Decided to celebrate my gf’s 50th birthday by an overnight in the Enchantments. We left Seattle very early to get to the ranger station for the permit drawing by 745am. All was good until we hit a road construction roadblock in Tumwater Canyon. So we were late for the drawing. We still managed to score a Snow Lakes permit and decided to camp there and venture up to the Lakes from there. The hike was beautiful; Fall colors were just starting to come on. This is the 8th toughest day hike in the country according to Backpacking magazine. Even so, I always remember this as the “easier” route into the Enchantments. A mistake I wont be making again soon 🙂 Its basically a nonstop climb with a few level spots to tease you. My pack was about 35lbs and hers was about 20. Lots of pondering about how to drop even more weight in the gear.
We got to the dam between the Snow Lakes and saw a group of goats with babies wandering about. Closeby was a group of 20somethings making a lot of noise. I figure the goats were there hoping for salt. About an hour later we reached the last camp before the bridge at the west end of Upper Snow Lake and set up camp there. We were soon asleep after she unwrapped a small birthday gift in our tent.
I set the alarm for 5ish to get up and hike up to the Lakes. I peeked out and the weather looked ominous. Socked in and damp. A half hour later it was snowing. That was our clue to pack up and head back down. We talked with the kids and their plan was to head up to the Core area. Eyeing their gear, it seemed like a bad idea. We also ran into several cheery parties heading up the trail. Knowing the weather forecast and being where we had been, we hoped they had packed well. Back at the trailhead, it was time for Starbucks, Icicle Brewing and Alpen Hamburgers 🙂
Definitely going back up in a week or two for larches and hopefully better weather.