Some of these permits are free, while others come with small fees. Check out the North Cascades Wilderness Trip Planner to get some insight, and browse past trip reports for a sense of the area and conditions to expect in low, regular and high-snow years. View historical lottery statistics (PDF).   Â, Trips into the Enchantment Permit Area can range from overnight to multiple days. Obtain a daily walk-in permit at the Leavenworth Ranger Station during the permit season (excluding Sundays) Â. It was still worth the trip – even though we carried all our camping … Camp along the shores of a turquoise lake or at the top of a ridge with panoramic views. Backcountry (or wilderness) permits, like those issued in national parks or quota areas like the Enchantments, serve a different purpose than parking passes or entry fees. Trailhead passes for parking are included in the permit cost only for the duration of your overnight trip. Â, Day use visitors are required to obtain a free self-issue day use permit and purchase and display a Northwest Forest Pass (PDF), available online, at the ranger station, or at the trailhead. Â, Parking is prohibited along the lefthand side FS Road 7601. Colchuck Lake is a magnificent color of blue (from glacial till) and offers great overnight camping. Day users need only fill out a free day-use permit, available at any of the three trailheads accessing the Enchantment Permit Area. Follow the trail to the left and after a short stretch in the trees, come to another log bridge that takes you across a narrow, turbulent section of Mountaineer Creek. The party leader must carry photo ID and permit. Failure to comply with regulations may result in citations for all group members, termination of trip and denial of future permits. If you can get one of the widely sought after backcountry permits, or are a strong hiker who can pack in the miles in a single day, this is a part of the country—and the world—you shouldn't miss. Colchuck Lake is one of the lakes that make up the Enchantments area of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, which was established in 1976 and consists of 391,988 acres. Due to the overwhelming popularity of this unique area, all visitors must obtain a permit if visiting from May 15 through October 31. Every member of the group must begin on the reserved start date, and camp with the party leader. Hike Type: Out and back, day-hike Difficulty Level: Strenuous Permit: Day-hiking requires a self-issued permit accessible at the trailhead Date Hiked: October 3, 2019 If you win a permit in the lottery, then you need to confirm and pay for it between March 17 and March 31. Colchuck Lake is a beautiful area found within the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest outside of the Bavarian town of Leavenworth, WA. Core Permit required for overnight access to all areas during permit season. During this time, visitors are requested to self-register at the trailhead registration box. Travel is difficult in areas. The hike from the Stuart Lake trailhead to the Snow Lake trailhead is about 19 miles long. There will no longer be alternate group leaders. A Northwest Forest Pass is required and visitors must park in the designated day use parking areas at the Stuart Lake Trailhead. Core Enchantment permit hol ders may camp in any of the five zones. Park in appropriate day or overnight designated parking areas.Â. To build a multi-day itinerary at a popular location: campsites are only available 6 months to the day of when you are booking. Visitors typically plan at least three or four days for this trip. Requests received after April 1 will be processed in the order received, after the priority batch has been processed. These lands belong to all of us, and while they may not be a perfect solution, the combination of permits, lotteries, and a limited number of walk-up passes—goes a long way toward providing a fair allocation process and ensuring equal access to the opportunity. Answer 1 of 12: Hello...we are planning a trip to Leavenworth so we can spend a day hiking to Colchuck lake and back. In Wallace Falls State Park, there are two lakes—Wallace Lake and Jay Lake—where backcountry camping is allowed, with overnight permits. Rules and regulations for the Enchantment Permit area are strictly enforced. I love to go right after permit season ends - around mid-October. Steep and challenging terrain make travel with an overnight pack very strenuous.   Â, A three day trip to Colchuck or Snow Lakes allows time for a day trip to the Core Enchantments. (Applying early doesn't give you preference for a reservation, just make sure to get your request in during this window.). A small number of daily walk-in permits are available on an unreserved basis Monday - Saturday. Colchuck lake. Colchuck Lake: Hike Details. new adventures through a one-stop shop for inspiration and ideation, trip planning, information sharing, 5.0. These permits are limited and demand usually exceeds availability.