Why You’ll Love Hiking the Enchantments in Washington

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 steal your breath away, travel beyond Waterfront Park to a destination known as 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 strewn with crystal lakes, glacier-worn granite cliffs, and many more awe-inspiring views. It’s the ideal spot for photo opportunities and for creating 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.

How to Prepare for the Enchantments in Washington

The overwhelming beauty of the Enchantments has earned it numerous fairy-tale-esque nicknames from its visitors including Aasgard, Sprite, and Leprechaun. It is a journey that one will definitely not regret, but it is also not for the faint of heart. The hike to the enchantments, in simple terms, is not an easy one. With nearly 20 miles of trail to tackle, all at over 4,400 feet in elevation, the Enchantments are definitely considered a prize not easily won. Before embarking on this incredible adventure, we highly recommend that you honestly evaluate your own endurance. However, if you are up to the challenge, we guarantee you will be lavishly rewarded with views of an alpine fantasy. Here are just a few things you will need for your adventure:

  • Water Bottles and Water Filter (Just in case you run low during your journey).
  • Extra Clothes and a Sturdy Rain Jacket
  • Plenty of Protein-Filled Foods to Get You Through the Entire Day
  • Flashlight or Headlamp
  • Sunglasses
  • Chap Stick
  • A Whistle
  • 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 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 Hiking the Enchantments of Washington, Return to Pine River Ranch for Some Well-Deserved Relaxation

Reward your efforts with a luxurious stay in our Cascade Mountain bed and breakfast. This beautiful and historic inn is located just minutes from the Enchantments and boasts an elegant atmosphere in which to lay back and relax. Our Pacific Northwest-inspired suites provide guests with private bathrooms, Jacuzzi tubs, luxury bathrobes, fireplaces, and more. You will also enjoy a gourmet breakfast delivered straight to your room each morning and amenities that would make even top-of-the-line resorts green with envy. If you’re ready for the Leavenworth getaway of a lifetime, book with Pine River Ranch today! Don’t forget to download your free Vacation Guide to start planning your dream escape!