SUBSCRIBE | NEWSLETTERS | MAPS | VIDEOS | BLOGS | MARKETPLACE | CONTESTS
TRY BACKPACKER FREE!
SUBSCRIBE NOW and get
2 Free Issues and 3 Free Gifts!
Full Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip Code:
Email: (required)
If I like it and decide to continue, I'll pay just $12.00, and receive a full one-year subscription (9 issues in all), a 73% savings off the newsstand price! If for any reason I decide not to continue, I'll write "cancel" on the invoice and owe nothing.
Your subscription includes 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Or click here to pay now and get 2 extra issues
Offer valid in US only.

Also on Backpacker.com


Enter Zip Code

Backpacker Magazine – January 2011

Rip & Go: Enchantment Lakes Basin - Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

Discover a hidden basin filled with wildlife, lakes, and granite peaks.

by: Jason D.B. Kauffman

A small waterfall replenishes Sprite Lake (David Tate)
A small waterfall replenishes Sprite Lake (David Tate)
REI Flash 18 (Courtesy Photo)
REI Flash 18 (Courtesy Photo)
Reader Expert David Tate (Courtesy Photo)
Reader Expert David Tate (Courtesy Photo)
Reader Expert Terence Lewis (Courtesy Photo)
Reader Expert Terence Lewis (Courtesy Photo)

trip iconTAKE IT WITH YOU
Download a printable version of this entire trip right here.

Do it

The crown jewel of the Cascades’ Alpine Lakes Wilderness brims with toothy granite peaks and sparkling emerald tarns. For jaw-dropping scenery per mile, it’s off the charts, which is why our Northwest readers voted it tops—picking it over other heavy hitters in the area like Rainier and the Olympics. “The glittering lakes that fill this backcountry basin are magical,” says map contributor David Tate. See it all in three days on this challenging, 22.2-mile point-to-point (add an extra day for a sweet layover). From the Stuart Lake trailhead (1), the route climbs gently through a moss-draped forest to a log-bridge crossing of frothing Mountaineer Creek (2). At mile 2.2, bear left at the Y-junction (3) and scale a series of steep switchbacks that top out on the banks of Colchuck Lake (4). Leave the trail, and head north roughly 150 feet for a primo campsite that overlooks the lake.

The next day starts with an easy warm-up—you’ll need it!—on the mostly flat, mile-long stretch to the base of 7,841-foot Aasgard Pass (Colchuck Pass on USGS maps) (5). Then prepare for a real grind: The trail climbs a staggering 2,200 feet in less than a mile. Your reward: stay-awhile views of Dragontail Peak (6), one of many mythically named landmarks you’ll pass (Gnome Tarn, Sprite Lake, and Leprechaun Lake appear at miles 7.3, 12.4, and 12.8, respectively). From the pass, drop into the Enchantment Lakes Basin proper, passing a string of 10 lakes, to the northern tip of aptly named Perfection Lake (7). Must-do detour: Throw on a daypack for a five-mile side trip over Prusik Pass (8) that visits Shield, Earle, and Mesa Lakes (9). (Alternatively, head .8 mile up the main trail to a campsite near Leprechaun Lake (10), then backtrack for the detour.) Day three: Wrap around Lake Viviane for a .9-mile descent to Snow Lakes (11), then continue two miles to Nada Lake (12). The remaining 5.2 miles descend two sets of switchbacks (13, 14) before crossing Icicle Creek to the Snow Creek trailhead (15).


ice age trail

Trip Planner

Shuttle
From Leavenworth, drive southwest on US 2 for .2 mile. Turn left on Icicle Rd. Go 4.2 miles to the Snow Creek trailhead.

Trailhead
Continue 4.2 miles on Icicle Rd. Turn left on FR 7601. Go 3.6 miles to Stuart Creek trailhead.

Map
USGS: Cashmere Mountain, Enchantment Lakes, Blewett, Leavenworth ($8 each, store.usgs.gov)

Permits
$5/person/day. Apply for the lottery Feb. 1 to Oct. 15. Five walk-in permits drawn daily.