Â. Once all your changes are in place, print and sign your permit once all the details to your trip are finalized. Next to Stuart Lake, this has to be one of the most glorious day trips in the area. To mitigate detrimental human impact to the area there are Rules and Regulations that have been established and should be well understood, including no campfires above 5,000 feet. and reservations. Aasgard Pass is a very steep approach to the Enchantments. Colchuck Lake via Stuart Lake Trail is a 9 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Leavenworth, Washington that features a lake and is rated as difficult. Backcountry (or wilderness) permits, like those issued for backpacking in national parks or quota areas like the Enchantments, along the Wonderland Trail or Mount St. Helens Backcountry to help regulate foot traffic in fragile environments. Starting at the Stuart Lakes Trailhead, hike up a strenuous trail, ending at the pristine Colchuck Lake. If your reservation is accepted, you will receive an email confirmation with trip details and further instructions. L-O-V-E. Arguably my favorite day hike in the state. The way leaves the parking lot and the trail meanders the valley. This is when you will be charged the $5.00/person/day fee. Watch Enchantments Educational Video! Colchuck Lake is one of the more scenic day-hikes in the Enchantments. The area is typified by rugged glaciated peaks and a series of lakes ranging from 4,400 feet to 7,800 feet in elevation. It is imperative hikers and backpackers evaluate their comfort and ability in various environments when choosing their route, as many hikes are strenuous and somewhat primitive, while others offer easier climbs.   Â, A trip to the Core Enchantment Zone is recommended for experienced hikers, who are prepared for arduous travel and all weather conditions. Self-registered Wilderness permits: When you are hiking or backpacking into other Wilderness areas on National Forest land, you may see a kiosk to fill out a self-registered, free wilderness permit. Day use is very popular and opportunities for solitude are limited and not likely during the summer. 509-548-2550. level 1 Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest or the Mount Margaret backcountry camps at Mount St. Helens you will need to secure a wilderness permit. 1 Reviews of Colchuck Lake "The road up to the TH (Eightmile Road) opened up on May 15 (permits for camping in Enchantments also opened the same day) and we wanted to check out Leavenworth so headed… Permits can be picked up at the closest ranger station and must be picked up by 11 a.m. on the trip start date, otherwise the reservation will be cancelled and made available to walk-ups. Use our guide to research what you need. Fill out the permit, and attach it to your pack. (There is a maximum of 5 persons per campsite. Info and Fees for The Enchantments Permits and Camping By limiting the number of visitors to an area, permits not only preserve the environment but also the experience of hikers themselves. Many great spots for swimming and snoozing. Any real difficulties for novice hikers? You can do very late evening or very early morning and have that be day use, but if you're up there at midnight and on the trail on two consecutive dates, you count as camping and need that permit. Note: The application process saw some minor tweaks back in the 2017 season, so be sure to brush up on the complete process at recreation.gov before sending in your application. Permit holder must be 18 years or older. There's still hope! Colchuck Lake. For this backpacking trip, a permit for either the Colchuck or Core Enchanment Zone will be necessary. Maximum party size is 8. Apply during the annual permit lottery2. Because of the area's popularity, all overnight visitors must obtain a permit if they want to camp in the Basin between May 15 and October 31. You can get a day permit at the trailhead, or stay the night and camp with an overnight permit, which you have to enter the … Use gaps between boulders, crevices in rocks, large flat rocks, sandy bare areas or the toilets provided.Â, An Overnight Visitor Parking Pass is required to park at all Enchantment trailheads and are free with the purchase of an overnight camping permit. The Enchantment Permit Area lies within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State. charge a parking fee—this includes a majority trailheads in the Cascades and Olympics. This allows you to immerse yours… Lost out, yet again, on a highly coveted and competitive overnight camping permit to the Enchantments? You will be charged a $6.00 non-refundable application fee. Some are seasonal, and others are required year-round. Your accepted reservation must be converted to a permit before you depart on your trip. Some of these permits are free, while others come with small fees. I've heard it's a 9 mile round trip hike. Colchuck Peak is a prominent peak in the Stuart Range and a worthy goal with some very fine climbs on its northeast side, though it is often overlooked in favor of Dragontail Peak immediately to the east with its spectacular north face. Find incredible places and experiences that help you bring home a story through Explore on day trips to nearby peaks and lakes and/ or backpack through mossy forests and across granite fields. (Some trails and camps may remain snow-covered until July.). The weather can vary in the Cascade Mountains. With alpine lakes, tarns, mountain goats, jagged peaks and mythological fairy-like names, the whole 18-mile trek through the Enchantments rivals the world's best trails and scenery. Eight days or more prior to the entry date, days and group members may be added to the trip.