Explore the most popular backpacking trails in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Great hike in May. No snow, but a little crowded. A lot of elevation gain and switch backs.

It was a stunning day up Ingall's creek. We hiked to Falls Creek the trail was in good shape the whole way. We did encounter a few blow downs but they were easy to go over. The wildflowers are starting to bloom, in a few weeks it will be gorgeous. We were lucky in the fact that we did not see any rattlesnakes!! I did not notice any bugs. Snow was not a factor for the hike as far as we went. We did see a lot of other hikers out enjoying the day as well. Just wonderful!!

Attempted the trail to Cougar Mtn in early Apr. Snow started at around the 2,800 ft level but snowshoes were not required until around 3,000 ft. Many trees impeded the progress. Not way to go around most, which meant that we had to go over them. Not easy with snowshoes and a pack. After 4 hrs of difficult hiking, we only covered 3.1 mi and 2,00 ft in elevation. There was no way to make it to the proposed camp area before dark at the rate we were going and the terrain was only getting steeper. This trail will be attempted again but after snow has cleared.

Did this in 2015 with a few friends. Note that coming down to the lower side, having ascended Aasgard Pass, requires some boulder clambering skills, though no extra equipment above a pair of shoes with good grip is required. Outstanding views along the way. Really is a must hike for any fit person in Washington.

One of the most beautiful hike.

The enchantments basin is incredible and worth the trip. One of the best hikes in Washington

There are mountain goats in the region that will follow you.

Unbelievable views at the top! I feel like I’m in Montana. I also recommend windy peak and Mt Bonaparte if your in the area.

I agree with the other reviews. Beautiful, difficult, bug repellant is a must, force yourself to go the extra mile+ to the Rampart lakes, hiking poles would have been very helpful, especially on the way down (big, steep steps, rocky and or roots).
We went on a Monday and had a couple lakes to ourselves and shared the others with only 2-4 people. So tranquil and awesome. I love waterfalls and wildflowers and they were everywhere! Also, yes, its cold but you have to swim in one of the lakes.

backpacking
6 months ago

This is an incredible overnight trip. I know there are a lot of questions right now about trail conditions and trailhead access. We were skeptical ourselves. However, as of Sunday morning, the trailhead is easily accessible for high clearance vehicles. Two friends and I went out in a Honda Accord and had to park before the last wash-out, although this wash-out is only MAYBE a quarter of a mile from the trailhead, so the extra walk is not bad at all. Intermittent snow on your way up to Ingalls Pass, although its all easily passable. Once you reach the pass the North side is all under snow. The trail can be hard to find at times, but now that the snow has been worked in, you should be able to follow where others have gone. You will need microspikes or crampons for sure. We camped in the basin for a night and it was spectacular. Got a little chilly at night but not bad. The lake is gorgeous and worth the hike up from your camp site, although, it is quite steep and will make you work for it. If the weather turns and the trail gets more snow, I don't see how it would be passable without snowshoes--there is already 4-18" depending on area.

One of the best views I have had in Washington. Love the enchantments.

Gorgeous in October. Weather was warmer than expected and the sunshine made the colours pop! Especially the Golden Tamaracks and the aqua water in Nada Lake and Upper Snow Lake. It was recommended by hikers coming down from Lake Viviane that I use ice cleats or snow shoes above Snow Lakes. I didn't have the gear so I didn't go any further. But there was very little snow up to that point, and hardly any mud. Very few people mid-week. New granite slides made the trail a little trickier but still a piece of cake for an experienced hiker.

Very challenging trail in the snow, make sure you have adequate dry clothing and warm clothing, especially when staying over night. A beautiful destination, the elevation gain was very intense for a beginning backpacker

hiking
7 months ago

The ridge line and meadow was my favorite part, with all the beautiful golden Larches in full display.

Vehicle drives you to the alpine. Good forestry road with some washboard, rocks and pot holes. Allow 1.5 hours from highway to trailhead. Nice coffee shop/store in Manama to refresh. Although a relatively flat side hill traverse, weather can be an issue with heat in the summer and cold/wind in the late fall. Views are spectacular. No water. Several side peaks to scramble up for the overly energetic.

