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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!!!

We did this hike on Mothers Day. We took the old trail up & new trail down..wear proper shoes for the down hill. Amazing accomplishment....hardest
one for me so far

hiking
1 day ago

The toughest I have ever done!! absolutely worth it! Me and friend went during off season when the cables came down. If that's the case please bring safety equipment (carabineers, harness, leather gloves) if you are planning to do the 400 ft. climb along the face of Half Dome. We did not have that equipment so I didn't do it, because safety always comes first! Have a safe hike guys and don't forget to bring lots of water and salted snacks :)

So beautiful especially when the larch trees are in all their autumn glory. I hiked this 10/24 and the larches were in full effect. I hiked counterclockwise and I was very happy with the decision. It was a busy trail even on a Wednesday so I would suggest off peak times if possible.

A little busy but the view from the top was absolutely amazing! The trail was icy in several spots. Should have brought some light ice cleats but it was still doable.

Always an amazing hike!!

Definitely a workout! Did this hike on Monday (11/13) and it was relatively busy at the top from it being a holiday. My phone recorded round trip about 12 miles, but I’m not sure how accurate this is. The last 0.5 miles are a grind but the view from the top is worth it. Watch for ice patches, poles are a good idea. When we hiked a group of hockey players were taking up a fire hydrant, look for it at the top!!

Our gps said there was a road closure but that was false. Got there with no issues. At some point the cave has collapsed a large portion. see pics. There is also a huge crack on the left side of cave. Also a crack in the upper center piece of the cave. Hiking baby did not go inside the cave. I went in and walked towards the back and there is an amazing waterfall in the back of the cave. After leaving the cave went further down the trail and if you stand next to the small opening you can feel a draft like a fan. Pretty neat. Further down there is another waterfall.

One for the bucket list.

Beautiful hike! Boyfriend and I were the only ones on the trail until the very end! Amazing views. We could see mount rainier, Adams, hood, and Helens.

Very scenic trail. Need good hiking shoes preferably waterproof. Cold at the top in November!

We took the new trail up and the old trail down which I think was the opposite of what we should have done. The new trail while it takes you longer was a nicely groomed trail while the old trail down was hard on the knees and hips with big steps down through root systems of trees. I am not tall so for me some of these steps were rather large.

Next time I would either do old trail up and new trail down or just stick to the new trail knowing it will take longer. The view at the top was amazing and well worth the hike! It was a little icy today but the sun melted a lot of the ice off the summit!

11/10/18

We got to the trail around 10AM and we didn't see another person the entire time, until we were almost back to the car. It ended up being a beautiful, sunny day and the views were amazing. Well worth the trek up.

As another person said, it's pretty easy to miss the sign that says trail. As soon as you walk out of the trees, there's a great opening to see Mt. Rainier and it's easy to get distracted and miss the small sign. Be sure to look behind you as you probably passed it. There is another trail if you continue walking straight, but from what I read, it's a bit more of a scramble.

The trail was pretty narrow the entire way and there was already a light layer of snow. It was manageable without micro spike but there were a few slippery moments. As soon as you're out of the trees and start the switchbacks, that's where you feel the gain. It wasn't terrible, but I did have to take a few short breaks here and there (I'd say I'm about an average hiker). The closer we got to the top, the more snow started to appear. Probably a few inches already. I'd suggest when going down to at least have spikes or hiking poles, but that's me personally.

Road conditions - there was already snow on the road and there were a few moments, mostly going downhill, that we slid a little bit. The road itself wasn't bad and parts of the drive were a bit exposed, so take your time.

Google maps had us make a right turn about 6-8 miles(ish) (once we were on the dirt road) which had a pretty big pot hole, but it's not actually a road. It dead ends into woods a couple hundred feet up. Keep to the left/straight and it will meet up again with the road google tries to tell you to take. The parking lot to the trailhead isn't very big at all and you see a trail sign but there's no name to it.

hiking
5 days ago

This was the very first portion of the Pacific Crest Trail Larry and I hiked. Interestingly, I felt a sense of pride hiking the trail having read Cheryl Strayed book Wild and watching the movie. I understand she did not hike this far north on the PCT. It was beautiful and awe-inspiring nonetheless.

