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Enchanted by the Enchantments (Stuart, Colchuck, Aasgard)

Leavenworth, Washington


Added by Matt Huber

Distance: 10 miles round trip + day hikesDuration: roughly 4 hours each wayElevation gain: 1,665 ft to StuartIncredible views, avoid the crowds at Colchuck.Backpacking, Camping, Scrambling

We stumbled on this little gem mainly because we were late getting our permits. Lake Stuart was the only area with permits still available... Fairly easy to navigate, you will take the Stuart Lake Trail outside Leavenworth all the way into the lake. After about 2-3 miles from the trailhead, you'll come across the split for the Colchuck Lake Trail. Stay on Stuart for another 2-3 miles and it will dead end into the lake.

Lake Stuart: if you envision the lake as a clock, and the trail comes in at 6 o'clock: There are good camping spots at about 4, 3 and 2 o'clock. You can continue along the trail towards Mt. Stuart if you so please to further explore the area (about 1 o'clock). **best photo spot: you can take a left on a barely visible trail at about 6 o'clock and bushwhack for ~200 yards to some rocks. If you get there in the early morning, you'll get a perfect reflection pic (included above).

Colchuck Lake: If you decide to take a take hike (and I recommend you do), backtrack down the trail you came in on to the split with the Colchuck trail. It will only take you about 30 min to fly down the switchbacks. From this trail you have about an hour on switchbacks up to Colchuck Lake. Follow the trail counterclockwise passing quite a few camps to the rocks. I recommend climbing up Aasgard Pass. There will be some great views once you're up there and its a fun scramble. Colchuck is a bit of a madhouse sometimes with crowds. It may sound like the ideal place to try to get the permit but in hindsight, I'm glad we were more isolated out at Stuart.

We did our trip in July, but this trip can be done year round if you have the experience and gear. Winter and spring will require some crampons and ice axes.

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Aasgard Pass via Stuart Lake Trail

Climb to the Summit of Colchuck Peak

Colchuck Lake via Stuart Lake Trail

Snowshoe to Colchuck Lake

Scramble to the Summit of Dragontail Peak

Day Hike the Enchantments