Â, No refunds will be given for reducing days or group members.Â. Spontaneous planners will still be able to use the regular walk-up permit process. Due to popular demand for overnight permits, a lottery is held annually. Length 9 miElevation gain 2283 ftRoute type Out & back Colchuck, Stuart, Snow and Eightmile/Caroline Zones: More individuals can be added to a permit up to a max of 8. Although the area is high use, trails are very primitive with steep, rocky sections. You can cancel or change your reservation online at Recreation.gov. Â. Recreation.gov is your gateway to explore America's outdoor Lower elevation trails and lakes are forested, while the upper lakes are within an alpine environment. We were actually lucky enough to get permits, and then a series of unfortunate events derailed our plans, and we ended up doing an incredibly long day hike instead of camping. Dogs, Horses, Campfires are all prohibited at Colchuck Lake which is in the Enchanment Permit Area. However, the views at the lake are well worth the effort. The Core Enchantments Zone permit is the best because it will allow you to camp in any of the permit zones. They may be available on a walkup basis. A permit for the Colchuck Zone, for example, allows you to hike through the whole area but you can only camp within the Colchuck Zone. Know what to do if you encounter mountain goats. Colchuck Lake is so stunning it quiets you. SEE PARKING INFORMATION BELOW. May, June, September and October are considered "shoulder seasons" and visitors can expect to encounter snow and winter-like conditions. This beautiful and very popular 4-mile trail is accessed from Stuart Lake Trail #1599 which starts at Stuart Lake Trailhead (3400' elevation). Aasgard Pass is not advised for hikers not prepared and equipped for steep snow travel. Straight ahead the path to Stuart Lake rolls out, while the Colchuck Lake Trail #1599.1 breaks off to the left. It's a good idea to research where and when you'd like to go before you start the application process since making changes to an application may not be easy or even possible once you've submitted it. Day hike the North Cascades. The permit … A permit for the Colchuck Zone, for example, allows you to hike through the whole area but you can only camp within the Colchuck Zone. Did you confirm? If you’re planning a one-way hike you’ll need a car at each end. Groups must camp together each night in the zone for which the permit is issued. It is managed according to the Wilderness Management Plan and the 1964 Wilderness Act, to provide protection of fragile resources and preservation of wilderness character for generations to come. Â, The Enchantment Permit Area is a remote alpine environment with potential hazards and risks. This view is looking north. around Mount Shuksan, Forbidden and Sharkfin Peaks (including, Mount Rainier & North Cascades reservations open, Mount Rainier National Park (and Wonderland Trail) Wilderness Permits, North Cascades National Park Backcountry Permits, Olympic National Park Wilderness Camping Permits, North Cascades Backcountry Reservation page, Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest website. If you apply, set yourself a reminder to check back during this period; don't count on an email. Starting Elevation: 3,410 ft. 705 2nd Ave, Suite 300 The $6 application fee is nonrefundable. But in the end, they serve a valuable purpose. Chloe Donlan Contributor. The trail is primarily used for hiking, camping, and backpacking and is best used from May until October. A list of sites is here. The way to Colchuck Lake is steeper and more crowded. Day use is permitted across all zones, but camping can only occur in the zone for which the overnight permit is issued. Â, There are three methods of obtaining an overnight permit: Â, 1. Eightmile/Caroline: There are two lakes you can access with this permit: Eightmile and Caroline.We day hiked to Eightmile Lake a couple years ago and it was beautiful, although not as scenic as some of the other Enchantment lakes (like Colchuck). We provide tools and tips to discover Two permits CANNOT be combined to form a group larger than eight. From the lake you can view Aasgard Pass which is for more serious hikers/backpackers to enter the Enchantments and that have received a pass to camp overnight. You need a special ($$) permit to camp there after June 15th but what a great place to camp. While it's not a … The trailhead is easily found from the parking area. 4000ft) the trail crosses the creek on an spectacular log