Among the numerous marvelous places around the globe, the Enchantments is among the leading splendid places where nature has engraved scenic view of alpines. We can say that the Enchantment trail is a mountainous paradise with an abundance of granite grounds that are cover with glacier alpines, larch conifers, and crystal clear blue lakes looped stream that somersaults and roars between them. One can see goats roaming around everywhere on the ground of the mountainous trail. The overall look of the enchantments trail is like a fairytale world where one can refresh our souls with a cold breeze and fragrant atmosphere.
To have the Enchantments trail lifetime experience there are various ways to do so. Hikers can get admission to hike for seven miles, which is an elevation of almost 4500 feet from the ground at the merest costs. This will lead the campaigners to some of the upper lakes of the Enchantments trail.
To see a further breakdown of the Enchantments Trail, please visit the official page for the Washington Trails Association. Link to the relevant page on wta.org for the hike.
Enchantments Trail History
In the early 1900s, the enchantments trail found by a forest district supervisor named Sylvester. During his tenure as forest supervisor, he came across the most fascinating and unmapped alpines region. Sylvester later described the beauty of the place as an enchanting view, moved by the majesty of the landscape, he gave it the name of enchantment lakes.
In the fall season, the landscape mesmerizes the visitors by the golden brilliance of the larch trees, the copious lakes, and tarns, and serrated the hills towering up. With the discovery of the enchantment trail, the number of hikers, climbers, and nature admirers is increasing exponentially.
In 1966, due to the increased foot traffic, the Forest Service installed toilets at various points. In 1972, the government banned horse riding on the trail. In 1982, forbid dogs as well. In 2019, annually, more than a million people visited the Enchantments trail. In a similar year, to prevent the destruction of the beautiful place, a permit system has implemented. This permit system regulates the entrance to barely 60 visitants into the enchantments trail at any proffered time.
Getting to The Trail
Stuart lake is the trailhead, which is the starting point of the trail. Both the banks of the lake are surrounded by large cross crags. When visitors pass these cross boulders, the trail encircles a beautiful beach and then starts twisting through subalpine creek beds and firs. Shortly after, the track started sloping precipitously over cluttered sands which is the origin of the Aasgard Pass. At this point, the trail becomes challenging to track as it bends skyward.
It is not rare for the hikers to hike along the water stream at that is at the right side of the long grove, and they linger towards left side to prevent having to walk on the steep impenetrable ground. Throughout the journey, the track hugs the precipitous rocks on Dragontail Peak. From here, scenes are utterly spectacular throughout the climbing, spreading from the nearest Colchuck Peak to Glacier Top as well as the Mount Baker on the horizon.
After traversing a division along the creek, there are repeated slopes, converting a hands-and-feet trek by stunted coniferous. The final part of the hill is over huge rocks, eventually standing above 7900 feet. At this point, depending upon the hiker’s map, the climbers are attaining a position in either the Aasgard pass or the nearby Colchuck Pass that is the starting or ending point respectively of the trail.
The trail twists its passage by dusk lichen-covered boulders along the banks of calm and close Lakes ere plummeting firmly to the wide plateau under the Little Annapurna. Under the Annapurna there is arid rock that supplies a more luxurious, mountainous area that connects the and the lakes twines smoothly before leaning into a dimmer current and rushing downhill.
Park Facilities and Regulations
To preserve delicate ecosystems and lessen environmental influences, the Forest service imposed some rules and regulations. The forest service department will charge legal penalties such as the imprisonment of six months, cancellation of visitor’s permit, and a $5000 charge if these regulations are violated by visitors.
For both day or night stay in the enchantments trail park area, a valid permit is necessary. If the visitors want to stay in the daytime only, they can get a free wilderness permit from the start of the trailhead. A visitor’s permit is non-transferable. The visitors can camp in the specific zones as per their wilderness permit. The visitors can stay for 14 successive days at maximum. Along with the permit, every visitor must have their pictures for identification with them.
Park Toilet Facility
The forest service department facilitated the enchantment park with well-conditioned toilets. So, visitors are encouraged to use those toilets. And avoid putting the trash or other solid waste into toilets.
Along FS Road 7601 parking is presently allowed, but it is restricted to the right side of the road only. The parked vehicles must display their permit on the vehicle’s dashboard.
As day permits can be obtained at the trailhead, it must be displayed on the dashboard of the vehicle, even if the visitor is parking their vehicle on the road. Day hikers are urged to park their vehicles on the islands of the parking area or on the road. This will Leave space up the road for the parking of the vehicles of overnight hikers.
To avoid overcrowding, consider riding a bike, carpooling, or arrange shuttle service up to the trailheads.
Dogs, Pets, Campfires, and Drones
Dogs and all kinds of pet animals are strictly prohibited. Along with that drones are not allowed in the wilderness place as well. The campfires are also strictly prohibited to prevent forest fire.
Feeding wild animals is strictly prohibited by the forest service department. Never Feed Wild Fauna! Do not urinate on soil, within the campsite area, or on the flora as it will pollute the environment and cause the animals to become too tame to humans because it is dangerous to the wildlife as well.
Navigating the Enchantments Trail
There are two entry points into the enchantment trail. One is Stuart/Cholchuk Lake trailhead, and the other is Snow Lakes trailhead. The most used point is the Stuart Lake trailhead because it is at about 3225 feet altitude. The advantage of starting from Cholchuck Lake or Stuart lake is that Asgard Pass comes earlier via this route and the hiking distance is less, so there will be less physical effort put by the trekkers while starting from this point.
To reach the Asgard Pass that is the highest hiking point on the enchantments trail, the hikers have to climb 1.5 miles from the trailhead. The hike is slightly exhausting but worthwhile to view the mesmerizing sight of the other side of the enchantment trail region.
From the Snow Lakes trailhead, the hiking trek is at almost 7000 feet elevation to the Asgard Pass. On the other side of the Asgard Pass, the trail is very sheer that makes the route difficult and exhausting for the trekkers.
The best time to visit the magical enchantment trail is from July to October. Because in the mid of the summers or late summers, the temperature rises that melts the ice, paths of hiking become clear which makes trekking easy. Along with that long summers, daytime is lengthy provides longer hiking time. Due to clear snow, the mesmerizing sights of the enchantment trail are crystal visible to the hikers. In July temperatures can rise to 101 Fahrenheit degrees that are very hot. Therefore, keep hydrated while hiking in the mid or late summers. It is recommended to drink a minimum of three liters of water during hiking on the enchantment trails.
In September, the temperatures start to drop, and the daytime became shorter as well. In October, due to autumn, the larches shift to yellow and orange. That adds magic to the beauty of the enchantment trails.
Before July, hiking is not preferred, because of the low temperatures. At that time, ice-covered trekking paths make hiking harder and more exhausting. Due to snow-covered peaks, lakes, and larches, the real beauty of the place remains hidden from the sight of the visitors.
If you want to visit the wonderland on the earth, the enchantment trail is the place. The place is only accessible by the not-so-easy hiking routes. There are two trailheads to start the hiking voyage to the enchantments trail.
One is a bit easy while the other is a bit tougher and exhausting route. The goal of every hiker is to reach the highest point of the enchantment trail, the Asgard Pass. From the Pass, the sight of the enchantment region is magical as a fairy tale.
To get the maximum out of the enchantment trail hiking, start it as early as possible, or with a sunrise. Bring all the hiking essentials. Keep the trail clean and do not litter everywhere.
Enjoy the original and true beauty of nature at the enchantment trail. Happy hiking!