This hike was definitely more fulfilling than my previous hike to Lake Vicente (which was also gorgeous)
It took us about 13 hours to complete while taking several long breaks. It definitely isn’t just 17.9 miles, especially considering you’ll wander around some parts for pictures. Ended up being 22.4 miles total. We started at the Stuart Lake trailhead, so the first 8 miles were very strenuous but also extremely beautiful. After completing the hike, I was glad I didn’t start at the Snow Lakes trailhead, as it is very tedious, long, and not too exciting until you reach the upper enchantments. There were also so many switchbacks and boulder fields on the snow lakes side, it was pretty annoying for me. If I were to do it again, I wouldn’t do it in one day, as it is very strenuous, no matter how fit you think you are. I would also turn around after reaching the upper enchantments after submitting asgaard pass. Asgaard pass has a reputation for a reason by the way. It is a killer! Very steep! Took us about 2 hours to climb it. The views at the top are indescribable though. I truly have no words for how beautiful it is. Lots of beautiful larches at the top as well. There are many helpful cairns throughout the hike, and in some places, you will need to refer to them.

hiking
7 months ago

Long gradual climb that never felt steep. About 6 miles to Upper Eagle Lake and another mile to head down to the lower lake. Golden larches this time of year made for some great scenery.

hiking
7 months ago

This is an awesome trail with fantastic 360 view

hiking
7 months ago

Awesome hike. Great views of snow lake and the lake below. Had really cool goat encounters. Not too busy. I did up and back. I would have probably should have just continued on to Colchuck (if it was open and I had a 2nd car), since its only not even 2 more miles.

hiking
7 months ago

I did this hike with a friend, and while I am not a fan of the trail itself between the parking lot and Rachel Lake... both were gorgeous. Lila Lake felt very remote, but also safe as there were a few campers there too. I wouldn't go alone.

I stupidly hiked alone to Rampart Lakes with a bikini in my backpack and got lost in deep snow one July. Not my proudest moment, but fortunately I had standard extra food, water, layers! I also find the trail up to even Rachel Lake to be very unpleasant. Everything up there is gorgeous though and somehow people brought tons of kids both times I passed Rachel Lake - which seems like a fun, place to camp and swim. I would't recommend going alone to anyone, and of course, don't be stupid like I was that day. :-/ This trail also put my bug spray to the test!

backpacking
7 months ago

addended: As said before, multiple cars at trailhead but in 2 days saw no-one

backpacking
7 months ago

This is a very good "breaking in" trail to get the season started. Very pleasant trail with a variety of scenery, waterfalls forest, large meadows, rocky peaks, good wildflowers. The only bummer is that when you reach the lake it is accessible by an ATV trail on the other side. I camped one night at the lake and only 1 motor cycle passed in the distance though. There's a table in a campsite there plau for more primitive sites walk half-way around the east side. The lake is more beautiful than the pix in various guide books as those pix only show the west peaks. The photo on this page shows the east peaks.

This is a late review. Myself and 5 other guys won a core zone permit in July of 2015 and hiked this one in three days, spending two nights. We camped at edge of Colchuck Lake on night one and camped at Snow Lake on night two. So we walked about 6 miles a day.

This hike / camping trip was a total adventure. Just an amazing life experience. Such a beautiful wonderland in this area. Absolutely recommended for anyone who wants a transformative hiking experience. If you can get the permit and spend a couple of nights- that's the way to go.

What I liked about starting on the Colchuck side: going up Asgard Pass. It was hard and mildly harrowing with a 25+ pound pack on, but it made for a fine feeling of accomplishment when we got to the top. We had to make it to Snow Lake to camp by night fall so that was a big day in terms of exercise, but short of adding another night to the trip- that was the way to do it.

Colchuck lake/Stuart lake trail head is still closed guys!

backpacking
7 months ago

Check out our video at TrailPerspective on YouTube: https://youtu.be/aX2oTF55Rzs

We started hiking the enchantments at the Snow Lakes TH due to the Jack Creek Fire closing down the Stuart Lake TH, making the thru hike impossible. We decided to do an out and back hike from Snow Lakes TH since we had a Core Enchantment Permit.

When we started the trail from Snow Lakes TH at 7:30AM we saw people very infrequently, and only the smell of smoke was evident. After completing the switchback marathon shortly after leaving the trailhead, we stopped once just before the Snow Creek crossing and again at the day use area on Nada Lake (Nada is way more beautiful than i expected,better than snow in my opinion). After lunch at Nada, we pushed to the snow lakes and encountered our first real boulder scrambling/decent elevation push. Cairns are easy to follow, just remember to keep looking for them. We often stopped looking out for them and just followed what we thought was the trail. Never got too far off course, but the cairns are there for a reason and following them is most likely the easiest path.

We arrived at the Snow Lakes exhausted, and saw plenty of open campsites around 1pm. However, many people seem to start from the TH late (9:00 or later) and expect to get a site at snow lake when they roll in around 6pm. I would highly recommend starting early or if starting late, settling for a site at Nada or earlier. We saw many hikers desperately seeking sites at snow lake around 4-6pm on our way back out.

So we continued to push toward the end of upper snow lake where we found a very nice campsite at the base of the push to Lake Viviane and the start of the core enchantment zone. It was 2pm and we were exhausted. Even though we took it very slow the entire day, other factors such as my buddy recovering from a respritory infection, etc prevented us from making better time.

