The Enchantments Trail

HARD 93 reviews
#2 of 136 trails in

The Enchantments Trail is a 17.9 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.

DISTANCE
17.9 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
5383 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Point to Point

backpacking

birding

hiking

nature trips

rock climbing

trail running

walking

forest

lake

river

views

waterfall

wild flowers

wildlife

blowdown

old growth

rocky

scramble

snow

no dogs

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.

hiking
8 days ago

8 days ago

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

hiking
14 days 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.

hiking
18 days ago

The best hike I've been on in the PNW. Awesome alpine lakes! The fires kinda messed up the view but eventually blew over to get a quick picture.

Aasgard Pass is a beast don't go here half stepping because it will destroy you. I didn't go through to snow lake but perfection lake was a good place to stop to be back by 730pm of you depart at 730am.

I honestly didn't want to leave. Words and pictures don't do the Enchantments any justice. You have to see it to believe it.

You can hike through or camp over night. I'll camp overnight next time for sure.

Last bit of advice, have good gps or a well drawn, dependable map. There are a lot or carnes but getting around can throw you off path quickly. There a lot of ppl so you won't get lost.

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19 days ago

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20 days ago

Very challenging but possible in a day. Majestic views.

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