Enchantments (double) Traverse, WA

… continued from – Day 1 – Permit lottery and getting to Snow Lakes
trip report by besthike editor Rick McCharles

Day 2 – Snow Lakes to Aasgard Pass. And back.

The Enchantment Lakes

… (are) located entirely within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness about 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Leavenworth, Washington in the United States. The Enchantments is regarded as one of the most spectacular locations in the Cascade Range. …

Dawn broke clear and calm. But I did not get out of the tent early, fearing mosquitoes. It’s buggy close to these lakes, even in August. Climbers told me that mosquitoes chase them all the way to the windy summits.

Once on foot, I needed to keep moving briskly to stay ahead of the bloodsuckers. The scenery was gorgeous, though.

This was the only time I got my feet wet all day. (Lucky, I thought, considering I was trekking ‘alpine lakes’.)

The many waterfalls are impressive.

But for me and most, the highlight are the high, stark lakes. And craggy ridges.

I hiked directly to Aasgard Pass. Then — for FUN — returned by scrambling off-trail high above the regular route.

Surprisingly, I made even better time on the return trip … and suffered no roadblocks … until this point …

I tried descending to the far side of the lake and walking the shoreline. It would not go.

Rather than backtrack I scrambled up the cliff. Not too smart. I was lucky I didn’t splash down in the cold lake.

From there it was an easy out back down to my tent. The double traverse took me about 10hrs walking.

See all my photos from this adventure.


Hiking the Enchantments in Autumn (PHOTOS) is highly recommended. The Larch are golden. And there are NO BUGS.


The most unusual thing about the Enchantments are the tame mountain goats.

In recent years, they have become a little too friendly with people, in some cases acting aggressively. These are large, powerful animals, and need to be treated with caution. Enjoy them from a distance and don’t encourage them. They are also very attracted to human urine; please use the toilets where provided, or urinate into gaps between boulders or other places that will prevent them from pawing up plants and soils …

I got plenty of closeup video of the beasts.

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