Against our better judgement, we decided to push to Viviane on our first day. We were in that sort of numb exhaustion where you're tired but your body is just on autopilot. Anyway, this push from snow to viviane was definitely the hardest portion of the trip for us. However, this might've been due to our already depleted energy levels.

Alot of boulder scrambling and pretty much nothing but elevation gain, we arrived at lake viviane and set up camp. There was a commanding view from this site with boulders all around to lay out on (in attached video). Upper snow lake can be seen and its probably the best camp spot for watching the sunrise due to dropoff to snow lake being right next to it. There was a toilet with the best view, and was by far the best trail dump i've ever taken. Being able to sit down to go to the bathroom outdoors is a crazy luxury.

We were then stalked by a goat the entire night. We never peed at the site, but the goat was intelligent and knew that hikers mean pee so he didn't leave us alone. It was like having a dog just chilling at the foot of your bed. The goat was there when we went to sleep, and when we woke up at night. Not aggressive but we still kept our distance, even though he pretty much followed us on all of our camp chores.

The following day, we deeper into the core and were stunned by the beauty of the lakes (leprechaun,sprite,perfection,inspiration,gnome tarn). They were all sooo stunning and the smoke was non-existent. Its hard to choose but I would say my favorites were (Viviane,Gnome tarn,Leprechaun,& perfection).

We set up camp at Perfection, and lighten our packs to day hike out to Gnome tarn for some tea. By the time we made it up to Prusik pass, looking back at perfection lake and little annapurna was begining to look very smoky (pic attached). The route to gnome tarn beyond Prusik Pass is difficult to navigate. Theres cairns but some must have been knocked over, and so we had to basically just blind scramble until we got to the base of Prusik and found the trail down to Gnome Tarn. This side trip is an ABSOLUTE MUST, gnome tarn is so stunningly beautiful with prusik in the background. Prusik looks so different from every angle and this angle from gnome tarn is the MOST stunning. Lake viviane is also visible from the gnome tarn area, far below.

On our way back to camp at perfection, the smoke make little Annapurna disapear. We couldn't see it from perfection anymore. Worried about my hiking partner's respritory infection, we decided to pack up and get back down to Snow lake to make the hike out easier for the next day (~8mi instead of ~11mi). By the time we got back down to the snow lakes around 4pm, many sites were taken. However, we found a good site on lower snow putting us right near the decent to Nada for the next day.

This is were we started seeing hikers rolling in from their first day and expecting to find a spot at Snow at like 6PM! Not much available to say the least.

Our last day was a ton of descent and passing alot of sleeping

Wow, what an amazing adventure! My group had the Enchantment trail at times to ourselves. Simply gorgeous

backpacking
8 months ago

Great trail, camps spread out before you start the steeper grade at 7 mi.. Buck creek pass is a further 3 miles with some 2000 feet additional elevation gain. From the trailhead to the pass it's 10 miles and around 3300 feet in elevation gain. From the pass the views are spectacular. Definitely will be going back. On top I saw 2 camps but if you don't hike with extra water you would want to re-supply water at buck creek a half a mile back toward the trailhead. I could easily spend a full day up at buck creek pass doing side trails and climbing. The weather on top was deteriorating pretty fast and the camps are fairly exposed so while I was there so I hiked the mile and a half further to Small Creek and camped there.

If you have several days to play with take a good look at the map. There is a lot of good hiking around in the area. Ran into 2 guys who had gone from the phelps trailhead which makes a loop. This trail also hooks into section k of the pct.

On a side note next time I will be staying the night at one of the camps before the grade and hiking up to the pass the next day to give myself a full day up top.

hiking
8 months ago

Just amazing view after amazing view.
Start early if you're through hiking. The terrain makes it take longer than you might anticipate and will require a pretty high level of fitness.
-Download your map. I got slightly off trail a couple times and it was invaluable in helping guide me (and others who had also strayed) back on trail.
-Pack a portable phone charger. You'll be taking lots of pictures.
-Bring a filter. Water's everywhere. No need to carry a lot of water weight in your pack.
-Leave a beverage on ice in your car at the bottom. It'll give you something to look forward to slogging through those last miles. And DAMN it tastes fine as you sit down, scroll through your photos reliving the experience and congratulate yourself on your achievement.

As good as it gets! Great hike up to bucks pass

This one starts out easy. It's almost misleading. But once the switchbacks start, it's a definite burner. I would say this was one of the harder ones I've done. The last 1.5 mile stretch to Tuck is hard and exhausting. But once you're up it's so worth it. Beautiful views. The trail up to Robin is hard to find. Multiple groups including ours were lost trying to find it.

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