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Lake Stuart, Colchuck Lake, Enchantment Lakes, Little Annapurna

Aug 18, 2011

by Walksalot last modified Aug 28, 2011 08:51 PM
Type of Outing
Day hike
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Hike: Lake Stuart
Region: Central Cascades -- Leavenworth Area
Agency: Leavenworth Ranger Station (509)-548-6977
Trails: Lake Stuart (#1599)
Avg Rating: 3.25
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Hike: Colchuck Lake
Region: Central Cascades -- Leavenworth Area
Agency: Wenatchee - Okanogan National Forest, Leavenworth Ranger District
Trails: Colchuck Lake (#1599.1)
Avg Rating: 3.90
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Hike: Enchantment Lakes
Region: Central Cascades -- Leavenworth Area
Agency: Wenatchee National Forest, Wenatchee River Ranger District
Trails: Enchantment Lakes (#1553)
Avg Rating: 4.46
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Hike: Little Annapurna
Region: Central Cascades -- Leavenworth Area
Why You Should Go Now
Wildflowers blooming
Be Aware Of
Snow on trail
Bugs
Colchuck Lake before sunrise.
Of all the one-day routes in the Cascades, I still haven't experienced anything as tough as going up and down Aasgard in a day - even if you don't throw in Little Annapurna. It's going down that really puts the hurt on - staying in control on Aasgard's scree and boulders took more out of me than even a one-day climb of Mt. Adams.

The most important thing to know is that the mountain goats in the Upper Enchantments are being very well behaved - friendly, but not aggressive at all. From the family halfway up Aasgard to the ones that hang out by the privy that looks out over the Longs/Ingalls valley, none bothered us at all.

The trail is in great shape. Aasgard is almost entirely snow-free. The Enchantments are maybe 50% snow-covered. Little Annapurna only has one snow field you can't avoid (although the snowfields are in great shape - solid enough to save time, soft enough to take kicksteps easily).

What else can I say? Marmots, mountain goats, a group of four ptarmigans, endless blue skies, the tourquoise waters of the Enchantments, the stunning surroundings - it makes for a brutal but rewarding day. The view from Little Annapurna is perhaps the best I've ever seen - the entire Enchantments basin - both upper and lower - laid out before your feet.

The bugs aren't bad from this side (I'm sure they're murder from the Snow Lakes side). I got five mosquito bites without using insect repellant, and for me, that's a really low count.
View of the Enchantments from Little Annapurna.
View of the route up Little Annapurna. An ice axe would be nice, but not strictly necessary. I had crampons, but left them stowed.
The obligatory mountain goat photo.
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Lake Stuart, Colchuck Lake, Enchantment Lakes, Little Annapurna

Posted by jesswriter at Aug 26, 2011 12:10 AM
Beautiful!

Lake Stuart, Colchuck Lake, Enchantment Lakes, Little Annapurna

Posted by BackwardsWalk at Aug 28, 2011 08:51 PM
I was just up there two weeks ago myself. The most beautiful hiking I've ever done in Washington. As we backpacked up Aasgard Pass, I found myself so grateful that we were going to be hiking out Snow Lakes. I would be a hurtin' if I had to come down in the same day. Great pics!

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