bridge spanning deep pools of water on large boulders. Application processing will begin on April 1, and may take up to four weeks to complete. The 2020 Enchantment lottery will open on February 15, 2020 and end on February 29, 2020. Bookmark it: An application link should go live on the North Cascades National Park Permit Page on March 15. The climb starts not long after the cutoff from the Stuart Lake Trail. At about 1.75 miles (elev. It's a good idea to research where and when you'd like to go before you start the application process since making changes to an application may not be easy or even possible once you've submitted it. The Enchantments sind ein Gebiet, welches ein oberes und ein unteres Einzugsgebiet mit den darin befindlichen Seen und Karseen umfasst und von den Gipfeln der Stuart Range begrenzt wird. Washington Trails Association is 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Backcountry & Wilderness Permits. Find detailed information and instructions on how to obtain a permit. Being prepared and knowing your skill level and ability and the skill level and abilities of all of your group members is imperative. Demand for overnight permits far exceeds the number available, therefore advanced reservations are recommended. Alternate group leader must have a recreation.gov account and accept online. Permits are a way of regulating the amount of foot traffic in fragile environments that can only handle so much use before they begin to erode. There are numerous campsites around the lake for those with overnight permits. This allows you to immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of nature in relative solitude. Permits allow the permit holder and their group to camp overnight in one of the five permit zones: View a map of the permit zones. Through the remainder of the year, permits are not required. Pack out your toilet paper.Â, Do not urinate on vegetation or soils. But reservations for high elevation areas like the Seven Lakes Basin are limited to a shorter summer season (typically mid-July until mid-October). Do we need a permit to hike? As of 2017 up to 60 percent of all backcountry permits for some popular areas in North Cascades National Parks will be available via the new online reservation process. This hike is challenging in that it is mostly up, and up, and up. Set on making the Enchantments your backpacking destination? It was still worth the trip – even though we carried all our camping … Use extreme caution when climbing or descending steep snow slopes, exposed and hidden creeks and waterfalls are present. By limiting the number of visitors to an area, permits not only preserve the environment but also the experience of hikers themselves. In 1987 the Forest Service enacted a permit system for overnight camping in the Enchantments and the Snow Lakes, Stuart Lake, and Colchuck Lake areas. At this point, you will NOT have purchased a permit, but rather will have entered the lottery. over 3 years ago. All forms of motorized travel are also prohibited on these trails. Suddenly, laid out beneath your feet are the icy waters of the lake-deep blue in the shade, bright aquamarine in sunlight-while high above you at the far end of the lake, the twin spires of Dragontail and Colchuck Peaks seem to crowd out the very sky. The first time you round the corner and come out of the trees at Colchuck Lake is something of a religious experience. The parking pass is, Once a permit reservation is made, no changes may be made to the permit zone or entry date.Â. Make a reservation online after the annual permit lottery3. )Â, Recreation Fee: Overnight Enchantment permits are $5.00 per person, per day, May 15th-October 31st. Â, *The recreation fee finances on-the-ground administration and management of the Enchantment Permit Area. Core Enchantment permit hol ders may camp in any of the five zones. Snow Lake Zone Colchuck Lake Zone Stuart Lake Zone Eightmile/Caroline Zone View a map of the permit zones. There is no refund if the trip is cancelled within 21 days of the entry date. Hiking. You will be charged a $20 non-refundable application cost-recovery fee. Treat this season as a chance to gather intel about the area by day hiking it. Forty percent of backcountry permits will be held for walk-ups only. The lakes are situated within the Cascade Mountains in Washington State, where visitors are privy to endlessly beautiful views of lakes, larch trees, snow-topped peaks, glaciers, and occasional goat sightings. Colchuck lake. Recreation.gov! Otherwise, set up camp in your permit zone and spend three or four days exploring the area. It makes it a bit chilly, but also more relaxed. Be sure to arrive at the ranger station early to snag a spot. In recent years, hikers have died after glissading and falling into a creek or hole in the snowpack. Â, There are no refunds for unfavorable weather conditions.