Jul 24, 2012
- Type of Outing
- Multi-night backpack
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: Enchantment Lakes
- Region: Central Cascades -- Leavenworth Area
- Agency: Wenatchee National Forest, Wenatchee River Ranger District
- Trails: Enchantment Lakes (#1553)
- Avg Rating: 4.46
Permit: We applied for the lottery earlier in the year but failed to get core zone permits. We decided to take our chances on the walk in lottery at 7:45 AM. We figured our chances would be better on a Tuesday rather than near the weekend and we were right. There were only 2 other hikers vying for the same core zone. Unfortunately, we weren’t drawn for our first pick but were selected for a Colchuck permit.
Route: With the Colchuck permit in hand we opted to enter at the Stuart Lake trail head. We had only one car and were still unsure if we would try the loop route down through the snow zone [figuring out how to get back to the car later] or simply hike up to Colchuck, day hike into the Enchantments, and return the same way.
Trail Conditions: As others have noted the trail to Colchuck is in really good shape and completely snow free. Aasgard Pass was also snow free. The Enchantment zone was roughly 50% free of snow during our trip, as you can see from the included pictures. Route finding up Aasgard was not as easy as I remembered [this was my 2nd time]. The cairns were not as plentiful but we didn’t really need them as I knew to stay left of the stream and left of the trees half way up. Once in the upper basin the path was clear and finding our way around the teal blue glacial lakes was easy. Going up to Little Annapurna there was still some snow fields and we did not do the last 100 yard stretch as it was mid day and it was getting soft and tough to keep our footing.
Bug Conditions: Relatively good going up to Colchuck and at the lake. There were times [early morning and evening that they seemed to get worse. There was also a section coming down Aasgard near the middle where they were really bad. Bring head nets if you have them. We were thankful we had because we opted for a light tarp shelter.