Enchantment Lakes Overnight

The experience: Rivers, Lakes, Waterfalls, Mountain Views, Wildflowers & Meadows, Summits, Wildlife, Ridges & Passes, Old Growth Forest, Established Campsites

Near: Leavenworth, WA

Difficulty: Strenuous

Elevation Gain: 6,500 ft.

Distance: 19 miles

Equipment: Overnight gear

Drive: 3 hours

Permits: Northwest Forest Pass. I was lucky in the lottery and secured the hiking/overnight “Core Enchantment” zone permits (limited to 8 people). We are allowed to camp at any of the five zones with this permit. The trip is two days, so there is a $10 permit cost per person.

Be courteous and have Gas Money for the drivers. We will need two vehicles, one at each trailhead to help shuttle the one-way hike. The trailheads are Stuart/Colchuck and Snow Lakes.

Be prepared with the 10 essentials: http://www.wta.org/hiking-info/basics/ten-essentials.

Be prepared for the Weather. Bring waterproof gear, extra clothes, hat, gloves, extra food, and a bag for muddy boots.

Disclaimer: We will be in the wilderness. Serious injury or death can occur. I am not a professional guide, nor medically trained. By attending this hike you are assuming responsibility for your own personal safety and I cannot be held responsible.

Please read the Enchantment rules and regulations at http://www.recreation.gov/marketing.do?goto=/permitgeneralrules_72280.html&backLink

Description: More information to come. There should be time for side trips. As stated above, it is an overnight trip. There are designated campsites with backcountry toilets. The dates are Saturday, August 17th and Sunday, Aug. 18th.

From Washington Trail Association: The Enchantment Lakes is a high alpine basin full of lakes, larch, mountain goats, and fantastically stark granite that is considered by many to be the best hike in the state. Options abound - plenty of places to camp, side trails, summits, and more ensure that you will be wishing you had marked a few extra days on your backpacking permit!

Driving Directions (from WTA): Upon reaching Leavenworth, turn right onto Icicle Creek Road. At about 4 miles, the Snow Creek Trailhead is on your left. For the Stuart Lake Trailhead, continue another 4 miles or so and turn left on road 7601 (about a mile past the Eightmile Campground). After the turn, stay straight (left is the Bridge Creek Campground) and follow the road to the trailhead. The first trailhead you will encounter is the Eightmile Trailhead; this is NOT the one you want. Keep going over the bridge and another mile or so to the end of the road and the Lake Stuart Trailhead.

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  • Allison

    This was a tough hike, for sure, but beautiful - and a fun, good-spirited group to do it with. I had a great time meeting and hiking with you all!

    August 24, 2013

  • Ken

    The hike up to the Snow Lakes from the Snow Lakes trailhead was good. The Enchantment Lakes area was absolutely incredible, and some of the most beautiful scenery I have ever seen. The "hike" down Aasgard Pass to Colchuck Lake was steep, very treacherous, difficult to navigate, and absoutely brutal on the knees. The hike out from Colchuck Lake was not so tough, but not so scenic, either.

    Make no mistake, this is one of the best hikes I have ever been on, but I cannot recommend ever going up or down Aasgard Pass more than once in your entire life... if you actually value your life. I scraped my arm and leg pretty badly on the way down, injured my finger badly enough to warrant a visit to my doctor the next day, and only got down to the lake with Chad after we made our way across a dangerous waterfall and down a couple of massive boulder slides.

    Was it all worth it? Hell yes, it was!

    1 · August 19, 2013

    • Woody&Tanna

      Just for future reference... if you were near the waterfall on Aasgard Pass you were way off track. We do Aasgard every year and do not cross the waterfall or go near the boulder slides. There is a safe "climber's path" that avoids this area all together.

      August 22, 2013

    • Ken

      Yeah, we got off the main path because it was not marked very well. It looked like it would be easier to find your way going up the pass instead of down. Oh well, it was still quite the adventure!

      August 22, 2013

  • Karen L.

    What an Amazing Hike! Thanks Chad for getting the permit! The scenery was as terrific as Iceland,,,without the expense! The lakes were spectacular. As I look back, wish we had taken a dip! We took a bit longer than you guys, but luckily finished unscathed.