Oct 2018 - Woodsy and well-marked trails. It was very pretty in the fall with lots of color. I wanted to get a couple hours of walking in before it rained. Even though it started drizzling, I didn’t mind so much with all the tree cover. Encountered some young families and mountain bikers. Great little getaway.

hiking
6 days ago

Awesome hike with amazing views at the top of half dome. I did this as a day hike in November with the cables down. I left the valley at 630 am right as the sun was coming out and I was the ONLY person at half dome. Had the whole place to myself. The hiking by Vernal and Nevada falls is the toughest part. Half dome is easy with a harness, some rope, and some leather gloves. Half dome with the cables down is a much more enjoyable experience, you just have to be more prepared but definitely worth it! Total hike took 9 hours to the top of half dome and back to the valley, the hike is tough and exhausting but with the appropriate rest and breaks it can be very enjoyable.

In this time the season we couldn’t get to far due to the ice over creeks. Come very very prepared for ice. Overall a great hike, just wish we could do it all. Come early and don’t start too late.

For almost 4K of vertical gain, this trail slope is very gradual. Nice, wide tread the whole way to tree line. The rock steps through the talus field makes navigating to the summit easy. There is snow from about 3800’ up, but is passable without extra traction. Maybe bring a trekking pole for the decent from the summit. Weather supposed to be nice this weekend so I imagine there will be some melting. Views from the summit are dope.

Easy trail. The ice caves are very cool. If you go inside of them there is a waterfall at the end. Because the caves are melting the ice drips from the roof, so prepare to get wet. Bring a flashlight.

Great Hike.

hiking
12 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.

hiking
12 days ago

I have hiked this trail twice before but hiked it again today on November 3rd. I went 3.5 miles and then turned back, but could have gone further given the snow. It was snowing but very lightly. People I passed said you could go further than I went—one said just one grade away from the pass. Don’t let the snow stop you on this one even if you can’t do the full loop. You can still do quite a bit and it’s still beautiful!

Note: I always go counter-clockwise.

Also, there were less than 10 groups hiking today.

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

hiking
12 days ago

I am a beginner and it was my second hike. I went there on Saturday around 12pm and returned at 7:15pm. It was hard for me but I enjoyed a lot. I would suggest not to add 0.7 mile for Ann lake because there is nothing to see, rather you will get nice view form the top.

If you are beginner then it’s really hard for you, as per my experience.

This trail is incredibly beautiful, even when it’s foggy. We didn’t have much visibility due to the weather, but it was so gorgeous with the fog and fall colors. Go before the road closes for winter, but beware of ice. We got to see the larches, and the whole trail was lovely.

Absolutely beautiful! We hiked this trail on October 16, 2018. The larch trees along with the fall colors had us using the words beautiful, amazing, breathtaking several times. We went clockwise (steeper on the way up) this made for a much easier time on the knees for the trip down. We plan to make another trip next spring!

Super easy hike to the really cool caves!

hiking
15 days ago

Certainly a hike for your bucket list. Just make sure that you get your permits in advance. We tried to get ours on 5 separate occasions and never got lucky. In the end, on our last day in Yosemite, we decided to hike up anyway to see how far we would be allowed to go. As luck had it, we ran into a group of other hikers who had 2 extra permits, so we were able to make it all the way to the top. Otherwise, the permit check is just below Subdome, which means is that there are some views to be had even without the permit, however, they are nowhere near as impressive as from the top and you won't even see the Half Dome at all. The rangers check the your permit against an ID of at least one person in the group, so if you don't get lucky with your own applications, you really need to find a group of people who have extra permits - getting a permit from people who get tired and turn back doesn't help.

As for the hike itself, it is not nearly as difficult as I had expected it to be. That said, it does take a better part of the day, so be prepared for it, head out early in the morning and bring plenty of water, especially if going in summer. The cables look scarier than they in fact are - the only annoying thing about them is trying to avoid all the people going in the other direction, especially if you arrive during a busier day.

On the way back, my suggestion would be to take the John Muir Trail between Nevada and Vernal Falls. It might be slightly longer but offers stunning views of Nevada Falls and is also less steep than the Mist Trail - something your knees might thank you for later.

In all, if you have the chance and ability, I really can't recommend this highly enough!

backpacking
15 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!

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