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Best time to visit Washington

The Enchantments

One of the most beautiful spots in the Cascade Range


Last updated: by Olha Savych
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Enchantment Lakes got their name for a reason. Surrounded by jagged granite peaks, those crystal clear lakes are indeed magical. The Enchantment lake group consists of an upper and a lower basin, with Stuart Range towering over them. The area belongs to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. The nearest town is Leavenworth, Washington, located in about 15 mi (24 km) southwest.

While backpacking near beautiful Enchantment Lakes hikers can enjoy genuinely incredible views, some even dare to dip in pristine Alpine Lakes. Mountain Goats are also known to accompany hikers in this area. The best season to hike to the lakes is summer and early fall, namely late July/August to September/early October.

Hikers use two trails to approach the Enchantments Basin. The trailheads for both are located off Icicle Creek Road. The Snow Lake trailhead is near a large parking lot next to the creek. The trail to the lake is about 6.5 mi (10.5 km) long with an elevation gain of 4,100 ft (1,250 m). From Snow lake, you need to climb for 2.5 more mi (4 km) to get to the Lower Enchantments. Due to its steepness, this hike usually takes two days and is rated as hard. A different route from the Stuart Lake trailhead starts near Eightmile road off Icicle Creek Road. In 4.7 mi (7.6 km) you can reach Colchuck Lake. And there is about 1.9 more mi (3 km) of the scramble to get to Aasgard Pass. Camping is possible in the Enchantments from May 15th to October 31st. Permits are granted by the Forest Service through a lottery. Dogs and campfires are forbidden in the area.

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