The Pacific Northwest Summers are absolutely incredible. Although we get only four months of consistent sunshine, those four months seem to make up for the rest of the year. My husband and I told ourselves that this Summer, we would spend more time backpacking in the wilderness areas of Washington. On the top of that list was the Enchantments in the Alpine Lake Wilderness located in Wenatchee National Forest. The Enchantments is a very popular thru hike. Each year, between the months of May to October, lucky individuals and groups submit into a lottery permitting system to gain access to overnight in this alpine wilderness. This year was finally our year after submitting a couple times. We won a permit to camp in the Enchantment Core, the heart of the Alpine Lake Wilderness.
Our group started at the Stuart Lake Trailhead before sunrise at 5am. Made our way up through Aasgard Pass between 8 to 10am. Some of us called it Ass-kick Pass! It was a hell of a climb with over 2,200 feet of elevation gain in just over a mile. One of the toughest stretches in a hike I have ever done. Even through it was the end of June, snow was still covering 75% of the alpine lakes, but it created a stunning unworldly landscape.
In total, our Enchantment backpacking trip totaled about 22 miles over 2 separate days. It was filled with bouldering obstacles, snow fields, mountain spires, frozen lakes, high winds, curious mountain goats, smiles, bruises, glacial lakes, good friends, but most importantly new stories.
I feel so lucky to be able to live in the Pacific Northwest and these trails at my backyard. These beautiful trails wouldn’t be possible for stewards and conservationists protecting these lands. In honor of the Enchantments Trails, I wanted to make my 7th public land donation to the Washington Trails Association. Their work focuses on: Educating, inspiring and engaging hikers to ensure that the trails we love will be there for years to come. Thanks to the Washington Trail Association for protecting, providing stewardship and connecting the current and next generation to the outdoors in Washington and beyond.