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The Enchantments Trail is a 23.6 mile heavily trafficked point-to-point trail located near Leavenworth, Washington that features a lake and is only recommended for very experienced adventurers. The trail is primarily used for hiking, rock climbing, camping, and backpacking and is best used from July until October.

Length 23.6 mi Elevation gain 5,003 ft Route type Point to Point

Backpacking

Camping

Hiking

Rock climbing

Forest

Lake

River

Views

Waterfall

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Blowdown

Rocky

Scramble

Snow

No dogs

Description
Waypoints (42)
Facilities
Contact
Tips
Getting There

NOTE: As of September 2019, there is a new no overflow parking. Be careful not to park in "NO PARKING" areas - there areas are subject to ticketing. New parking rules that no overflow parking is allowed beyond the parking lot. Park on Right side of the road because there is no “No Parking” sign clearly posted near the parking lot but there is one on the Left side. A “No parking” sign is posted further down on the Right side. Ticket is $50 plus a $30 processing fee! 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.

Federal Northwest Forest Pass required to park, backcountry camping permits required to camp, awarded by lottery by the Leavenworth Ranger Staion

Wenatchee National Forest Leavenworth Ranger Station 600 Sherbourne Leavenworth, WA 98826 Tel: 509.458.6977

I recommend an overnight trip that's at least two nights, hopefully three. For this, you'll need a permit, which is not easy to get. Applications for permits are accepted starting in February each year. There is an art to applying because you can be as flexible as you want with dates and locations. It's always a balancing act between trying to get the right time of year and making sure you actually get a permit. You usually know by March/April if you "scored" and are permitted camp up there. Permits are broken out by Zones: Core Enchantments, Snow Lake, and Colchuck Lake. Even if you don't get the Core Enchantments, you can still really enjoy the area by keeping camp at Snow or Colchuck Lakes. If you don't get one, show up at the Leavenworth Ranger Station at 7:45 AM Mon-Sat to see if you can get lucky and grab from the small daily lottery. If you still fail, it's probably worth waiting until after 9 AM, when they start handing out unclaimed reserved permits. Watch out for mice at your campsite. Get all your food bagged up and airtight. Hang it up in a tree if you want. They probably won't get into unopened Mountain House meals and I've seen heavy-duty Ziploc bags (fully airtight) cloak the smell of food so they didn't take interest. But they can and will chew through the material of your backpack to get to food that they can smell from the outside.

From Leavenworth, S on Icicle Creek Rd (FSR 7600) 8.5 miles. Left on FSR 7601 for 4 miles to Stuart Lake trailhead at end of road

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (679)
Photos (2174)
Recordings (521)
Completed (1313)
Elizabeth Jean
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jul 06 2020
HikingRockyScrambleSnow

Parked at Snow lake trailhead at 5 am July 4th. Was able to get a parking spot. Took the loop connector shuttle to the stuart lake trail head where I started the hike at 5:30am. Asagard pass was steep but doable—sturdy shoes are a must. Saw lots of goats and baby goats. Still snow in some parts of the core. Wish I had spikes or crampons and poles because there were times I was sliding a lot downhill in the snow and that was dangerous. I didn’t need a jacket other than my fleece and I wore shorts. Lots of areas of clean water to fill up bottle. Wish I brought some bug spray. Easy to follow the trail with the cairns. Overall a beautiful experience. Finished at 6 pm. So worth it

Jennifer Wong
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 05 2020
HikingRockyScrambleSnow
Rod Standing
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSun Jul 05 2020
Hiking

Hiked all the way through on 7-4. Had leavenworth shuttle company pick us up at Snow lakes trail head and drop us off at Steward lake trail head. We made it all the way through in 11.5 hours with lots of short breaks. Water resistant shoes or boots are recommended as there is still a fair amount of melting snow. Animals were a plenty and I stopped counting the goats after 15 seen so awesome! This hike was physically taxing but well worth it.

Joy Chu
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarMon Jun 29 2020
HikingBugsIcyRockyScrambleSnow
View Joy's Recording
David Burslem
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSat Jun 27 2020
RunningGreat!MuddyScrambleSnow

I ran through without too many issues. As others have noted, Asgard is clear of snow. The core has a bit of snow till Vivian lake, but I just had some trail runners on and didn't have much of an issue (no spikes or anything).

Suzette Evans
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 25 2020
Hiking

Great trail. NO dogs on hike to top of the enchanted rock but we took her on the loop. Signs are not clear on trail so keep compass handy. Some areas with no shade but some beautiful views. Some areas closed and had to take alternate trails. Great hike!

Simon Guérard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 22 2020
Hiking

Did the full loop in a single day (plus walking from one parking lot to the other) - clockwise. Asgard pass was annoying going down - and I assume would be annoying going up too. Many paths, many contradictory cairns. Ultimately, there are many ways but none are ideal. From Lake Viviane to Asgard pass is covered in snow - but very easy to navigate. It's the best hike I've done in the area and one of the best I've ever done. Plenty of gorgeous views - and options to summit some peaks. Taking more than a day would be of course more pleasant, but over night permit can be a problem.

Veronica Tanner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarFri Jun 19 2020
HikingRockySnow

Hubby and I thru hiked it from Stuart Lake TH to Snow Lakes yesterday. The core is still fully under snow with the lakes just thawing. It did allow us to skirt around some of the annoying rocky areas though (just straight through the boot pack!) and avoid the rebar section from Vivian down. A lot of the snow bridges won’t last much longer, so if you go just be mindful of the streams underneath. Aasgard was clear until the last push. Only a bit of snow near the very top. Based on previous reports I was prepared for a gong show, but it was surprisingly quiet. At 630am the lot at Stuart still had a ton of spots. The outhouse was a horror show though and clearly had been...well used lately. Garbage was piled up inside which was frustrating. Only one other group seemed to be thru hiking though, and the vast majority of people were on the snow lakes side.

Sarah Purdey
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 18 2020
HikingBugsMuddyScrambleSnow

Hiked all the way through on 6/16 camped in the core near leprechaun lake. So so so beautiful, completely blown away. Asgard took about 3 hours cause we were trying to navigate, could be done in 2 or less though if you know your way. The top valley has lots of snow and lakes were just starting to melt but easily navigated through. Snow was slushy I wouldn’t say spikes were needed but they helped stop sliding down hill. The hike down from snow lakes is rough and long on the knees, I would rather hike up Asgard bare foot twice then do that again. Over all, the most beautiful place I’ve hiked yet.

Nima Sherpa
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 18 2020
HikingRockyScramble

This is one of the most beautiful hike. We started Colchuck trail head 9:30 am and arrived snow lake trail head at 7:30pm. Must have Strong knee and ankle to hike down hill. Camping will be fun but didn’t have permit.

Donald Tillman
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarThu Jun 18 2020
HikingRockyScrambleSnow

First time all the way through, incredible hike. Started at Colchuck/Stuart lake Trailhead at 5:20 AM and was to Asgard summit by 9. Scramble up to Asgard Pass is pretty straightforward. Saw plenty of goats through the core and conditions were great... snow till just after Lake Vivian but did it in Trail running shoes without gators and was just fine. Gonna do it again soon!!

Jackie Cuellar
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMon Jun 15 2020
HikingMuddyRockyScrambleSnow

Started at Stuart lake to colchuck where we stayed. Up aasgard to sleep next to inspiration lake. Lunch stop at lake Vivian. Down to camp at snow lakes . Pretty much the only spots to camp out in the core due to snow. The core is mostly covered in snow until you start descending to snow lakes. Snow is getting slushy! Super fun. Gaiters are helpful :)

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