Scenic USA - Washington

Enchantment Lakes Basin

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Enchantment Lakes Basin - Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington

Photo by Monte Dodge
Monte's Enchantment Lakes Gallery

     Surrounded by the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, backcountry hikers will find the Enchantment Lakes Basin within easy reach from the Seattle metro area. Located in the Wenatchee Range near Leavenworth, Washington, this region is considered by some as one of the best hikes in Washington. Hear among the clouds this well-named mountain setting features six large, crystal clear lakes and a cluster of small tarns. The names Icicle Creek and Snow Lake give a strong hint that summers are short and weather can turn cold at any time. The sloped mountain basin begins at 6800 feet, and climbs another thousand feet to its upper basin.
     After the summer crowds are gone and forest service day-of hiking permits may be easier to obtain, early October hikers are rewarded with scenes such as this ... colored in golden larch, clear emerald lakes, pure white snow and contrasting hues of gray-blue granite. This traditional loop hike, beginning at Snow Creek and ending at Stuart Lake, is best enjoyed over a three to five day period. Some enthusiastic hikers that know the landscape well, turn the Enchantments into 20 mile, point-to-point, day hike.
     For the remainder of the population without the endurance for a marathon mountain climb or the patience to wait months for a permit from the lottery system, this marvelous photo from Mad Monty will have to suffice.

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