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The Enchantments

An epic hike not far from Seattle. Learn how to “win” the permit lottery in order to camp here!

Enchantments (3)

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Permitted Season & Conditions


May 15 – October 31

Even during May and June, there is still quite a bit of snow. Do your best to check conditions on forums to see how much snow to expect – specifically for which zone you’ll be staying in.

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Zones


1 ➢ Eightmile / Caroline

The Eightmile Lake area is the only area under 5000 feet, which means this is the only zone where you’re allowed to build a fire… BUT, you’re not allowed to have a fire less than a half mile from any lake, no matter which zone you’re in.

2 ➢ Stuart

3 ➢ Colchuck (my recommendation)

4 ➢ Core Enchantment

Permit to Core Enchantment allows you to camp in ANY of the 5 permit zones

5 ➢ Snow

Map

 

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Hiking Distances and Elevations


Snow Lake: Snow Creek Trailhead to the Upper Snow Lake Dam

6.5 miles / 3800 foot elevation gain (and another 1.5 miles to the far end of the lake).

Colchuck Lake: Stuart Lake Trailhead to first view of the lake

4.2 miles / 2200 foot elevation gain.

Stuart Lake: Stuart Lake Trailhead to first view of the lake

4.6 miles / 1600 foot elevation gain.

Eightmile Lake: Eightmile Trailhead to the lake outlet

3.3 miles / 1300 foot elevation gain.

Lake Caroline: Eightmile Trailhead to the lake

5.6 miles / 3100 foot elevation gain.

Core Enchantments:

from Colchuck Lake to the top of Aasgard Pass:

2.5 miles / 2500 foot elevation gain

from the inlet of Upper Snow Lake to Lake Viviane:

1.5 miles / 1400 foot elevation gain

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The Whole Core Enchantment Loop, Stuart Lake Trailhead to Snow Lake Trailhead:
approximately 19 miles / 6000 foot gain and 7800 foot loss

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Important Info’


Fires are prohibited throughout the vast majority of the Enchantment Permit Area; no fires anywhere above 5,000 feet or within 1/2 mile of any lakes. Note: stoves are allowed.

★ Maximum length of stay is 14 consecutive days.

★ Eight people is the maximum group size allowed together in any of the permit zones.

★ Two (or more) groups on separate permits may not travel and/or camp together if the total number exceeds eight.

★ You must carry your permit and photo identification with you and present these upon request to any Forest Officer or other law enforcement officer throughout the duration of your trip.

★ You may not re-enter on a different date using the same permit.

★ Your permit is not valid until signed.

★ A “stock permit” is a permit for animals, such as a horse (dogs and other pets are not allowed, and are not considered as “stock”)

★ It is illegal to leave camp gear or any other supplies or materials unattended for more than 48 hours.

★ Geocaching is prohibited in all designated wilderness areas. Please practice this sport elsewhere.

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How To Apply For a Permit


There are three methods of obtaining an overnight permit during the permit season:

1 ➢ Apply during the annual permit lottery
2 ➢ Make a reservation online after the pre-season lottery
3 ➢ Obtain a daily “walk-in” permit during the permit season

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The Lottery


A pre-season lottery is held around mid-February through early-March of each year to allocate the majority of permits.

CLICK HERE to see the exact dates of the lottery

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Didn’t Win The Lottery?


If you didn’t win the lottery, you’ll have only two more opportunities to obtain a permit:

  • Through the walk-up lottery held Monday-Saturday at the Wenatchee River Ranger Station
  • Through the advance reservation system beginning April 1 around 7am PT (around 10am ET).

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Weather Conditions


Check the current weekly weather conditions HERE

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What to Bring


Wear:

Wool hiking socks

Good hiking boots

Layers

Pack:

Freeze-dried food

Stove

Water Bottle

Flashlight

Toilet Paper

Tent

Sleeping bag

Sleeping pad

Extras:

Water filter

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Parking


$5 per day at the trailhead, or purchse a Northwest Forest Pass for $30 and good for one whole year.

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