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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!!!

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.

on Ruby Beach

hiking
1 day ago

Amazing scenery right around the corner from the lodge. Hiked (I guess you could call it that since it’s pretty easy relative to 2nd or 3rd beach) once in the dark of night for some astrophotography shots and then again in the morning. Even though we had hazy weather the scenery was fantastic with great reflections off the beach.

Ice last on north side out of sun
Still quite doable

the scenery is gorgeous, the air smells like christmas candles as you climb. First 3/4 of the trail are easy slow climb, after that it turns into more intense switchbacks. Very snowy and slippery at the top, so wear appropriate footwear. If you have removable krampons or hiking poles I would suggest those for the top portion as I saw lots of people fall and almost fell myself a number of times. I even saw a lady with a sprained ankle being carried down by her husband. Bring lots of layers so that you can take off as you ascend and then put back on as you descend. This time of year when we got to the top at 2:10 the sun was already set on the lake so get an early start, aim to be at the top for noon. Amazing view, so worth it!

hiking
1 day ago

Great quick, and relatively easy hike close to town. There were only a handful of us on the trail but I think that’s mostly because it’s Tuesday...it was pretty quiet once we started climbing which was nice. The last push to the top is tough but not impossible by any means. Views from the top were nice. Would definitely recommend if you don’t want to drive too far, or don’t have all day to hike.

Winter wonderland! Don’t forget your spikes for the last half of the trail.

hiking
2 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
2 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).

hiking
2 days ago

Too many insects/bugs during hike.

Beautiful trail! Not too hard getting up as it only takes an hour to get to the ridge views. Made it up in hiking shoes only although it was snowy throughout and a bit icy. The views are worth every minute! Definitely doing this one again soon.

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

Winter wonderland! Over a foot of snow everywhere! Make sure you bring micro-spikes and hiking poles. Some spots get very slippery. The most beautiful wonder hike I have done so far. (Oh and wear waterproof shoes)

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.

What a surprise—2 mountain goats chowing down on the rocky cliff not far from the climbing face. On a nice day, this is a good choice for a hike close to Seattle. Sweeping views from the top but be prepared to hear I-90 traffic and see ever expanding North Bend.

hiking
5 days ago

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

hiking
6 days ago

Really nice hike with beautiful view points!

hiking
10 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.

This is a great trail to just take in views of the surrounding areas. Although there were definitely others when we went around mid morning on a Sunday, it didn’t really feel too crowded. You are definitely climbing a little but there is nothing too steep. The path is wide and even, which makes it easier. The views of the surrounding mountains and of the water are spectacular. You have many opportunities along the trail to see so many beautiful things. Would definitely do this again and definitely do it mid morning or earlier since it looked like it got cloudier as the day progressed.

hiking
11 days ago

Unfortunately there was too much water to cross one of the waterfalls that had developed due to the rain lately. We were one of four groups that doubled back. Seems like it would be beautiful based on the first 30 minutes though!

hiking
11 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!

hiking
11 days ago

Always a fun little hike :)

Great view from the top! A little steep at the end, but totally worth it.

Took a hike in the rain and I’m glad I did! We parked close to the ranger house and you can take a peak at the river before you start your hike. The trail is easy to follow and there is a fork but don’t worry, both of the paths will take you to the fall viewing area. Bathroom by the falls Incase you feel the urge to go.

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

hiking
13 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!

Gorgeous views, especially on a clear fall day. It was pretty crowded on the trail, but we did go on a Sunday. Get there early if you can, the views are worth it! The lake is clear and worth the hike.

hiking
14 days ago

Beautiful views! Totally worth the hike up☺️

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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