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Wenatchee National Forest is a U.S. National Forest located in Washington. With an area of 1,735,394 acres (2,711.55 sq mi, or 7,022.89 km²), it extends about 137 miles along the eastern slopes of the Cascade Range of Washington, USA from Okanogan National Forest to Gifford Pinchot National Forest. The forest is located in Chelan, Kittitas and Yakima counties.

First of all, don't always trust your GPS. My GPS took me to the wrong forest road. Luckily I checked the National Forest website for directions and was able to find the right forest road to the trail head. The views where great on this hike. The trail was a little steep, lucky it was a short hike. If you have kids that are a little nervous about heights or steep trails, don't take them on this hike. I learned this the hard way.

The hikes first 2 miles are pretty easy but it's not until the last 1.5 where all the incline is. It was challenging for me but well worth it when we finally reached the lake. If it wasn't so cold, I would have happily jumped in. We decided after some rest, to continue on the additional mile or so to rampart lakes. That was amazing! If you have the energy for it, I'd go and enjoy the colorful fall colors already setting in and seeing the additional little lakes.

closed because of wild fire

hiking
1 day ago

As of September 2017, The route that is featured on the map for this hike is incorrect. The route posted by Monica Lough is the correct one, and is accessed from Mountain Home Ranch Rd. The incorrect route shown on the map is accessed from Ingalls Creek road and in our opinion should be avoided. The trail is actually a dirt forest service road and a gate blocks access to the first few miles requiring even more walking along the road than is shown on the map. Suggest doing a little research before heading out for the trailhead to make sure you can find the trailhead shown on Monica Lough’s map.

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

backpacking
2 days 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

hiking
2 days ago

hiking
2 days ago

Well groomed, enjoyable hiking trail. Provides a beautiful view of the valley.

We didn't see much wildlife.

It was a long hike but lake view wasnt that great than i expectes.

hiking
8 days ago

Yeah, the road was different the last two miles with deep ruts. A Volvo sedan was at the TH though so its more about driving confidence and ability then anything. Seems a nice fancy Lexus SUV with plenty of clearance didnt make it to the top though.

This is a five star hike in my opinion as it has spectacular scenery and can provide a workout when climbing up towards Spider Gap. The trail is in great shape, better then the road in fact. Its a long hike but a great hike for someone wanting to cover some distance. There is a fork for Spider Gap and Phelps Basin, choose to head up towards Spider Gap and continue until there are some campsites as a turn around location. This part took about a half hour but may vary as its all up and fairly steep. The view and setting above are worth if for most.

After lunch we headed toward the basin and within five minutes we found ripe yummy blueberries! It took us about three hours to get to the split from the car and it took my two hours to get back but I had a pretty good pace going back. The hike took the seven of us about 7 hours and 45 minutes round trip with plenty of stops. The drive from Monroe took 2 hours and 45 minutes in a SUV. Add 20-30 min you dont have a larger truck and dont like driving on gravel roads.