Â, Lottery Application: $6.00 non-refundable fee (Note: reservation fee is non-refundable even if you are unsuccessful in the lottery. There are several high points with the western m… [2] The Enchantments werden als eine der spekta… Colchuck Lake Trail #1599A An overnight reservation permit is required from May 15 to October 31. Do not improve sites by moving rocks, building walls or disturbing soils. Â, If you're not near a toilet, dig a cat hole 6 to 8 inches deep at least 200 feet from water sources or campsites. It is the bigger brother to the nearby Enchantment Lakes, much easier to reach (as a day hike, especially), and some have described it as a religious experience.The glacier-fed waters of Colchuck Lake are an ethereal aquamarine blue. You can reserve and camp at many coastal and lower elevation areas in Olympic National Park all year long. If you score a permit, the next step is confirming and paying for your permits. There are two primary approaches to the Enchantments Basin. Reservations will become available at www.recreation.gov at 7 a.m. PST. Amazing day out in the Enchantments. Stehekin Area (Lakeview, Purple Point and Harelquin). Our tax identification number is EIN 91-0900134. We did this as a day hike. We were actually lucky enough to get permits, and then a series of unfortunate events derailed our plans, and we ended up doing an incredibly long day hike instead of camping. ), Washington Trails Association Colchuck Lake is one of the gateways into the Enchantments. Please call the park office to acquire a permit prior to arrival at 360-793-0420. Permit season extended to May 15, 2016 - Oct 31, 2016. Seattle, WA 98104. Most of the camp sites are on the left side of the lake (west). If you don't win one of the lottery permits: Trailhead parking: USFS trailheads in Washington and Oregon with developed facilities (toilet, picnic table, etc.) Colchuck Lake is nestled among some of the major Enchantment peaks, including Colchuck Balanced Rock, Dragontail Peak, and Colchuck … Groups must camp together each night in the zone for which the permit is issued. The trail is a bit of a jumble as you hop boulders in a large talus slope along the creek’s bank. The lottery results will be posted on recreation.gov, at which time applicants can log into their recreation.gov account and find out the results of their application. Both trail heads are accessed via Icicle Creek Road. If you plan to backpack in a National Park or monument, you will need to secure a backcountry/wilderness permit. Park at the Stuart Lake trailhead. The jagged peaks and passes surrounding the lake have mystical names like Dragontail … Contributions to WTA are tax deductible, and we are committed to making the best use of every donation to our mission. Subscribe to our free email newsletter for hiking events, news, gear reviews and more. Reservations can be made for the following areas: The North Cascades reservation lottery will open on March 15 and end on March 24. The 8-9 mile roundtrip hike was tiresome, but well worth it. USGS Topographic map of the Enchantment Lakes. (Applying early doesn't give you preference for a permit, so just make sure to get your application in during this window.). To book the rest of your trip as campsites become available on the following days, log in into your Recreation.gov account and access your reservations, then modify your permit to add dates to your reservation. The Enchantments: Hike to Colchuck Lake. Dogs and horses are also prohibited on the trails leading to Colchuck Lake at all times of the year. Violators will be ticketed and towed at owners expense.Â, Cancellations and Changes: Confirmed and awarded trips may be cancelled up to 22 days before the trip with a refund. You could give the Leavenworth ranger station a call to get clarification. [1] Das Gebiet liegt vollständig in der Alpine Lakes Wilderness etwa 24 km südwestlich von Leavenworth (Washington) im Westen der Vereinigten Staaten. Colchuck Lake is truly a gem of a day hike. Colchuck Lake Trail (Trip Report) Between May 15 and October 31, a permit is required for overnight use in the Enchantments. Dates to apply for permits vary by park. If you want to get in the running for one of the reserved permits, read up on the North Cascades Backcountry Reservation page and follow these basic steps. The Snow Lakes and Colchuck Lakes zones are the next most popular option because they are adjacent to the Core Zone. While there are fewer opportunities to backpack on state lands (and a Discover Pass for entry or parking is usually all that is required), there are a few spots where you might need a special backcountry permit. Permits are a way of regulating the amount of foot traffic in fragile environments that can only handle so much use before they begin to erode. Cannot add or change alternate group leader. There are no refunds for unfavorable weather conditions. Only one lottery application per person will be allowed, Every member of the group must carry a copy of the valid permit while on trail. Take a few hikes and get a feeling for where you might like to plan a trip in next year. Check individual park sites for information about how to get your permit. Obtaining one of those two permits will allow hikers to day trip up into the Core Zone and return to their camps at Colchuck Lake or Snow Lake. 6-12-04 Colchuck Lake is a great area to camp when climbing in the Colchuck-Dragontail Peak area. As of 2020, wilderness permit reservations can be made up to 6 months to the day in advance on a rolling basis. If you want to camp in these spots outside of the reservation window, you need to check with the Wilderness Information Center. This person cannot be changed after the lottery application process. You'll also be asked to provide additional information about party size (maximum of 8 people), the length of your stay, and pay for the permit. Permit holder must carry photo ID with permit and show it to a Ranger upon request.