Annual Visit to the Enchantments Lakes Basin for Fall Colors and Larches


Set out to find some fall color and larches. Won the walk up permit drawing, interfaced with the cranky permit lady (she reminds me of the accountant from Monsters Inc.) and quickly organized into a party of 8.
I’d like to provide one of those butterflies and rainbows trip reports where everything is wonderful but seriously, this hike is a slog. Its officially the 8th toughest day hike in the country and for good reason.  I got my pack weight down to 28 lbs including a bottle of Pyramid Oktoberfest and a pack of Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte Via.  My Zpacks ten degree sleeping bag weighed 1.5 lbs. My pack was 3. My tent was a Shires Tarptent weighing 1.6 lbs. Almost everything metal was titanium or carbon fiber.  I planned on eating peanut butter and honey sandwiches. I carried a liter of water, planning on filtering more as I went along. Its a long hard hike, each step contemplated carefully so as not to trip/fall/slide/tumble etc. Lots of hydration, sweat, aches, thoughts of anything other than how my thighs felt. Reaching the top of Asgaard, I didn’t have some wonderful revelation of otherworldly beauty, instead more real thoughts of cramps, observations of desolate granite and an eye on the watch to be sure to reach Leprechaun before dark. Ran into some guys camping right on the trail above Inspiration. Really? So many awesome spots nearby. Oh well.

Got up early for sunrise and got some decent photos. Decided to leave via Snow Lakes despite having to arrange a ride back to Stuart where my car was. I never seem to want to visit Asgaard twice in one hike. I cant imagine why. Many in my party had never been to the Enchantments before so that was fun to show them around. But their whining about suffering and how they were getting old was tiring as they were half my age 🙂

Cliff Notes: Decided to go in via Colchuck and Asgaard, camp near Leprechaun Lake and then down via Snow Lakes. Colors are looking great and weather is awesome. Made seven new friends along the way and had a great time. Lots of Aleve and Advil recommended. Once you’ve seen this, you cant stay away.

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