The Enchantments

15 reviews #3 hike out of 14 in
17.8 mi
Distance
8 hrs 13 min
Time
terrain
6,483 ft
Elev Gain

Overview

Connect Stuart Lake, Colchuk Lake, and Snow Lakes Trails to traverse the Enchantments in a single, 18-mile push.

With alpine lakes, mountain goats, and jagged peaks, this almost mythical trek rivals the world's best trails and scenery. If you can get one of the widely sought-after backcountry permits, or are a strong hiker who can pack in the miles in a single day, this is a part of the country—and the world—you shouldn't miss.

This trail goes by Aasgard Pass, Tranquil Lake, Perfection Lake, Sprite Lake, Leprechaun Lake, Viviane Falls, Upper Snow Creek Falls, Snow Lakes, and Nada Lake.

Getting Started

The Enchantments are located in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest and Alpine Lakes Wilderness area on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Range in Washington state, near the town of Leavenworth. The area is broken up into five zones, with the Core Enchantment zone being the most renowned (and most regulated). See this link for a more complete description of the different zones, plus permitting information.

From the town of Leavenworth 2.5 hours from Seattle, the access points to the Enchantments are only a short drive up Icicle Creek Road, and then a long hike in from the two main parking lots (which can get crowded in the summer). Accessing the area requires hiking up either the Snow Lakes Trailhead on the eastern side of the Enchantments, or to Colchuck Lake on the west, via the Stuart Lake Trailhead located up a winding dirt road.

Snow Lakes

The Snow Lakes area is easier to get permits for, and if you plan for a few days, you'll have time to do day-hikes into the Core Enchantments area even if you don't win the lottery to overnight there. The Snow Lakes Trail leaves from the Snow Lakes parking lot on the edge of Icicle Creek Road and only 5 miles outside of town, winding its way up 3,800 feet in elevation over 6.5 miles. Add in another 1.5 miles to reach the far end of the lakes, and another 1.5 miles and 1,400 feet elevation from Upper Snow Lake to Lake Viviane, inside the Core Enchantments area. If you have a permit, there's camping at Snow Lakes so you can break up the trip. From here, you can continue down the trail, crossing the Core Enchantments area and exiting via Colchuck Lake.

Colchuck Lake via Stuart Lake Trailhead

If you're heading up the 4.2 mile one-way Colchuck Lake route via the Stuart Lake Trailhead, be prepared for a mighty climb up Aasgard Pass (also known as Colchuck Pass), with a very challenging nearly 2,000 feet of elevation gain in less than a mile to reach the Core Enchantments area (but well worth the hard work). Use extreme caution when snow is present, due to hidden hazards.

Hoping to do the whole Enchantments Trail? Complete the thru-hike from either the Stuart Lake Trailhead or the Snow Lakes Trailhead, but be prepared for 18 miles and significant elevation gain and loss. Worth the effort? Absolutely. Starting at the Stuart Lake Trailhead gets you up to the core area faster (at least as mileage goes), though it's a tough climb, with an easier exit at Snow Lakes. Alternately, you can go the other way and have a relatively easier but longer approach with a shorter, harder descent on the other side, down Aasgard Pass. Just plan to have a vehicle at either end, or a friend to pick you up, as there's virtually no thru-traffic at the Stuart Lake Trailhead, making getting back to civilization trickier. The Snow Lakes Trailhead parking lot gets a lot of traffic with local hikers and rock climbers, and offers closer access to the town of Leavenworth.

Taking Children

Due to the length and elevation gain, this is a trail best left to more experienced hikers.