Gear Up

Leavenworth Mountain Sports, Leavenworth; (509) 548-7864; leavenworthmtnsports.com

Contact
(509) 664-9200; fs.fed.us/r6/wenatchee

Trip ID 378867

 




Subscribe to Backpacker magazine
Sign up for our free weekly e-newsletter
Name:
Address 1:
Address 2:
City:
State:
Zip:
Email (req):

Reader Rating: -

READERS COMMENTS

Star Star Star Star Star
http://www.gayhotdeal.com
Mar 28, 2014

cities where the cost of living is highest, the London office of Mercer, http://www.gayhotdeal.com/chanel-iphoneipad-case-c-20.html chanel vintage bag, an American human resources consulting company, measured the prices of the same basket of goods in 253 of the world's cities. The basket is composed of over 200 products, representative of executive spending patterns and including everything from rent for a luxury apartment to the cost of a fast food hamburger. Location has a lot to do with why New York and Los Angeles top the list. In New York, the need for more homes has been increasing since the mid 1970s, http://www.gayhotdeal.com/chanel-cosmetic-pouch-c-15.html Chanel cosmetic pouch, says Edward Glaeser, an economist at Harvard University. "Before 1970," he says, "workers in some sense were paid a premium to live in New York." This, http://www.gayhotdeal.com/chanel-2012-shoes-c-10.html Discount chanel bag, says Glaeser, was due to its reputation for crime and dirtiness. "Now, people pay a premium to live there."

Star Star Star Star Star
http://www.jersey2shopsale.com
May 10, 2013

new nfl jersey cheap, 2013 new nfl jersey sale, nfl jersey 2013, cheap baseball jerseys
http://www.jersey2shopsale.com/ sf giants jersey cheap
baseball jersey for sale, cheap ncaa jersey, wholesale nba jerseys,wholesale nhl jerseys, discount nhl jerseys,
http://www.jersey2shopsale.com/Nike-NFL-Jerseys-c124/ wholesale nike nfl jerseys
nike nfl jersey wholesale ,new nfl jersey wholesale
http://www.jersey2shopsale.com/MLB-Jerseys-c94/
cheap mlb jerseys, mlb jerseys cheap cheap nhl jersey
http://www.jersey2shopsale.com/NBA-Jerseys-c77/ cheap nba jerseys
wholesale mlb jerseys cheap nhl jerseys wholesale nhl jerseys, basketball jerseys cheap, nba jerseys for sale. college ncaa jerseys
http://www.jersey2shopsale.com/Soccer-Jerseys-c118/
Australia basketball jerseys sale. Australia soccer jerseys cheap.

WILLIAM
Mar 27, 2012

MOM IM SO SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS YOUR SON WILL BE MISS Joshua I LOVE YOU LIKE YOU WAS MY BROTHRE

ADD A COMMENT

Your rating:
Your Name:

Comment:

My Profile Join Now

Most recent threads

The Political Arena
Oklahoma Will Charge Customers Who Install Their
Posted On: Apr 23, 2014
Submitted By: KenV
The Political Arena
A Kinder, Gentler, more Grown-up Easter
Posted On: Apr 23, 2014
Submitted By: KenV
Go
View all Gear
Find a retailer

Special sections - Expert handbooks for key trails, techniques and gear

Check out Montana in Warren Miller's Ticket to Ride
Warren Miller athletes charge hard and reflect on Big Sky country, their love for this space and the immense energy allotted to the people who reside in Montana.

Boost Your Apps
Add powerful tools and exclusive maps to your BACKPACKER apps through our partnership with Trimble Outdoors.

Carry the Best Maps
With BACKPACKER PRO Maps, get life-list destinations and local trips on adventure-ready waterproof myTopo paper.

FREE Rocky Mountain Trip Planner
Sign up for a free Rocky Mountain National Park trip planning kit from our sister site MyRockyMountainPark.com.

Follow BackpackerMag on Twitter Follow Backpacker on Facebook
Get 2 FREE Trial Issues and 3 FREE GIFTS
Survival Skills 101 • Eat Better
The Best Trails in America
YES! Please send me my FREE trial issues of Backpacker
and my 3 FREE downloadable booklets.
Full Name:
City:
Address 1:
Zip Code:
State:
Address 2:
Email (required):
Free trial offer valid for US subscribers only. Canadian subscriptions | International subscriptions