Enchantment Lakes

Leavenworth, Washington 98826

Enchantment Lakes

Enchantment Lakes Professional Review and Guide

"The quintessential Alpine Lakes Wilderness hike to the fabled Enchantment Lakes. No hike in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness compares with a walk through the Enchantment Lakes. Not even close. It is the hike against which all other hikes are compared, and they all woefully fail to measure up. This high plateau sparkles with dozens of pristine lakes, from tiny ponds to deep pools, set in finely polished granite basins adorned with golden larch trees, guarded by rows of angular granite peaks. Every superlative one could heap upon the Enchantments would not begin to describe just how absolutely lovely and sublime—how enchanting—these lakes are. I will not attempt to do justice to the Enchantments; you will have to experience them for yourself.

That may not be easy. Because of their remoteness, the Enchantment Lakes are not a day hike for any but the most fit and determined hikers. And because a permit is required to camp at or anywhere near the Enchantment Lakes, and only so many permits are available, only a lucky few are able to visit the Enchantments each season. You increase your chances by coming during the week before or after peak season, although the best time to visit is early fall, just before the season’s first snowfall, when the larches turn from delicate green to blazing gold."

Enchantment Lakes Reviews

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4/1/2018
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6/24/2010
Awesome trail! Too much snow to stay at the lakes, so we stayed at Colchuk Lake. Did not temper the experience at all...tons of great day hikes and snow climbing the passes was awesome! Love the goats.
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9/9/2009
Scenery is first rate, national park quality, larch and granite. Mountain goats, ptarmigan, and other wildlife are neither too friendly nor too easily spooked, very cool. A lot of airplane noise. Only one or two larches had turned color; better in 3 or 4 weeks I suppose. It is a very strenuous hike; all but the fittest will want to spend on night at snow lake; trail gets more taxing after that. Not technically difficult in the end but maybe vertiginous in a few places, go slow. You'll want to wander slowly around the lakes for at least 2 nights before heading back; the area is not large, but it is a great place to be lazy. Permits are a roll of the dice, so apply for 3 days minimum and use your vacation here if you win! Treat this fragile place with the utmost care, please.
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7/17/2009
One of the most beautiful places on the planet. You won't want to leave. Enjoy.
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7/25/2008
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8/2/2006
This is an amazing hike! The scenery in the upper enchantments is absolutely beautiful - high alpine meadows, lots of exposed rock and a few time worn trees. The weather was beautiful. And we got permits with plenty of time to explore once we were up there. We hiked up from Snow Lake and descended Aasgard pass to Colchuck Lake. The descent is awfully steep. Next time, I'll either make it an out and back via Snow Lake, or go up Aasgard.
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7/13/2006
We hiked this trail one way from the upper Enchantments basin after gaining access through Aasgard Pass. The trail is clear and in good shape all the way up to Lake Viviane. From there we had to cross short patches of snow from into the upper basin. Use caution as some snow fields are very steep and drop directly into the icy waters of the lakes! Either use an ice-axe to safely cross or scramble around the areas as we did. Many of the lakes still have ice floating in them. Also we noticed many fissures in the snow where it met the rock...some nearly 12 feet deep. Be careful when stepping off the rock and onto snow fields. Although I had hiked this trail once before, I forgot how steep and rough the trail is from Snow lake up to the Enchantments. Be prepared for minor scrambling and uneven footing along the trail. We were glad we were coming down this section and not hiking up it with 50 lb packs on like we saw some doing. Finally, the effort is worth it. The Enchantments truly live up to their name.
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Enchantment Lakes Photos

Trail Information

Leavenworth
Nearby City
25
Distance
6,500 feet
Elevation Gain
Out-and-back
Trail Type
Difficult
Skill Level
Overnight backpacking trip
Duration
Best late summer through Fall
Season
1,200 feet
Trailhead Elevation
7,840 feet
Top Elevation
Wenatchee National Forest, Leavenworth Ranger District
Local Contacts
USGS Blewett, Enchantment Lakes, Mount Stuart; Green Trails 210 (Liberty), 209 (Mount Stuart)
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018