Are you ready for an incredible Enchantment Lakes, Leavenworth hike? As you go hiking through the Enchantments you will see a side of Washington available only to the truly adventurous.
“The best one-day hike in the Cascades”
OK. We’re going to let the cat out of the bag. When locals really want to take a hike - a big hike - they head for the Enchantments Crossing, a one-day hike starting at the Stuart Lake trailhead. From the trailhead at 3300 feet, folks ascend 2300 feet to Colchuk Lake. You take a breather around the lake, then head steeply up 2200 feet to the top of Asgaard Pass at 7800 feet. More goat trail than hiking trail, but I’d rather go up than down!
Descend to the Lakes
From Asgaard Pass you have a meandering trail through the heart of the Cascade’s legendary Enchantment Lakes. You descend over 12 miles to the Snow Lakes Trail Head at 1300 feet. The entire trip is about 19-ish miles. This is not a hike to take to “get in shape”. This is a hike to plan for, work up to, and conquer when you are ready.
The best time to pull this off is later in the summer after the snow melts and any time through the first week of October. Keep in mind though, you want to go as light as possible. You are hiking a long distance with plenty of elevation gain. Leavenworth Shuttle and Taxi can provide shuttle service from Snow Lakes TH back to your car. www.leavenworthshuttle.com
We suggest at least a three night stay to do the Crossing. The first day at the inn, get your ducks in a row: trail food, confirm shuttle, get your pack set with your ten necesities, look up many times from your deck to stare in awe at your impending destination. Feel the excitement build.
Do the Crossing on the second full day. You will want to be on the trail at least by 7:00 for moderately fast hikers. I like to be up at Asgaard Pass at 12:00. This will give you plenty of daylight to make the descent, even in late September when the larches are turning.
With this schedule, I am pretty much moving the whole day. I do take breaks, but they are short. Talk and walk. Snack and walk. Save lunch hour for back at work.
When done, hopefully you have at least another day at the inn and in the Valley to revel in your accomplishment!