Distance: 17.7 mi.
Elevation Gain/Loss: 6703 ft./-8723 ft.
We didn’t win the lottery for an overnight permit in the Enchantments, so we decided to do the Enchantments Thru-Hike in a day. We started at the Stuart Lake Trailhead around 6:30 AM. The trail to Colchuck Lake was pretty cruiser until Vanessa randomly caught a root and face-planted. After testing her weight on her knee, she decided to continue the 18 mile trip on her newly bloodied leg. We reached Colchuck Lake at 8:30 AM.
From here, the hike around the lake was very pretty, and the climb up Aasgard pass didn’t create any major obstacles, although there were a few minor scrambly moves on wet rock. We reached the high point of the thru-hike at Asgard Pass just before noon, so we decided to stop for lunch there.
After lunch, Craig and Mike split off to the south to climb Little Annapurna (GPS track follows them), leaving the trail just after descending below 7,500′ and passing between two of the upper Enchantment Lakes. They went due south up easy scrambling to the summit at 8,440′.
They descended northeast directly to Crystal Lake to cut off some of the trail. They had to zig zag some ledges with some steeper scrambling here, but nothing more difficult than 3rd class. They had to ascend slightly from Crystal Lake and around the east side of Perfection Lake.
Meanwhile Laura and Vanessa continued east on the typical thru-hike. There were a couple small patches of snow that were a little tricky in trail runners, but definitely nothing requiring an ice axe or traction. Craig and Mike’s little shortcut brought them back to the trail between Perfection Lake and Sprite Lake just in time to meet up and continued on together. There was more mild downhill scrambling en route to Snow Lakes, and otherwise just a gentle downhill trail hike all the way out to the Snow Lakes trailhead. We finished at about 8 PM, in great spirits after so many beautiful sights, but with very sore, tired legs and feet.
(Download the free Gaia GPS app on your phone to view tracks and then get a Gaia GPS membership if you want offline access. Discount below!)
- Trail runners
- Trekking poles
- Water drops/filter