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The Enchantments, WA – Planning – Part I

by Chef Corso

Pre-trip planning: Follow along as I bring you inside my head for planning a trip to the Enchantments, WA.

The Enchantments really are that:  Enchanting. I have been to the Enchantments once before.  Some 5 years ago and one of the first places that I really enjoyed the backcountry and soaked up the understanding that being far away from people and everything for a few nights under the stars is something that’s really nice.

If you haven’t heard of this part of the world, it’s a protected area northeast of Seattle, WA outside of a town called Leavenworth.  It’s a piece of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness and overall not huge at around 394,000 acres.  You need to submit for a permit in the winter and cross your fingers for winning the lottery.  Chances of winning in some areas is less than 10%. There are a few zones where you can camp then frolic around the alpine basin or there is an option for a long through hike from Stuart Lake to Snow Lake(18 miles through)  The Enchantments is also home to one of the hardest hikes around, Aasgard pass which climbs 2,200 feet in less than a mile. Yea…ooof. All of this tops out at around 7,800 feet of elevation so you’re getting some vertical miles in any way you shake it.

I try to lump my planning into boxes or buckets to help with allll the things I may need.

Where we goin?

Enchantments, WA outside of Leavenworth, WA.  2-3 hr drive from Seattle.

Do we need permits/reservations?

Yes, this is one of the most sought after hikes in the West.  It is a lottery system and chances of getting certain dates or itineraries is less than 10%.  We had 4 people submit for June/July dates and only 1 of us won. But that’s all you need! This trip was in the works 6+ months prior to going.  Not all trips need THIS much planning, but some do and we will be rewarded with great views and a great experience. Sometimes you just need to put something on the calendar

When we goin?

Late June, early July

Who’s goin?    

Chef Corso

Belosho (recipe tester)

MonkeyTreets (recipe tester)

ChickpeaChick (recipe tester)


The weather is looking very nice, low to mid 80s but we will be at alpine level which means plenty of layers and some warm hats and coats for warm snugging at night

Equipment/Special Equipment

We are doing a through backcountry backpacking trip.

We are taking two cars.  1 at one trail head. 1 at the other.

No super special equipment needed for this trip.


Camp stove


Sleeping Pad

Sleeping bag

Head lamps

Rope for tying food away from critters

Hiking boots


We will bring a couple water bottles each, plus a water pump filter.

We are camping around many alpine lakes with alpine run off as we head down to re-stock.

Water is not a concern on this trip.

Food: Dietary restrictions/Major dislikes?

Cait is a vegetarian and does eat eggs.

It’s hard to plan specific meals for someone with dietary restrictions on a longer trip so we will be eating vegetarian as a group as to make full meal planning easier but will include some home-made jerky, landjagers and protein bars.  Overall, I’m not too concerned about the animal protein on this trip. There are a lot of great options for easy, filling meals with a vegetarian menu.






Categorized in: How-To Cooking, Journal, Packing / Equipment