    3 · August 20, 2013

  • Allison

    Hey there - Was planning to offer to drive one of the cars, but we've got a dead one now. Hope I can carpool with someone instead.

    August 15, 2013

  • Phyllis

    Bummed out, got a prior engagement Sunday evening.

    August 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry about the last minute change in my plans as my dad is visiting me. So I have to pass this time.

    August 11, 2013

  • Robin

    I see that a spot opened up and would like to join if possible--thank you!

    August 7, 2013

  • Kevin H.

    Gonna have to opt out. Life happening and can't make it.

    August 7, 2013

  • Phyllis

    What time would you estimate that we'd be back in Lacey on Sunday evening?

    August 6, 2013

    • Chad O.

      I really don't know for sure. It is a 3 hour drive alone, so it will most likely be late. It is a group effort and that will determine the speed, time, and distance covered.

      August 6, 2013

  • Phyllis

    Sounds great!

    August 6, 2013

  • sara

    Hi, is this a 3-day/2-night trip, or is it a 2-day/1-night trip? Also, do you have a sense of what the itinerary will be? Thanks!

    August 4, 2013

    • Chad O.

      This is a 2 day/1 night trip. We will be moving pretty quick since we have a good distance to hike. Expect a fast pace and longer than normal day. Depending on how far we get, we may need to start somewhat early in the morning on Sunday. I thought about starting earlier on Saturday too. I am going to look into the options more this week. Feel free to share your concerns or opionions.

      2 · August 4, 2013

    • sara

      Thank you, Chad. It sounds wonderful, but I am going to bow out. An opportunity to spend 5 days in the Enchantments in September presented itself today so I should open up my spot. Have an amazing time!

      August 6, 2013

  • Angel C.

    Got hurt and won't be able to make it. :(

    August 1, 2013

  • Syl

    I'm unable to attend owing to conflict.

    July 12, 2013

  • Karen L.

    I have wanted to do this since I came back to WA! Thanks for hosting Chad!

    March 7, 2013

    • Lee J.

      you are in for a treat :)

      July 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I see that a spot opened up. I 'd like to go. My friend would also like to join me if another opens up. Thanks!

    June 15, 2013

  • Bethany

    After further research, 2 days sounds too intense for me. I'll go another time for more nights. Enjoy!

    April 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Got an invitation to spend 6 days up here with friends who got a permit for September, so I'll drop out now & give someone else a chance to see it too!

    April 5, 2013

  • Chad O.

    I originally wasn’t going to do a waitlist, because I had some other options if people cancelled. Since there has been some passionate interest though, I decided it would be more prudent to try and accommodate the best I could. Therefore, I added a waitlist. To be fair for those that may not have had the foresight to leave a comment indicating their desires to go in lieu of a waitlist, I made the waitlist manual. Per Meetup: Members on a manual waiting list receive an email whenever a spot opens up. Whoever responds first gets in.

    March 28, 2013

  • Paula Jorgensen K.

    Opting out early so others can make plans...I will be over-nighting with friends this same weekend. Enjoy!

    March 28, 2013

    • Chad O.

      Can you change your RSVP status, so the system will automatically notify those on the waiting list?

      March 28, 2013

    • Chad O.

      Thanks for keeping us informed.

      March 28, 2013

  • Angel C.

    i know i was the first person to say i wanted to be on the waitlist but ... i now see there is a button to join the waitlist. oh well, i only wish the best for everyone. peace,
    angel

    March 28, 2013

  • Regina

    Will miss this hike w/new folks but opting to go w/friends in September. Y'all have fun, hope to catch y'all on another hike.

    March 12, 2013

  • Syl

    I'd like to be on a waitlist if possible. Thanks!

    March 12, 2013

  • Megan S.

    I don't see a waitlist for this event, but I'd love to be on it! :)

    March 12, 2013

  • Jim F.

    This is fantastic. I'm looking forward to seeing the sites in person after having viewed photos for years. I am glad you were successful. Too many weren't.

    2 · March 7, 2013

  • Thomas C.

    I would love to do this trip..

    March 7, 2013

  • Angel C.

    I guess I'll join the wait list!

    March 7, 2013

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