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Simply INCREDIBLE!! We won the permit lottery and were fortunate enough to spend three amazing days backpacking through the enchantments in late August.

Our itinerary was as follows
-Day 1 Enter through Colchuck TH-Colchuck Lake-Aasgard pass-into the Core, camping in the core
-Day 2 Exploring the core (highly recommend!), camped in Leprechaun Lake (stunning!)
-Day 3 Descended out of the core and exited through snow lake

I have hiked probably 50 ish hikes since moving to Washington and this was by far my favourite HANDS DOWN. Once you enter the core it is like a whole different world up there-alpine lakes, mountains, sheer cliff faces, moss covered rocks and small wildflowers, goats..I could go on.

Some words of advice particularly for those backpacking
-pack for ALL conditions. It snowed on our first night in August!
-start early, once you are in the core it never seems like you have enough time there
-though rare we did see a bear coming down through snow lake, so be warned
-there is plenty of water around, no need to carry much..especially up Aasgard
-Aasgard is rough, especially with a 30lb pack on. Take your time and enjoy the view
-the good camp sites fill up early. Move camp early and get established, then go exploring

I’m so fortunate to have backpacked here and I encourage everyone to do the same..apply for the lottery!!!

completed 8/15. Longer and harder than you would expect. pretty when you get there, but I don't know why anyone would do this hike unless they are going to the core enchantments, which is where the real magic is. gave it 4 stars because it was the perfect base camp.

One of the most beautiful places on earth. That simple.

backpacking
18 days ago

Who changed the trail routes in the core? I was just there and the AllTrails app on iphone had us traveling east on the opposite side of Inspiration Lake hill hugging Perfection Lake and then heading South we followed Perfection around the south side then over to Vivian. Now, it has us hugging Inspiration on the west side of that hill then up towars Prusik and Gnome. Who changed this? It misses Sprite Lake which is one of my favorite areas!

backpacking
19 days ago

Did this hike with a buddy the day after the first snow. We were optimistic in how much snow but surprised to be up to our waist in some spots. We spent only one night at the top of Asgard pass in our tent. Coming up the Asgard pass was extremely difficult even for us and we are in very good shape. We had to be careful not to go off track as the Cairns were difficult to see buried under the snow. GPS was a must for us. We did our best to uncover some cairns. The heavy snow started just before Colchuck and ended after Lake Viviane. Snow varies between 1foot and 3 feet in depth. Be careful of the snow drifts and falling through to the streams and rocks below. My buddy fell through a crack into a stream below and was up to his chest to crawl out. Micro spikes are a must as sheets of ice over water and rocks were slippery. The views were absolutely spectacular and surreal. We have never seen anything like it before. Especially the sunrise at the top. Words and pictures could never ever do it justice.

Awesome

To hike uphill almost 1400m and all the way back down requires a good effort of your knees. It took me about 9h30m to do the whole trek in and out (including some stops for pictures and snacks). The time could have been closer to 9hs if my wife hadn't hurt her knees on three way down. This might be redundant, but keep track of your water, energy and legs. There's a few places that allows you to refill your water along the trail. The landscape is wonderful and the arrival at both lakes is revigorating. Go for it with lots of energy and don't give up on the switchback. Just go on without hurry.

Super cool trail and a good longer hike that pushed me! Packed light, had enough food and water. Wore my trail running shoes which was no issue. Stoked to see a couple mountain goats! Not to mention one was right by the trail.

hiking
24 days ago

Phenomenal, bucket-list hike. A few thoughts:
-protect your feet. Thick sock and wear a second thinner one too. Take second skin. Lots of areas with rock scrambles
-I took micro spikes for snow and ice just in case. I did not come close to needing them
-take plenty of food with you so you have the energy
-Plenty of water along the trail so just take a water filtration device
-If you’re not paying attention it is very easy to miss the cairns and lose the trail
-speaking of losing the trail, I totally lost it on the way back from Prusik Peak. One idea is to
return the way you came after you see the peak
-for those curious about duration - I’m in above average shape, lost the trail that one time, took a fair bit of photo stops, hustled the last 8 or so miles, and did the hike (20.3) in just under 12 hours. (Going from Stuart TH to Snow TH)

