The Enchantments


The Enchantments

The Enchantments is an area comprising of an upper and lower basin and the lakes contained within them in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness about Convert|15|mi|km|0 southwest of Leavenworth, Washingtoncite web
url = http://www.nwsource.com/travel/scr/tf_story.cfm?st=44930
title = A heavenly reward awaits in the Enchantment Lakes Basin
accessdate = 2007-08-09
last = Johnston
first = Greg
date = October 21, 2004
work = nwsource.com
publisher = Seattle Post-Intelligencer
] in the United States. The Enchantments is regarded as one of the most spectacular locations in the Cascade Range.cite web
url = http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/getaways/100898/ench08.html
title = World-renowned basin in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness has a magical allure
accessdate = 2007-08-09
last = Sykes
first = Karen
date = October 8, 1998
work = Special to the Post-Intelligencer
publisher = Seattle Post-Intelligencer
]

History

The first European American to discover the area and name it was A. H. Sylvester, topographer for the US Geological Survey and first supervisor of the Wenatchee National Forest. At the time Sylvester named the area the high alpine basin was filled with the Snow Creek Glacier. The lakes in the upper basin are remnants of the decreasing glacier.cite book
author = Spring, Ira
authorlink = Ira Spring
coauthors = Manning, Harvey
year=1998
edition = 1st
title= 100 ClassicHikes in Washington's Alpine Lakes
publisher= The Mountaineers
id=ISBN 0-89886-707-X
]

By the 1940s climbers discovered the area and began naming the crags. Bill and Peg Stark of Leavenworth, became frequent visitors who drew upon various mythologies to name features of the landscape. When they made their first visit in the fall of 1959, they were captivated by the golden splendor of the larch trees, the numerous lakes and tarns, and jagged peaks towering above. They used fairy names such as Gnome Tarn, Troll Sink, Naiad Lake, Sprite and King Arthur legends in the Lower Enchantment Basin because "the lower basin was not as austere as the upper basin," according to Peg. They used Norse names and mythology for features of the upper basin, for example Brynhild Lake, Lake Freya, Valhalla Cirque because, Peg said, it felt "as if the Ice Age had just gone off."

Hiking

There are two approaches to the Enchantments Basin, both trail heads are accessed via Icicle Creek. The Snow Lake trail head is off Icicle Creek Road at large parking lot next to the creek. The trail climbs 6.5 miles to Snow Lake gaining 4100 feet. From Snow lake the trail ascends over sloping granite rock another 1400 feet to Lake Vivianne at the lower end of the Enchantments. This hike usually takes two days each way and is described as "long, steep, and grueling".. The other alternate route is from the Stuart Lake trail head a couple of miles up Eightmile road off Icicle Creek. The trail up to Colchuck Lake is 4 3/4 miles and gains 2100 feet; another 1.75 miles brings you to the end of the lake and Aasgard Pass, which climbs 2200 feet in less than a mile. This route is regarded by some as easier since it is shorter, but the Snow Lake route is the recommended approach to the lakes.cite book
author = Spring, Ira
authorlink = Ira Spring
coauthors = Spring, Vicky; Manning, Harvey
year=2002
edition = 3rd
title= 100 Classic Hikes in Washington
publisher= The Mountaineers
id=ISBN 0-89886-586-7
] cite web
url = http://www.nwsource.com/outdoors/scr/of_detail.cfm?category=hiking&rt=45548
title = The Enchantments
accessdate = 2007-08-09
last = Leonard
first = Scott
date = October 21, 2004
work = nwsource.com
publisher = Seattle Post-Intelligencer
] Aasgard Pass is a steep scramble which is dangerous in snow. The Aasgard Pass route has also been described as "in very bad taste" because it bypasses the beauty of the lower basin to get to the upper basin first. The two routes can be combined to from a loop if the hiking party has two cars.

As The Enchantments became a popular hiking destination the National Forest Service began in 1987 limiting the number of people allowed to camp in the area to sixty at a time. A system of permits was created. Seventy-five percent of the permits are issued ahead of time via a lottery with a March 1 deadline. The other 25 percent are daily permits issued on a first come first serve basis at 7:45 am at the Leavenworth Ranger Station on weekdays. The Enchantments area is divided into five zones. The three major zones are the Snow Zone (from Icicle Creek up to Snow Lakes), the Colchuck Zone (the area surrounding Colchuck Lake) and between those two the Enchantment Zone for the upper basin.cite web
url = http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/wenatchee/passes/enchantments/
title = Alpine Lakes Wilderness Permits for Enchantment Lakes, Stuart, Colchuck, Snow, Eightmile Lakes areas
accessdate = 2008-08-09
author = US Forest Service
year = 2006
month = April
work = Wenatchee River Ranger District
publisher =
] cite web
url = http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/wenatchee/passes/enchantments/enchantments-2007.pdf
title = Alpine Lakes Wilderness; Enchantments, Stuart, Colchuck, Snow Lakes, Eightmile and Caroline Lakes Wilderness Permit Information and Application
accessdate = 2008-08-09
year = 2007
format = PDF
work = Wenatchee River Ranger District
publisher = US Forest Service
]

The forest service have also banned dogs in the area which has allowed the population of mountain goats and ptarmigan recover.

References

*
*

External links

* [http://www.fs.fed.us/r6/wenatchee/passes/enchantments/ Alpine Lakes Wilderness Permits for Enchantment Lakes] from the US Forest Service, Wenatchee River Ranger District.


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