Enchantment Lakes #1553
Jul 14, 2003
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
- 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
- Be Aware Of
- Snow on trail
I took a day of vacation so Syuper K and I could spend a couple of days in this enchanting area....our third visit in three years.
Our trip began early....leaving Kirkland at 7:00 am and arriving at the ranger station in Leavenworth at 9:10 to pick up the permits. Then on to the trail head. The road up icicle creek is in good shape with some washboards that will slow you down.
By the time we reached the trailhead and had a snack, it was already getting hot. The trail to Colchuck Lake is in good shape. We stopped at the Lake for a brief rest, some food & water before continuing on around the lake to the boulder field where the real work begins to climb/scramble up Aasgard Pass. It is a steep, exhausting ascent with poor footing in some areas, gaining 2,200 feet from Colchuck Lake to the top of Aasgard in less than 3/4 mile. But it is doable, just stay to the left of the boulders and follow the cairns. The rewards upon cresting tyhe pass are worth the effort....it is like stepping onto another planet. There is still a lot of snow. The upper lakes are just begining to melt out, revealing their astonishing light turquois blue color in a setting of glistening snow and polished granite.
Our camp was located perfecly at the base of Little Annapurna on the only clear graveled area, next to the stream connecting the two tairns. The scenery is all around us. Other camp sites are open and availabe on the level above us and at the basin below us.
On Sturday we hiked to the lower Enchantment Lakes with the goal of finding and photographing Nome Tairn at the base of Prusick Peak. The snow field between the upper and lower lakes is passable. We chose to use our crampons to add to the safety. The trail going up to Prusick Pass has several large snow patches on it so the trail isn't always obvious. After attaining Prusick Pass we traversed around the shoulder of Prusick until we came upon some magnificent granite slabs...eventually we did stumble upon Nome Tairn for the photos. Then back to camp for lunch and a nap. We still had plans to hike to the top of Little Annapurna. Later in the afternoon we took our crampons in hand and hiked up the granite ridge toward the snow field on flank of Little Annpurna. With the crampons strapped on the boots, it was an easy hike up the snow field. Near the summit, the snow gives way to an easy hike through patches of grass, some small but brilliantly colored wild flowers and of course the boulders. This is an amazing place with views to Glacier Peak to the north. To the east there are some amazing rock spires and 360 degrees of views! By this time the snow was getting quite soft so we decided against glisading back down and instead, plunge stepped back down the slope to camp. It was a full and rewarding day.
Sunday did not have the great weather we had on the previous days. We had a windy night, the temperatures dropped significantly and it got cold. The morning was clouded over and the coulds were ominous. But it was time for us to pack up and retreat from this magnificent place. Ging back down Aasgard Pass is a challenge. We had to be cautious of the loose gravel and rolling rocks.
It was a great weekend in the Enchanments.....the bugs were few....the weather great (except for Sunday)....and we got some great photos!