The Enchantments Trail is a 18 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Leavenworth, Washington that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from July until October.
This is THE backpacking destination in the state of Washington. Wander through soft tundra meadows, glacial-cirque lakes, crystal clear trickling streams, and impossible granite rock formations in the heart of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. It will make you feel like you're in a completely different part of the world. Note that you MUST have a permit to camp in this area and they are distributed months in advance, so plan ahead and see below for more info. This area is thought to be discovered by A.H. Sylvester, who was originally a topographer for the USGS but went on to supervise Wenatchee National Forest starting in 1908. Climbers didn't start enjoying this area for recreation until the late 1940's. [100 Hikes in Washington's Alpine Lakes (1st ed.), Spring, Ira; Manning, Harvey, 1993] And the permit system, designed to protect the area from destructive humans, was not put in place until 1981. The big question is: which side to enter from? The Snow Lake entrance is longer, more gradual, and less scenic. The Colchuck Lake entrance is shorter and steeper (maybe even slippery and dangerous), but Colchuck Lake is beautiful. The traditional entrance would be Snow Lake because this side brings you through the Enchantments "in order," meaning you start in the Lower Enchantments and work your way up to the Upper Enchantments. It's your choice, but this guide is written assuming you're hiking in from Snow Lake, all the way through the Enchantments, and out the Colchuck Lake side. The permit lottery system might actually decide this for you based on what zones you're allowed to camp in! Some individuals more on the "hard" end of the spectrum that will do this entire through-hike in one day. If you have a light pack, it's possible, but bring a headlamp and enough food and gear to spend the night if you have to. No fires or dogs up here. But there will be enough scenery to keep you company.
I did this hike about 4 years ago in the late spring early summer. A difficult hike with breathtaking scenery and lots of mountain goats. We took our time and completed this hike in a few days, enough time to bask in the overwhelming beauty-it's for good reason that this area is called "The Enchantments". While we did encounter several other groups of hikers along the way, the peace and pristine tranquility was in abundance. This is still one of my favorite and most memorable hikes.
Great job on this Guide. Very well done. I got to explore a little of the Enchantments last year backpacking into Stuart Lake. Such a beautiful place.
Absolutely worth the exhaustion! Just make sure to hike to the left on Aasgard Pass. Made the mistake of "short-cutting" and trying to slip through the right side, and it didn't end up very well. Got a little hurt with some falling boulders, so make sure to stay safe and enjoy the beauty!
Did a traverse from Stuart lake trailhead to Snow lakes trailhead. The beauty is hard to describe and seems enchantments is a total different place from its neighboring city. It snowed in the afternoon and the ground was covered with some snow, but may not last for long.
One of the most magical hikes you will ever get to do. Go early so you have the opportunity to enjoy all the mesmerizing views you will have along the way. I did the full 28 mile loop. Assgard pass is tough but not impossible if you take your time and enjoy the backdrops. The best advise I can give you is taking a water filter as there is no need to carry water and also a good battery charger for your phone as you'll be taking plenty of pictures!!
The most beautiful hike you'll ever do. Length varies from so many different reviews. Our hike yesterday was tracked at 27 miles. The first 20 miles are gorgeous, very scenic and entertaining. The last 7 miles, from snow lake, is like the never ending trail. It's hard to get through it mentally as you can't imagine it is so long back to the car. A must do hike, a bucket list check off.
Challenging and spectacular, easily one of the most stunning scenic trails in the world.
just wrote a post in my blog about my trip this last august!! loved every moment of it.