Great Hikes: The Enchantments

Discover the Alpine Lakes Wilderness of Washington State
Staff Writer

The Enchantments are the crowning glory of the Cascades’ Alpine Lakes Wilderness. The area comprises two alpine basins that sit between 4,400 and 7,800 feet. Both are surrounded by jagged granite peaks and full of sparkling lakes. The lower basin is surrounded by moss and grass and dotted with larch trees whose leaves turn a bright gold color in the fall. The upper basin is starkly beautiful and austere. Granite extends from the top of the peaks to the bottom of the glacial lakes.

If you’re extremely ambitious, you can do this hike in a day. We recommend you take your time and enjoy the sights and a few detours, such as the scramble up Little Annapurna.

Distance: 18 miles round trip

Elevation Change: 6,000 feet

Difficulty Rating: Difficult

Duration: Multiple days

Best Time to Go: The early fall, when the larch tree leaves turn bright gold.

How to get there:

Fly into Seattle, rent a car and drive about 75 miles east to Leavenworth. There are multiple ways to access the Enchantments, but the most common entrance is at Snow Lake.. The Snow Lakes trail head is about four miles outside of Leavenworth on Icicle Creek road.

To find out more about this hike, visit

Have a favorite hike? Submit it to or tweet at us.

Click here for more great hikes.


No votes yet

Let's Be Friends. Follow The Active Times on Facebook!