The Cascade Mountains are a wonderland of beauty with sites that are so stunning, you’ll wonder if they’re otherworldly. For a scene that will take your breath away, you absolutely must visit The Enchantments of Washington. True to its name, this site is one of nature’s most magnificent masterpieces. Your jaw will drop as you are greeted by an alpine paradise complete with sparkling lakes, glacier-worn granite cliffs, and awe-inspiring views. It’s the ideal spot for photo opportunities, and you’ll create memories that you will be bragging about for years to come!
If you love the Enchantments in Washington, exploring even more Cascade Mountain scenery is a must! Download your free copy of our Leavenworth Vacation Guide for a full list of hiking trails and outdoor activities that will introduce you to some of the area’s most beautiful locations.
Your Complete Guide to Hiking the Enchantments Trail
The overwhelming beauty of the Enchantments has earned it numerous fairytale-esque nicknames from its visitors including “Aasgard,” “Sprite,” and “Leprechaun.” This is a popular destination to hike year-round. Whether you’re visiting in spring, summer, winter, or fall, this is one of the best year-round hiking destinations in the country.
Exploring the Enchantments in Washington is a journey that one will definitely not regret, but it is also not for the faint of heart. The hike to this alpine paradise, in simple terms, is not an easy one. With nearly 20 miles of trail to tackle, all at over 4,400 feet in elevation, it is a prize not easily won. Before embarking on this incredible adventure, we highly recommend training for the Enchantments to build up your endurance. If you are up to the challenge, the incredible views are well worth the climb!
How to Prepare For Your Hike
Before you set out on your journey, you’ll want to pack some items ahead of time. Here are just a few things you will need for your adventure:
- Water Bottles and Water Filter
- Extra Clothes
- A Sturdy Rain Jacket
- Plenty of Protein-Filled Foods
- Flashlight or Headlamp
- Pocket Knife or Multi-Tool
- Small, Basic First Aid Kit
The Enchantment Lakes Day Hike
The journey begins at the Stuart Lake trailhead and travels 2.5 miles along Mountaineer Creek. Your next move will be to turn left on the trail towards Colchuck Lake. Be prepared for a steep 1.5-mile trek before reaching the rim of the beautiful lake. We recommend you take a break here before embarking to The Enchantments’ Aasgard Pass.
Stay to the left of the island of trees near the cliff wall before crossing to the right when you near the top. This is normally the most difficult part of the trail, so be sure to rest when you need to and be wary of other hikers.
Once you reach the top of the pass, you’ve arrived! Enjoy your reward as you take in the magically flowing landscape. The trail continues for 13 miles downhill, with incredible views and photo opportunities at every turn! You are bound to discover waterfalls, more than a dozen turquoise lakes, towering cliffs, and even families of mountain goats.
Once you reach the end of Lake Vivian, you will begin the trek back to your car along the Snow and Nada Lakes.
After a fabulous day of exploring the Enchantments in Washington, come kick back and relax at Pine River Ranch! Nestled amidst the Cascade Mountains, our historic inn is just minutes away from all of the best hiking trails, outdoor adventures, and local attractions. Our rustic suites provide guests with top-of-the-line amenities, private bathrooms, whirlpool tubs, luxury bathrobes, fireplaces, and more.
With a real rock-faced fireplace, cozy pine log bed, and large jetted tub, our Natapoc Suite would be a wonderful choice for your getaway. Relax on your deck and enjoy the beautiful views of Nason Ridge. During your stay, you can also expect a gourmet breakfast to be delivered to your room each morning. Are you ready for the Leavenworth getaway of a lifetime? Book with Pine River Ranch today! We can’t wait to welcome you.