Sunday, October 2, 2011

Enchanted Traverse

Loren, Mark, Mike, Travis, Eric, Toby and I hiked through the amazing Enchantments area in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness last saturday. It was an amazing day. The Enchantment Lakes area is notoriously difficult to gain access to, both physically and legally(overnight permits must be obtained far in advance). We parked a car at each end-Colchuck Lake and Snow Creek-and hiked the route as a 20 mile point-to-point one-day thru-hike. The golden fall colors of the Larch trees are spectacular. Not many people see such a sight.

Colchuck Lake and Asgard pass-the back door into the Enchantments.

Asgard Pass.

Colchuck Lake.

Sudden hail storm at 7000+ feet elevation.

Upper Enchantments basin.

Toby and golden larches.

Prusik Peak in the distance.

Mike and Travis.

The crew minus Toby - he wandered ahead for a bit.

Snow Lake far below us.

Nada Lake.

Check out the strange water jet below Snow Lake. I have never seen or heard of anything like this before, especially not in a wilderness area. Powerful is an understatement.

More photos on my Flickr page.


  1. Nice! How far in advance did you need to get this permit?

  2. Actually we did not need a permit. The permit is only for overnight stays in the Enchantments. I think you have to get them 6-12 months in advance but I'm not sure.

  3. That's a long hike for a single day. Aasgard Pass looks scary steep and exposed, but those lakes are very nice. Anyway, that outflow is the outlet of the Snow Lake Tunnel. The tunnel was constructed in like 1940 to control and route water to the Leavenworth Hatchery. The hatchery still manages the area as part of the Snow Creek Watershed. I found an image of it during construction:,2834 And modern hydrology stuff: It's concerning that it's leaking around the connector...

    Oh and I sent you an email on Sept. 26th from eFealty [at] Did you receive this email?

  4. Whoa, that is so cool! Thank you for the links Josh! I like how the lake depth is measured as a function of the pressure at the outlet pipe, rather than a height stick, etc in the actual lake. Also neat how there is an access tunnel to the shut-off valve.