Hiked on October 13th with my boyfriend. We are in pretty good shape and it took us 10:38 to do 18.1 miles (that includes around 45 minutes of break time). We drove to snow lake and booked a shuttle to the other trailhead. It was 20 per person and totally worth it (just Google enchantments shuttle it's called the loop) I recorded 18.1 with my GPS but I should note we took some shortcuts

Easily the most beautiful hike I've done! Golden larches, clear skies, and a bit of snow. I'm still in awe.

here are my tips:
- pack light. there's plenty of water on the trail so bring maybe 1 liter and just filter the rest
- download gps map before. there is no signal and some parts of the trail are not obvious
- bring head lamps as daylight is getting shorter and shorter!
- bring microspikes for the ascent of asgard- it was icy!
- if you're in good shape you can afford to take more breaks than we did! we started at 6:30 (in the dark) and ended around 5 ish (still light) we had heard horror stories of ppl wandering back around 10:30pm so we tried to keep a good pace but ultimately found ourselves way ahead of schedule
-enjoy!!!!!

Always a treasure to hike and camp. Remember to check the weather to pack appropriately and always carry a map.

Surreal, breathtaking, incredible hike!!

backpacking
1 month ago

Larch madness is happening in the enchantments! Perfect timing and it happened by accident really. I was planning on camping with a permit but decided halfway through to partner up with two other hikers (made the trip a lot better) there is no cell phone service for ATT on the trail even thought the coverage map extends up to upper snow lake. Started at Stuart lake trailhead (asked for a ride from some hikers who were heading that way, parking my car at snow lake trailhead. Asgard’s pass was amazing plus the views of mount Stuart’s north face, some ice at the top requiring traction devices. The lakes, trees, mountains, absolutely amazing. Never knew something so beautiful existed. You must see it to believe it and you will remember it forever. The hike is great for the first 10 miles but after that, the descent is pretty tough on the knees. I had all my camping gear with me and did the full 20 in 15 hours but it was worth the slow pace, I wanted to enjoy the view and not just rush through it.

hiking
1 month ago

This review is intended to explain why this rating was not 4.5 or 5. So why only three stars? The trail when I took on October 5th had areas that were well marked but in the most dangerous parts (Asgard Pass, the descent to Snow Lakes) it was marked negligently. Cairns haphazardly marked the trail to snow lake and create a danger of following dangerous non-paths towards precipices. What saved me were the multiple groups tracking through the park who able to track the specific path. The difficulty level boarders on mountaineering at various parts of the trail. This review is not intended to deter the hearty but to warn those with less experience that the risk of falling is real.

trail running
1 month ago

7 hours, lots of walking as there was snow on the trail for the middle 10 & Aasgard was bottlenecked & treacherous. Two lake dives & one mountain goat spotting from ~10 feet away. The quintessential alpine lake hike in the Cascades.

hiking
1 month ago

Absolutely amazing hike which lived up to the hype. I did it in a day starting at Snow Lakes TH. It took just over 11 hours, with about an hours worth of breaks maybe longer as I couldnt help taking pictures every few feet. Start time was 6 am. There was a decent amount of waiting in busy areas. It had snowed about 3-4 inches above snow lake which made it amazing. The larches were unreal. It was empty on the trail until the upper enchantment lakes then it got quite busy with traffic coming from Colchuck. Asgard was pretty treacherous. The snow made for very slippery descent, especially since I neglected to bring my microspikes. It all worked out great though and I will do it again. I logged just over 22 miles with just under 7k vert. Nice little hike overall

Hiked 10/03/18-10/05/18. Lottery permitted. Started at Snow Lakes TH. The route finding is terrible on the ascent from Snow Lake to Vivian. Everything else is pretty straight forward, except the trail conditions from Colchuck Lake to the Stuart TH are eroded in the extreme. There are high levels of deeply exposed tree roots all along this section of the trail. I say this with the experience of also coming here in 2017. It’s noticeably much worse than last year. It’s way past time to start limiting day hiker entry or it’s time for the Forest Service to up the game on trail rehab. The current situation is not a long term solution for such a special place.

