While reservations for Berg Lake and the West Coast Trail are hot tickets for hikers in British Columbia, a backpacking permit for the Enchantment Lakes is one of the most-coveted prizes in Washington.
Found in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, near the Bavarian-themed tourist trap known as Leavenworth, the Enchantments are a constellation of stunning alpine tarns situated in the Central Cascades. Every year, the U.S. Forest Service holds a preseason lottery (February 15 to March 1) to allocate the majority of overnight permits for the peak and (snowy) shoulder seasons (May 15 to October 31).
Day hikers require a permit too, but it’s free and available at the trailheads — no reservation necessary. Both out-and-back and crossover hikes are possible; a privately operated shuttle service helps with the latter.Continue reading “Hiking the Enchantment Lakes: 9 magical sights in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness”