The Enchantments Traverse

A stunning hike through the Enchantments outside of Leavenworth.

Hiking Severe

Distance
29 km
Ascent
1.6 km
Descent
2.2 km
Duration
1 day +
Low Point
394 m
High Point
2.4 km
Gradient
30˚
VIEW ON MAP
The Enchantments Traverse Map

Description

"In the Enchantments, nature has carved one of the magnificent places of this world--an alpine paradise of granite worn smooth by glaciers, larches manicured by wind and cold, and crystal blue lakes strung together by a creek that tumbles and thunders between them,” writes Paul Kriloff on WTA.org. This stunning mountain range cannot be summed up with superlatives—it must be seen to be believed.

The best way to experience this epic mountain range is here, on the Enchantments Traverse. This 18-mile point-to-point traverse climbs up and over the heart of the mountain range, affording you the opportunity to soak in the grandeur of the Enchantments.

The Traverse runs through the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, and as you might guess—it passes by a stunning array of glacial-fed lakes. The crystal-blue water of theses rare gems may beckon you to take a swim, but be warned: the water is literally ice-cold!

While this route could theoretically be completed in one day, most people break it up into a short 2-3 backpacking trip coupled with a car shuttle between trailheads. On the other hand, fit trail runners often choose to run the entire route in one go.

Sources: https://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/enchantment-lakes https://backpackers-review.com/trip-reports/the-enchantments-backpacking/

Difficulty

Severe

Hiking challenging trails where simple scrambling, with the occasional use of the hands, is a distinct possibility. The trails are often filled with all manner of obstacles both small and large, and the hills are very steep. Obstacles and challenges are often unexpected and can be unpredictable.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

4 out of 4

In the high mountains or remote conditions, all individuals must be completely autonomous in every situation.

Best time to visit

July, August, September

Features

  • Alpine
  • Picturesque
  • Water features

Guidebooks in this area