Â, Maximum group size is eight, including stock.Â, No campfires above 5,000 feet or within 1/2 mile of any lakes. Â, People cannot add more individuals if there are no spaces available in the daily quota for the Core.Â, When you apply for a Core permit through the lottery, make sure you indicate the group size you would be willing to accept, knowing you, Colchuck, Stuart, Snow and Eightmile/Caroline Zones: More individuals, Alternate group leader must be identified during the, Alternate group leader must have a recreation.gov account and accept being the alternate within 72 hours of application submission.Â, One permit per person/per zone annually, including serving as an alternate.Â, The Overnight Visitor Parking Pass that comes free with an Enchantments permit, Camp in previously impacted campsites, never on vegetation. Permit must be printed, read and signed. Person making the reservation is the permit holder. The trail then starts to climb through open forest with views of the valleys peaks. Backcountry permits will remain free in the North Cascades. Camping at Colchuck Lake If you plan to camp at the top, know that you must obtain a permit between May 15 to October 31. Backcountry (or wilderness) permits, like those issued in national parks or quota areas like the Enchantments, serve a different purpose than parking passes or entry fees. Day and overnight visitors need to check the weather and be prepared for all weather types throughout the season. The barriers posed by permits are, more often than not, that they can be confusing and difficult to secure. Mountain goats c ) ( 3 ) nonprofit there after June 15th but what a great to. Is high use, trails are very primitive with steep, rocky sections Lake ( west ) serve a purpose... Account and accept online number of daily walk-in permits are limited and not during! 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Reservations can be made for the Enchantment permit area is a beautiful area found within the Okanogan-Wenatchee Forest! You need to confirm and pay for it between March 17 and March 31 required from until... Summer season ( excluding Sundays )   limited to a permit to. Used for hiking events, news, gear reviews and more crowded four days for this backpacking trip a! If your reservation is accepted, you will be necessary for your permits a story through!. Popular demand for overnight use in the designated day use parking areas the. For hikers not prepared and equipped for steep snow slopes, exposed and hidden creeks and waterfalls are present Seattle. Annual permit lottery3 please call the park office to acquire a permit to... Park, there are several high points with the Wilderness information Center an overnight permit. Straight ahead the path to Stuart Lake rolls out, while the Colchuck Col at Leavenworth! Entry date. by rugged glaciated peaks and Lakes and/ or backpack through mossy forests across! At Colchuck Lake is one of the permit, the Enchantment permit area lies within alpine... Knowing your skill level and abilities of all of your group members is imperative the effort Sundays ) Â.... Season as a chance to gather intel about the area is high,... Both trail heads are accessed via Icicle creek Road are two primary approaches to east! Subscribe to our mission and visitors can expect to encounter snow and winter-like.. Left side of the entry date Leavenworth ranger station during the permit zones enforced! Entry date. Stuart Lake Zone Colchuck Lake spontaneous planners will still be to... More relaxed September and October 31, 2016 no refund if the is. What a great area to camp when climbing or descending steep snow.. Accepted, you will need to check back during this period ; n't! Self-Register at the Lake are well worth it breaks off to the core Zone access to all areas during season... Colchuck Glacier to the Enchantments permits and camping Colchuck Lake at all times of entry. - Oct 31, 2016 mid-October ) all times of the reservation,... The Colchuck-Dragontail Peak area Lake—where backcountry camping is allowed, with overnight permits far exceeds the number of daily permit. Encounter mountain goats - around mid-October 8-9 mile roundtrip hike was tiresome, also! Deep pools of water on large boulders cancelled within 21 days of the reservation window, you to... 19 miles long the views at the pristine Colchuck Lake you score a is...