Snow Lakes (Enchantments)


Backpack - Snow Lakes (Enchantments)

Explore the Enchantments during early larch season! On this 4-day thru-hike, we'll enter via Stuart Lake TH, exit via Snow Lakes TH, and use Upper Snow Lake as our basecamp. Potential day hikes to Little Annapurna, Prusik Pass, and Crystal Lake. Participants **must** have recent backpacking experience with approx 12 miles / 5000ft gain in a day.

  • Very Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 41.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 12,000 ft
  • Pace: 2mph

Friday, Sept 27th @ 8am @ Snow Lakes TH

We'll park some of our cars at the Snow Lakes TH, then carpool in remaining cars to the Stuart Lake TH

Upon completion of the trip, we'll carpool from Snow Lakes TH to Stuart Lake TH to retrieve vehicles

This is a very strenuous trip, featuring challenging terrain (steep scree/talus slopes, boulder fields, stream crossings, narrow paths with modest exposure), frequent use of hands for balance, route-finding, steep ascents/descents, significant elevation gain/loss, and long miles.  The first day will be particularly punishing: 12 miles, 5200ft of gain, fully loaded packs (containing 4 days of food), and Aasgard Pass (1900ft gain in less than a mile on talus).

In return, we'll be treated to a rare opportunity to spend multiple days backpacking and exploring in one of Washington State's top backcountry destinations.

Participants must be fit, experienced, and comfortable trekking on steep scree / talus / boulder slopes with loaded backpacks.  We will very likely encounter wildlife (mountain goats are often in the area).  Participants must be prepared for shoulder-season conditions that could change unexpectedly.

To ensure that we have a compatible group (fitness, comfort with challenging terrain, etc) able to successfully and safely complete the trip in shoulder-season conditions, leader's permission is required.  In your request:

(1) Confirm that you've read and agree with the trip's Goals, Expectations, and Style.

(2) Detail the trips you have planned for this season

(3) Detail the trips you've taken *in the last 12 months*.  For each trip, please provide:

  • your average distance/gain per day
  • the maximum distance/gain you had in a single day
  • the # days you were in the backcountry.

Itinerary (Caltopo Route):

  • Day 1: Lake Stuart trailhead to Upper Snow Lake camp (12 miles, 5200ft gain)
  • Day 2: Dayhike to Perfection Lake, and then continue on to Prusik Pass and Crystal Lake (10 miles, 2700ft gain)
  • Day 3: Dayhike to Little Annapurna (10 miles, 3300ft gain)
  • Day 4: Upper Snow Lake camp to Snow Lakes trailhead (9 miles, 500ft gain)

Participants will each be responsible for the $21/person permit fee.

WTA trip reports

Weather forecast

Parking pass: A Northwest Forest Pass or an America The Beautiful Pass is required to park at either trailhead


Snow Lakes (Enchantments)

  • Green Trails Alpine Lakes East (Stuart Range) No. 208SX

    USGS Enchantment Lakes

    USGS Leavenworth

    USGS Blewett

    Green Trails Enchantment Lakes No. 209S
  • See full route/place details.
Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent
  • Stove / fuel
  • Sleeping bag / pad
  • Water storage / treatment
  • Bear canister / Ursack
  • Pot / mug / spoon
  • Blue bag / Wag bag, as a good portion of the trip passes through areas where waste cannot be buried
Trip Reports