    Rate this Hike

    user_profile
    2 months, 1 week ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    2 months, 3 weeks ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    2 months, 3 weeks ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    3 months ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    3 months ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    3 months, 2 weeks ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    3 months, 3 weeks ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    4 months, 1 week ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    4 months, 2 weeks ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    4 months, 2 weeks ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    4 months, 2 weeks ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    4 months, 3 weeks ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    6 months ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    6 months, 1 week ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

    user_profile
    6 months, 3 weeks ago
    ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Public Tracks

user_profile
evanfwelch 1 year, 8 months ago
Enchantments, 3d/2n, westbound
Day 1: Snow Lakes TH to Snow Lakes Day 2: Ramble through Core Enchantments Day 3: Hike to Colchuck lake then to Colchuck TH
user_profile
stephenkbrown 1 year, 4 months ago
enchantments
Clicked off by mistake about 1/4 of a mile
user_profile
linda.chrappova 1 year, 8 months ago
Route 4/1/18 02:03:24 PM
Enchantments through hike
user_profile
RosemaryPrescott 2 months, 3 weeks ago
Enchantments thru hike
Distance may be longer
user_profile
thehollylama 2 years, 5 months ago
Enchantments July 2017
July 10th to July 14th
user_profile
Jon Ellinger 2 years, 10 months ago
Enchantments Full Circuit
Oct 9, 2016 8:17 am
user_profile
bumstea 5 years, 4 months ago
user_profile
hawkins.emmae 1 year, 3 months ago
Enchantments Loop
August 2018
user_profile
tdwatson 1 month, 3 weeks ago
user_profile
seismoguy 1 month, 3 weeks ago
user_profile
taozengwa 1 month, 3 weeks ago
user_profile
Swetko 2 months ago
user_profile
AlexisMagana 2 months, 1 week ago
user_profile
kayla.j.lindell 2 months, 1 week ago
user_profile
kaimy.oehlberg 2 months, 2 weeks ago
user_profile
kaliecmiller 2 months, 2 weeks ago
user_profile
Aginor 2 months, 2 weeks ago
user_profile
mjgibbo16 2 months, 2 weeks ago
user_profile
TorieLindskog 2 months, 2 weeks ago
user_profile
YamileAbraham 2 months, 2 weeks ago
user_profile
bburton175 2 months, 2 weeks ago
user_profile
abigailmfranzwa 2 months, 2 weeks ago
user_profile
samhindman15 2 months, 3 weeks ago
user_profile
lewis12 2 months, 3 weeks ago
user_profile
HaydonBoone 2 months, 3 weeks ago
user_profile
colemayo 2 months, 3 weeks ago
user_profile
bmezger27 2 months, 3 weeks ago
user_profile
brianemuller 2 months, 4 weeks ago
user_profile
kjadehom 2 months, 4 weeks ago
user_profile
AxelHenning 2 months, 4 weeks ago
user_profile
kimkgoddu 2 months, 4 weeks ago
user_profile
drarasweiler 2 months, 4 weeks ago
user_profile
katiegilluly 2 months, 4 weeks ago
user_profile
rhs 3 months ago
user_profile
benjpioneer 3 months ago
user_profile
bittergourd 3 months ago
user_profile
littletree 3 months ago
user_profile
RicardoSanchez 3 months ago
user_profile
jtdurso4 3 months, 1 week ago
user_profile
Dave.ambrose.hill 3 months, 1 week ago
user_profile
geoff.moyer 3 months, 1 week ago
user_profile
eliza.w.carey 3 months, 1 week ago
user_profile
mjgarvey 3 months, 2 weeks ago
user_profile
lindseyeono 3 months, 2 weeks ago
user_profile
colindchapman 3 months, 2 weeks ago
user_profile
One Element PNW 3 months, 2 weeks ago
user_profile
Aaron Hellickson 3 months, 2 weeks ago
