Enchantments Overview

The Enchantments is the name given to one of the most breathtaking wilderness areas in the Cascade Range: a three-mile glacial basin dotted with ultramarine lakes and watched over by fearsome granite peaks.

Brisingamen Lakelets and Prusik Peak

What it’s like

Visitors to the Enchantments will climb from the bottom of the Icicle Creek gorge up to nearly 8,000 feet; first through familiar subalpine woodland, then up through alpine meadows and past glistening blue tarns, before finishing in the bare granite moonscape of the upper basin. Along the way, you’ll see mountain goats, marmots and other wildlife. The trip is demanding, but the scenery is unparalleled.

Little Annapurna reflected on the surface of Rune Lake

When to go

The Enchantments is mostly snow-free during a short window from roughly June to September each year. Permits are required to camp in the Enchantments from May 15 to October 31. Check out our weather info for details about the conditions at different times of the year.

Witches Tower and Dragontail Peak behind the upper Valkyrie Lakes

What to bring

We’ve put together a gear guide to help you figure out what you’ll need. If you’re going with a group, be sure to coordinate with them since you’ll be able to share some equipment. And don’t forget the ten essentials.

A foggy morning at Leprechaun Lake

Some things not to bring:

  • drones are illegal to fly or possess anywhere within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness
  • dogs and other pets aren’t allowed in the Enchantments permit area

Also, don’t plan on any campfire cooking: campfires are prohibited above 5000′ or within 1/2 mile of any lake, which describes all designated campsites.

How to get there

The Enchantments are located near Leavenworth, Washington. If you’re coming from far away, consider making plans to stay overnight in a hotel in Leavenworth so that you can get an early start on the trail.

Evening sunlight in the basin