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One of the best hikes I’ve ever done. Challenging but worth it. Road is washed out so it’s 2 miles to trailhead. From trailhead you climb 3000 feet in right over 3 miles. At 3.2ish you’ll reach virgin lake, it was frozen over today (11/17). From virgin lake it’s all downhill to Blanca lake, about 0.82 miles. Snow was packed down but yactracks and poles were super helpful.

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!!!

hiking
17 days ago

I’ve done this hike 6 times now. It has to be done on a beautiful day. Mid-summer is perfect as long as it’s clear. Training is important if you aren’t an avid hiker. Starting out at a slower pace helps make the whole hike enjoyable. Bring a large garbage bag to slide down the many trails. You’re on snow for about half of it.

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

Completed this today! The road was the most difficult part for me today. I drove my Hyundai Tucson all the way up. Bottomed our three times. This road is doable I’m AWD and 4x4 vehicles with clearance. The trail was awesome! Light snow at the start and as I gained elevation the snow for deeper of course. I used my spikes on the way down only. Snowshoes would have helped in a few areas but not necessary to complete the trail. Lookout is locked up for the winter but the hike was very well worth the extra effort. DO NOT do this trail in the fall/winter unless you are comfortable with self arrest, know avalanche basics as well as winter survival. There were persons this trail that got a little sketchy. Oh and you can’t be afraid of heights with the added snow the trail is steep and even made me a little edgy at times. Awesome hike!

Tried this on 10/29/18, my SUV couldn’t get up the steep road. The people coming down said snow was pretty deep and you needed snow shoes. I turned around.

backpacking
21 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
22 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

I havent hiked in 25 yrs.this was my 2nd hike in a few months an it kicked my butt.i do have some lung disease.but it was so beautiful an the scenery was breathtaking..

Did this a few weeks ago with my fiancé it’s was amazing... one of my bucket list hikes soooo worth it but it took much longer then I thought it would... I will do it again next year!! Maybe summit in 2020...

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
27 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)

hiking
29 days ago

Hiked out to the lake early before the crowd came. It's a pleasant one, with gradual incline not being too much of a problem once you clear the initial switchbacks near the trailhead. Descending to the lake is an unreal view and it's simply one of the most serene places I've ever been.

Was SUPER crowded on the way out, so be warned it does get busy. Would definitely take away from the peaceful experience of having the lake mostly to yourself.

Just did this hike on Saturday October 20th with 3 buddies. Couldn’t have picked a better day to do this hike! Perfect weather and not a cloud in site. The views were amazing... clear enough to see Mount Adams, St Helens and even Mount Hood in Oregon!! Saw a mountain goat and 2 avalanches over on the Nisqually Glacier. You could hear the booms...very cool! Well worth the effort as it is tough. Especially (for me at least) the last quarter mile or so was very taxing. Partly because i was fully geared up testing some new equipment carrying about 40 lbs. Took us 5 hours up and 3 hours down. We could have shaved an hour or so off that time if we really pushed but we were in no hurry. Too bad the snow was mostly ice so no glissading but it was a great hike nonetheless. I plan to do this hike a few more times with hopes to summit Rainier by the end of next summer!

Hard, but worth it!
Took over an hour to go up, maybe 45 minutes to come down. When you pass the railroad tracked turn right and walk until there’s a trail on your left.
The trail is hard to follow at parts but there are markers to follow on the trees.
View from the top is worth it!

Such a beautiful hike. I would rate this as moderate rather than difficult. The fall colors are still showing, and we had a clear beautiful day. There was no one in the lookout so we opened a shutter and window and hung out there for awhile trying to think of something inspirational to write in the book there :). The road up does get sketchy in a few spots, but as long as you take it slow it’s not too bad.

We hiked this trail Monday 10/15/18 around 9:30 am, we had mostly the trail to ourselves passing only 4-6 people along the way. The top has a outlook with the shutters closed (for winter) and 360° views of the surrounding mountains, absolutely gorgeous on a clear day!

The trail was marked difficult but I found it to be moderate and would totally feel comfortable taking my 8 y.o & 11 y.o (my kids experienced w/ rock scrambling @ Sauk Mt & Railroad Grade). 2 Miles with decent climb but nothing too intense and along the route, there's some side trails for views (continue on).

The road to the TH was rough after Y.A.B and I drove my Outback w/ all season tires, made it taking it slow. Definitely worth the solitude!

Unbelievably fun hike. The Muir snow field is unrelenting though. Muir Camp always seems just over the next hill and then it gets twice as far away when you crest the hill! Total time ROUND TRIP was 6 hours, not sure how it takes most people 5 hours one way. I stopped to film a ton of photos and videos, plus an hour of relaxing in the sunshine at Muir Camp, and it still only took from 1:45pm to 7:45pm to complete. Amazing hike that now makes me want to do the final 4000’ to the summit next summer!

A tough hike and dangerous spent the night with Olive my Welsh terrier definitely would like to do again the views spectacular

It was beautiful!

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!!

Amazing views! Glacier peak, vibrant lake’s color and even the fall’s colors.
It’s a difficult and steep hike but completely doable. (I don’t recommend it for families though).
The road to get to the trailhead isn’t too bad, some small potholes.

hiking
1 month ago

As others have mentioned the hike to the falls is great, but afterwards it's not marked at all. I downloaded the GPX to my Garmin but it didn't seem to match the actual trail so wasn't much help. I reached a ridge line at the top of the falls but turned back b/c I couldn't tell if I was still on the trail or not. Trekking poles were useful to me on the more difficult parts.

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.

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