Hiking the Enchantments 2002

My friend Paul had a hiking pass for the Enchantments alpine lake area near Leavenworth for September 2002. I had been there once before and jumped at the chance to return.

four hikers ready to go in

We chose to go in the steeper Aasgard Pass access. We had to go around Colchuck Lake and up the pass on the far side.

pass across the blue lake

We took lunch at a beach on the far side.

getting food out of our packs

Unfortunately, it took so long to get to the top that the sun had gone down and it got cold.

sunset beyond some peaks

There was a wind storm that night. Sometimes sand blew against my closed eyes through a tiny hole at the closed end of the tent zipper. The tent of another in our party even collapsed. I was grateful it did not rain.

It stayed cold and windy the next day. There were small whitecaps on some of the lakes.

rocks, lake and snow

We wore everything we had as we hiked to the lower lakes.

lakes, rocks and scrub greenery

More green showed up as we hiked down, and the lakes were beautiful.

looking down on lakes, trees and snow

The trees had this incredible silver weathered color.

green moss on a silver tree

We met up another group of friends already there. The cold had gotten to us, so it was good for our spirits to be with them for a bit.

eating lunch at friend's camp site

Rex did some catch and release.

Rex fishing

Most of the time the clouds stayed low. We dropped down to Rune Lake looking for an available camp.

clouds near lake

We took one by a meadow.

Larry sitting on a boulder by camp site

Some goats came near our camp.

goat eating in meadow

The outdoor privy had some of the best views.

wooden toilet box in trees

That night Prusik Peak was beautiful in the sunset.

pink sky behind mountain

The next day we explored a bit. A path through the meadow had this gnarled bridge.

a twisted log bridging a small stream

Since spring comes later at high altitudes, there were flowers all over. I enjoyed these tiny ones.

orange heather flowers

And more.

tiny pink flowers

All around us were the most beautiful lakes.

sparking lake with mountain background

The lakes are snow-fed.

snow melting across rock into lake

This lake had a sword of rock jutting out into it with a sheer drop at the end.

a lake with a rock point out into it

Each lake cascades into the next.

a stream through rocks from a lake

The outlet waterfalls are fantastic.

stream waterfall

Little Annapurna (named for a similar-looking peak in the Himalayas) is very distinctive.

Annapurna across lake with island

Taking a break during an exploration ramble.

Larry leaning back against a boulder

From our camp, several paths led up to other vistas.

hiking paths through meadow going up to rocks above

This was overlooking Shield Lake and the Edward Mesa.

Larry with lake and distant mesa beyond

From that spot is another good view of Little Annapurna.

Annapurna with other lakes in forground

I climbed the ridge to Prusik Peak.

looking up to a ridge with Larry on top

There were some great rocks to climb on. This one was balanced on three points.

larry standing on a balanced flat rock

In this picture, I am the blue dot with an arm pointing right on the ridge lower left of Prusik.

Larry in distance at base of Prusik Peak

Prusik Peak reflecting in one of the many Enchantment lakes.

reflection of Prusik Peak in water

We went out the other way by Snow Lake. Nada Lake along the way was so perfect here.

pristine lake surrounded by trees and hills

This access to the Enchangments is the longer trail.

standing around car

In the end, getting out was hard ••• and we were glad to be done.

Paul's wife's had a sore knee, so we decided that going out again via Aasgard would not be a good idea because of its steepness. Instead, we went the Icicle Creek way. However, our cars were still at the trailhead for Colchuck.

Rex and I were ahead of the rest of the group. When we got to the Icicle Creek trailhead, I left my pack with Rex, grabbed a bottle of water and started hiking up to the other trailhead. I didn't know how long it would take, but we had to get those cars.

Along the way I passed by some guys doing some rock bouldering. That looked interesting, so I chatted briefly with them. They were super laid-back.

A while later as I walked along the road, they came by in their van and slowed down to talk to me. They asked where I was going and then offered to give me a ride. I piled into the back of the van along with their bouldering crash pads and other stuff. It was a kind of retro hippy vehicle: A fabric was glued to the ceiling that had 4 inch long fringes, swaying with the vehicle. A picture of Bob Marley was on a wall; they said for me to say hi to Bob. :-)

I did not realize how far it was to the trailhead. It was more than the optimistic 5 minutes I was imagining. They took me all the way there and I was very grateful. I got in one of our cars and drove down to the others.