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Adventure Log

The Enchantments

One of Washington's magical hikes.

Points of Interest:

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Leavenworth, WA.

Shot By

Alex Bloom & Nathan Kane

Things to Know

Permits are required for camping or multi-day hiking, and July through August is best, but doesn’t guarantee a lack of snow. Nearby Leavenworth, reborn in the 60’s by a strange Bavarian marketing dream is home to several beer & sausage gardens to aid recovery.

Trail Sign, indicating Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

The Enchantments, as they are commonly known, are located within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness: a rugged, steep, and remarkably pristine section of the central Cascade range in Washington state. There are several entrances, but one of the most popular choices begins at the Stuart lake trailhead, which means a ~4-mile stretch to Colchuck Lake, following a set of small valleys through boulder fields and into the upper peaks. The elevation gain is rapid and grueling, but spectacular views come quickly.

Dirt Nap
Standing in front of Colchuck Lake with a view of Aasgard Pass.
Nate + Colchuck Lake + Aasgard Pass

Colchuck lake is not the highest, but possibly the grandest, offering a decent number of secluded camping and swimming spots.

Colchuck Lake before dawn.
While you were sleeping.

Opting out of the full point-to-point trip, we decided to climb Aasgard pass as an early morning venture before departing, ascending 2000ft in < 3/4 mile.

Aer in front of Massive Wall
^ Aer Parris, 7800ft.

It’s common to see mountain goats wandering the territory.

Mountain goat on Aasgard Pass.
This guy showed up to check us out, kept his cool and went on his way.

Mountain Reflection on Lake

If you can tolerate the glacial temps, there is great wading and swimming to be had.

Wading with a cup of coffee.
Hot drinks help.
Flips. Photo by Nathan Kane
Diving practice.
Two people standing on a rock in Colchuck Lake.