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Snow Lakes

13 reviews #47 hike out of 1110 in
6.9 mi
Distance
2 hrs 53 min
Time
terrain
4,240 ft
Elev Gain

Overview

The Snow Lakes area is easier to get permits for than the core Enchantments area, and a very worthy visit with a stop at Nada Lake to break up the hike.

Getting Started

The Snow Lakes Trail leaves from the Snow Lakes parking lot on the edge of Icicle Creek Road 5 miles outside of Leavenworth, WA, 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 choose to continue.

Note that permits are required for overnight camping, though not currently for day-hikers. If you have a permit, there's camping at Snow Lakes.

Taking Children

This is a long hike, and not recommended for younger children due to the distance and elevation gain.


    Rate this Hike

    user_profile
    3 weeks, 3 days ago
    I hiked solo to Nada Lake and Snow Lakes on a weekday in September. The parking lot was nearly full at 8AM. It has been very dry and smoke from a fire near Lake Wenatchee was present but not too bad in the morning. There was work being done on the river at the beginning of the hike, apparently building a water diversion system for the city of Leavenworth. The trail is in good condition and is easy to follow although there is no signage after the start. Loose stones on the path are hard on knees and ankles. There are several campsites along the way but no one was occupying them as I passed through. The creek was flowing very strongly and could be accessed with a Lifestraw at several points if needed. For the first couple of hours, I saw very few other hikers, but after that I passed by numerous solo and small groups of hikers and let a few pass me going up. Everyone was extremely courteous about right of way. At Nada Lake, I saw the stream coming down from Snow Lakes and marveled about how powerful and loud it was. The final climb from Nada to Snow Lakes is about 600’ up and mostly quite steep. The stranded logs near the dam were a good spot for a late lunch. The trip back down the mountain was hard. I had been forewarned but it still seemed to take forever and was very hard on senior citizen knees and ankles. On the way up I had more cell phone service (Xfinity-Verizon) than I expected. On the way down, texts failed in some of the same places. I had a Spot satellite system which worked acceptably. Bugs were scarce except near Nada Lake. Not much wildlife observed.
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    user_profile
    4 years, 2 months ago
    Because of the special permit zone in the Enchantments, I haven't yet had the opportunity to camp in any of the various zones. I have, however, been able to do a day-trip up to climb Prusik Peak via Aasgard Pass (amazing, but makes for a looong day, from about 4am to 2am). This time (early June), I went up the Snow Lakes trail sans ropes, stopping for a chilly but beautiful swim at Nada Lake. By the time we arrived at Snow Lakes (only a little snow on the ground), thunder clouds were rolling in and we had to high-tail it back to the car, about 7 miles back the way we came. Less steep than the Aasgard Pass side of the Enchantments, I really enjoyed the hike through dense forest and talus slopes. There was plenty of fresh water along the route, not to mention it was beautifully crystal clear. There were few bugs and the trail was dry. Next time, I really hope to be able to camp up there.
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    1 year, 1 month ago
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Public Tracks

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Jerry 3 weeks, 6 days ago
Snow Lakes Sep 8 2022
The river was flowing powerfully, much more than I expected in a dry September. The trail is in good condition overall but loose stones make it hard on knees and ankles. In a few stretches bushes are trying to reclaim the trail on one side. The trip down the mountain seemed amazingly long, even after reading other trip reports about how long the trip downhill can take.
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linda.chrappova 4 years, 6 months ago
Route 4/1/18 01:59:54 PM
Snow Lake in and out
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