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hiking
8 hours ago

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.

Short 2mi. round trip hike. The bridges are a little slick during the Winter months. Beautiful hike and the cave is breathtaking! A child friendly hike.

Did this hike today and it was very very nice!!! A little muddy, but that’s ok. Very pretty peaceful hike only saw a couple others on the trail. It’s worth it to hike the extra mile to the second lake. It was fairly easy for the most part. A couple spots had your heart pumpin, but other than that it was very mild. The sounds of the water were so calming and it was very well maintained!! Had a great time!!!’

absolutely amazing hike, especially beautiful in the fall.

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!!!

Wow!! That will be the reaction of 99.99% of people who do this hike, the other .01% are most likely crazy people. The magical, towering mountains around this mountain lake are simply breathtaking. It was a cold day with ice and a little snow in the higher elevations of the trail. The lake isn’t frozen over yet and the water still shows the bright blue color it’s known for. We clicked it at 8 miles round trip. Took us about 3 hrs up and 2 hrs back down. There is a few spots with fallen trees that you will need to go over or under. But overall the trail is very well maintained and easy to navigate.

Ice last on north side out of sun
Still quite doable

hiking
4 days ago

Really beautiful hike around this time of the year, this hike offers some of the best views Washington trails has to offer. The lake is starting to freeze up and theres lots of snow and black ice once you start getting to higher elevations so be cautious! I would say this trail falls more on the moderate side than hard, it took us 3 hours to get to the top and 2 hours going back down. Would recommend this hike for everyone!

hiking
5 days ago

It took about 2h30m getting to the lake and 1h30m going down for my team. It was so windy at the lake while we got there (about 2pm).

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.

hiking
5 days ago

Too many insects/bugs during hike.

hiking
5 days ago

Great long hike with rewarding views at the end. There are beautiful waterfalls along the way.

The only reason I am taking a star off is the lack of signs this trail has. Towards the end my friend and I took a major detour because there were fallen trees and the trail was hidden with snow. We found the lake though! So worth the hike we did it round trip in 4 hours and a half. Very icy towards the end so be careful.

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
6 days ago

Beautiful views of the Mountains. Some trees down over the path that are tricky to navigate. Really icy at the top and around the lake. The path around the lake isn’t an easy one, but worth the walk. Amazing pics!

hiking
7 days ago

Completed 11/10 - although snow was on trail from the beginning, it was still very well maintained the whole way! Wore hiking boots and runners and both were fine but traction would have been great.
Frozen, snowy lake, no larch color left, but was beautiful blue bird day! Will return, but preferably larch season.

hiking
8 days ago

this hike from trail head to lake only about 3 miles one way. easy and pretty.

The trail was beautiful and the creeks were flowing fast. Lots to see! The lakes were peaceful and surrounded by snow dusted trees. The snow was just a dusting but the trail was very wet up top and some deep mud in places so watch your step! I would say this is an easy-moderate hike. This would be a good hike for families as there are flat spots in-between the switchbacks. The trail was closer to 6 miles. Great late fall hike!

**You will be on the old trail because the new one is under construction but it is well kept and meets right back up with the mapped trail.

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.

hiking
13 days ago

Absolutely stunning. We did this hike in a day that was supposed to be rainy but for the most part there were no rain. The trail was very beautiful, it was among these trees, mosses, fallen leaves and ferns. It was one of the most beautiful trails I've seen in Washington.
The hike is super moderate and the gain is very gradual. We did the loop, taking the Upper Elliot trail hiking up and Lower Elliot trail hiking down. My AllTrails app says 11.4 miles total. We walked around the lake too.
At this time of year, there were many waterfalls on the way up and also around the lake itself. All were really gorgeous. I should also mention, we took highway 530 and the tree colors were really beautiful.

hiking
13 days ago

My friend and I, who I'd classify as novice hikers, were able to complete this hike in 7 hours. It took us 4.5 hours up and 2.5 hours down.

We went on Nov. 2nd the conditions were muddy at most. No ice on the trail that we experienced.

There are some seriously beautiful viewpoints on the way up and was well worth it at the end. Unfortunately it was cloudy and rainy so we hope to go back again in the summer to see it all again.

We persevered but I wouldn't recommend this to someone who is totally inexperienced. It was very hard for us. However, a great hike for any seasoned hiker.

In addition, we both recorded approximately 10 miles, not the the listed 7.7 miles.

hiking
13 days ago

This is one of the most beautiful places I’ve seen in my life! The trail is tough but not as hard as some other hikes I’ve done. The views at the top are absolutely worth it, take a day trip and go here. You won’t be disappointed! Also, lots of Chipmunks!

the roots and rope climbing sections here are definitely a highlight

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

hiking
14 days ago

Hiked Nov 3: NW Forest Pass needed, easy road terrain driving in, bathrooms at TH. Well-marked, slight incline/decline, trail was not slick, a few blow-downs, very very wet, sometimes feel as if you are walking through a waterfall while on the trail, although it was easy to navigate. Huge beautiful old growths and so many waterfalls, I lost count! Lake 22 was beautiful! Quite popular but not overcrowded. Can’t wait to come back in the Spring!

hiking
16 days ago

Hiked this trail for the 2nd time yesterday. And as always it was awesome. Trail was dry, had mud in spots but nothing to worry about. Brought a fishing pole up and managed to catch a few rainbow trout. All in all it was a great hike, ass kicker for sure. But worth every bit of it!

Perfect and easy little hike!

Super easy hike to the really cool caves!

backpacking
17 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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