Absolutely gorgeous location with the larches turning color, pictures can do no justice. This is the most beautiful place I have ever been to. It looks and is kept pristine.

But you must earn your way to the views! I got lucky and was able to camp so I broke up the trip over a three days. Weight is your enemy on this trail, pack light and smart, but make sure you bring a bivvy bag or some kind of emergency shelter, even if you're just hiking. It got very cold and wet while we were up there, and the weather changes suddenly. The emergency blanket I brought saved us from a miserable night while camping. Water is plentiful and delicious. The area still looks pristine

I may try this as a day hike, but the hiking is extremely steep and long no matter which way you try to get to the core zone. Totally worth it though.

As of this writing, Snow Lake has been mostly drained for the season and I didn't find it attractive enough to warrant the long slog to get there. I would rather go via Colchuck and deal with Asgard pass at this point in time than go anywhere below lake Viviane

beautiful and well worth it.

hiking
1 month ago

heaven on Earth doesn't even begin to describe it. I dayhiked it solo, took me about 12 hours, sore for days but I can't wait to do it again. such a magical place. definitely going to aim to backpack next time.

hiking
1 month ago

Great day. 24.15 miles. 5500 feet elevation gain. Latch are peak as of yesterday.

Nice long hike star time 7:30am out by 5:40pm. with many stops. Looking for mountain goats but no luck. Perfect weekend. 24.5 miles at the end.

hiking
1 month ago

Amazing hike did it in 15 hours with multiple breaks. GPS tracker said 23.3 miles. We were well prepared with headlamps, extra socks, trail mix, lots of water, a hot meal, first aid kit, extra shirt and pants just in case we got super sweaty and needed to change for the descent after snow lake. Sunscreen and lots more. Better safe than sorry. Definitely a challenge but it felt like at no point i wanted to give up. Going down from snow lake just felt like the longest 8 miles since we had to do it in the dark. The views were just amazing. Best hike ever. Going up Aasgard was challenging for the other members of my group. I had to wait quite a bit. No bugs which is a plus and sunny perfect cool weather to hike.

backpacking
1 month ago

Challenging and beautiful.

backpacking
1 month ago

Some tough hiking, but the views were unreal. So worth it. The lakes were amazing.

This trail is incredible. It’s is also incredibly tough in sections. The scenery is superb and quite other worldly. You will not have solitude on this trail. Rangers told us they recorded over 300 hikers on the day we went. My trail recorder said over 23 miles on this trail, so don’t believe the estimate that trails.com gives. It’s a long long slog out of the lower enchantments from the top to the snow lakes trailhead. There are several areas that drop straight down over boulders and slick rock surfaces. Aasgard Pass going up is a climbers trail. Straight up. My wife and I did the whole thing in one day. Never again! It took us from 6:45 am to 9 pm at night to get out. Via flashlight. Yes. It was worth it because the upper core enchantments is stunning. It was too long for one day though. We stopped for lunch and took our time in the upper area which might be why we were late. Long miles though! Do it!

Beautiful trail! Easy to follow. Some hard elevation gains but worth every moment.

hiking
2 months ago

This is an ambitious day hike but better than colchuck after 5 miles in. Also don’t need to drive that dreaded dirt road. Must dedicate all day. Two lakes and in between had stunning beauty. Also saw a deer, goats, and even a brown bear all right along trail.

Sooo pretty! The trees are changing colors so it’s perfect for your larches fix these next couple weeks. Follow the cairns and in the core zone, the trail usually hugged the lakes until it takes you back up to the left down down down many boulder fields. We clocked 20.1 miles with 5,534ft of elevation gain. 12 hours even with three breaks. 1 hr 45 minutes up aasgard.

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