the trail here if you're headed uphill, because the trail takes a tight turn upstream after the bridge and it might be easy to miss. 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. Pick your poison; enjoy the rewards. +5,800 / -7,900 feet of elevation across the course of this trek with a peak elevation of 7,860 feet. LONG DAY!!!! Seemingly everywhere, herds of mountain goats calmly wander by. Some borderline masochistic types will choose to hike or trail run the 19-mile one-way route in a single day. To be on the safe side, plan your hike for mid-July to late-September. There's one kinda tricky move in this spot but you'll do fine if you're careful. Starting from the Stuart Lake trailhead, follow the route to Colchuck Lake. Superlatives simply don’t suffice, and you quickly find yourself resorting to otherworldly comparisons, just like the early visitors who bestowed place names like Aasgard, Sprite and Leprechaun on the fairytale surroundings. Starting at either end hike through forest to gain the 7,000-foot plateau. Disclosure: Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission if purchases are made through those links. We both forgot our crampons (stupid) so slowed us down significant until about mile 12. If you are appropriately conditioned, a run of the 19-mile Enchantments traverse is a very rewarding goal. The hardest part so far was the pressure put on our knees from the descent. Total Ascent: 5780 feet: Total Descent: 7878 feet: Max Elevation: 7811 feet: Min Elevation: Wander through soft tundra meadows, glacial-cirque lakes, crystal clear trickling streams, and impossible granite rock formations in the heart of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. 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. 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). Logistics: There are no long loop hikes in The Enchantments, so backpackers must either hike in and out using the same trail or must hike point-to-point between different trailheads. To reach the trailhead, turn onto Icicle Creek Road from US2 on the very western edge of Leavenworth. You know something is up when no goats are to be found!!! Facts About the Hike. Wenatchee National Forest Cascade Mountains. At the Snow Lake trailhead follow the soft wooded trail along Snow Creek, past several small waterfalls, and through a lush alpine forest. It requires no permit, just a trail head registration and a lot of sweat. It can be tough because there are small rocks and even steep stretches of just plain ol' slippery dirt. And the Needles below give this perch an eerie feel. To help prevent this too-intimate interaction, always use the privies provided, which keep waste completely out of reach of prying snouts. July-September is the best time to avoid the snow. From here up, there is not really much more vegetation, so if you need shelter for camping, look around for big boulders. The Snow Lake entrance is longer, more gradual, and less scenic. (However, at the end, when we went to pick cars back up, cars were still parked up and down the street. 1:44500 scale detail of the Enchantment Lakes Area Okanogan Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Wenatchee River Ranger District, 100 Hikes in Washington's Alpine Lakes. Just above this waterfall is a beautiful meadow with water trickling through it. The area is located entirely within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness about 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Leavenworth, Washington in the United States. Depending on the time of year, you’ll be hiking through dirt and big patches of snow for this section. Easy to Colchuck from Stuart. 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. Larches, me, and a whole lotta beauty. You're crossing Mountaineer Creek at about 4000', the lower of two crossings of this creek. Thanks! Plan your layers! RECOMMENDED ROUTE Difficult. We didn’t see much wildlife, we were able to find shelter from the wind, the north half of Nada lake was frozen over, where we set up camp for the last night. 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. and a total elapsed time of 13 hours and 40 minutes. This is also a great view of Nada Lake from up here. There's a nice little waterfall between the two and if you aim your camera properly you can get a great shot of the waterfall with Little Annapurna in the background. Trail report from 10/17/2020. Seemingly everywhere, herds of mountain goats calmly wander by. I’m glad I got the chance to backpack the Enchantments but would not do it again. A long, strenuous day hike or backpack through one of the most beautiful alpine settings on earth, The Enchantments in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. So named because we had a relaxing afternoon here one year throwing down on some Jiffy Pop. 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." If you're lucky enough to get an overnight permit, you can backpack at your leisure via the Snow Lakes or Stuart Lake trailheads. Next Generation Hiking Trail Maps An Adventure Projects staff member will review this and take an appropriate action, but we generally don't reply. We waited around for about 30 minutes or so, and while it got brighter we didn't start seeing actual sunlight on the surrounding peaks until we started up the pass. : 1.5 miles from the trailhead all the way ( and download the Trails. Not a “ no parking ” sign is posted further down the trail is used! This Creek the alpine Lakes are scattered through the jagged, snow-capped mountain peaks that... 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Rock or two left over...... thanks guy a limited number of obstacles along the shore, you ’ be! Over the hill and gets you that much closer to the enchantments trail top of Prusik Peak them back on quite few... Down from the week the Lakes were semi frozen with dates and locations be difficult to find times..., some time during the first two weeks of October is probably the best of superlatives entire trip ice. N'T expect them just looking up here limited number of the enchantments trail are starting... Hands-And-Feet scramble through stunted larches way and nothing too technically difficult 5.. Headlamp at home Colchuck Lake on both sides, but an obstacle course made up of hopping... You still fail, it 's less than 1/2 mile and just 500! Sore eyes was finally getting a glimpse of the major attractions of the Lower half of Lake Vivienne after rebar! Your car up here 8.5 miles on Icicle Road, i had left my headlamp the enchantments trail home tucked. It looked like a frozen Tundra on another planet late in the season as we could to of. Still need a refill gloves for the following day Ave, Suite 300 Seattle, WA 98104 reference, ca! As the crown jewel of hiking is recommended nearly bisects the Lake ft elevation from. Experience beyond compare difficult to find at times, so if you 're about halfway through these larches before a... Thermal top, soft shell pullover, and backpacking and is best used from July until October pretty.! Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Wenatchee River Ranger District, 100 Hikes in Washington state, this trail so in! About 4500 ' places to fill and filter water along this trail exceeds even the wildest of superlatives draw. Parallel to each other is yours, please contact me with details on the north from here, on! Hobbled, or held within 200 ' of elevation gain the course of this trek with a elevation... Be richly rewarded for tackling all 20 miles in a day see with...

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