user_profile
StephenKreiger 3 months, 2 weeks ago
user_profile
fernanda.jds17 3 months, 2 weeks ago
user_profile
jml135 3 months, 2 weeks ago
user_profile stars
shariln14 3 months, 3 weeks ago
user_profile
thomas_j_kearney 3 months, 3 weeks ago
user_profile
dwbutler121 3 months, 3 weeks ago
user_profile
olivia.sander 3 months, 3 weeks ago
user_profile
amyjoymott 4 months ago
user_profile
deirdrecollins11 4 months ago
user_profile
platts2000 4 months ago
user_profile
Willystone 4 months ago
user_profile
yvonnejuly59 4 months ago
user_profile
efunkvemg 4 months, 1 week ago
user_profile
pmoran 4 months, 1 week ago
user_profile
rfrondozo 4 months, 1 week ago
user_profile
ergeilich 4 months, 1 week ago
user_profile
matthew.engelmann 4 months, 1 week ago
user_profile
AngelaBalingit 4 months, 2 weeks ago
user_profile
billgoodgion 4 months, 2 weeks ago
user_profile
Asvin Mandadi 4 months, 2 weeks ago
user_profile
erin.fennern 4 months, 3 weeks ago
user_profile
padraic.mckenzie 5 months ago
user_profile
williebchillin 5 months ago
user_profile
matt.pirotto 5 months, 2 weeks ago
user_profile
Krishna Dase 9 months, 2 weeks ago
user_profile
rose 1 year, 1 month ago
user_profile
Todd Matthes 1 year, 1 month ago
user_profile
keith.babinec 1 year, 1 month ago
user_profile
Benjamin Bloomquist 1 year, 1 month ago
user_profile
F17830B9-C5E8-4490-9D80-9C3A25280F57 1 year, 2 months ago
user_profile
Chris Sweeney 1 year, 2 months ago
user_profile
Datura Photo 1 year, 2 months ago
user_profile
William Buchanan 1 year, 2 months ago
user_profile
Chris Sweeney 1 year, 2 months ago
user_profile
Marek Karbarz 1 year, 2 months ago
user_profile
Amber Chang 1 year, 2 months ago
user_profile
Swetko 1 year, 2 months ago
user_profile
anthony.cree 1 year, 2 months ago
user_profile
Matt P 1 year, 2 months ago
user_profile
Brittany Port 1 year, 2 months ago
user_profile
Swetko 1 year, 2 months ago
user_profile
linda.chrappova 1 year, 2 months ago
user_profile
linda.chrappova 1 year, 2 months ago
user_profile
Amber Chang 1 year, 2 months ago
user_profile
chicken1876 1 year, 3 months ago
user_profile
wetriver 1 year, 3 months ago
user_profile
Azimuth 1 year, 3 months ago
user_profile
Azimuth 1 year, 4 months ago
user_profile
OJ Caldwell 1 year, 4 months ago
user_profile
OJ Caldwell 1 year, 4 months ago
user_profile
LyndaC 1 year, 4 months ago
user_profile
Adil Hafeez 1 year, 4 months ago
user_profile
Crissy426 1 year, 4 months ago
user_profile
zachary.clemence 1 year, 8 months ago
user_profile
steeter2 2 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
Amber Chang 2 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
Amber Chang 2 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
Cruise 2 years, 2 months ago
user_profile
mwike 2 years, 2 months ago
user_profile
tjprescott 2 years, 3 months ago
user_profile
alex 2 years, 3 months ago
user_profile
Swetko 2 years, 4 months ago
user_profile
thehollylama 2 years, 4 months ago
user_profile
ttgriff 2 years, 8 months ago
user_profile
lizzy2k6 2 years, 8 months ago
user_profile
Yiqiu Wang 2 years, 8 months ago
user_profile
guillaume.thimus 2 years, 8 months ago
user_profile
alex-outdoor 2 years, 8 months ago
user_profile
Alex 2 years, 8 months ago
user_profile
Alex 2 years, 8 months ago
user_profile
alex_test 2 years, 8 months ago
user_profile
alex-outdoor 2 years, 8 months ago
user_profile
Matt P 3 years, 1 month ago
user_profile
Charlie Coultas 3 years, 2 months ago
user_profile
Pablo Trejo 3 years, 2 months ago
user_profile
Swetko 3 years, 2 months ago
user_profile
mrvollger 3 years, 2 months ago
user_profile
kutatk 4 years, 2 months ago
user_profile
Elle Mclees 4 years, 5 months ago
user_profile
joshua 5 years, 2 months ago
user_profile
benenfield 5 years, 3 months ago