Hikes and Stories

So You Didn’t Get An Enchantments Permit


Enchantments, Schmantments.  Big deal.  So you didn’t get a permit this year.

Unless you plan on doing a thru hike and walk the entire trail in a day, you are probably wondering how you will ever find anything as amazing as The Enchantments in the Alpine Wilderness.

Just kidding.  Hopefully you know that Washington is FULL of wonderful trails just as amazing as The Enchantments but without the hassle of a lottery, the crowds who have no idea what Leave No Trace is, and feeling like you are hanging out in theme park instead of enjoying a wilderness experience.  Sure it’s beautiful but it’s not the only game in town.

One such hike would be to Spade Lake in the Cle Elum area east of Snoqualmie Pass. It’s a little harder to get to than The Enchantments but with the odds that you will have it to yourself, it is totally worth it!

Click photo for details!


Other hikes you might try are Chain and Doelle Lakes, West Fork Foss River or Robin and Tuck Lakes. I hope this summer to check out Thunder Mountain Lakes or Tank Lakes.

BUT, if you have your heart set on the Enchantments, all is not lost. You have two options left to you.

  1. All those who received a permit have until March 31st to confirm them.  If they don’t, those permits go back into the pool for others to claim.  That could be you!
  2. They do reserve permits for walk-ups.  Those permits are offered daily at the ranger station in Leavenworth and are given out lottery style.  Yes, you will be there with a bunch of other people hoping to get one.  But, if you don’t, there are still PLENTY of hikes in the area to head out on where you won’t be disappointed.  Horseshoe Lake, Icicle Ridge, the Lakeshore Trail and Lyman Lakes can all be found out of Leavenworth and Chelan.

Did you hope to get Enchantment permits?  Tell me what you Plan B is!

*For the most up-to-date information/closures/safety tips on the Enchantments, head over to the official Forest Service page.

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2 thoughts on “So You Didn’t Get An Enchantments Permit

  1. I HATE the permit system. but I get it. Too many hikers want to hike (especially the JMT and PCT) and there needs to be a measure of crowd control. Still, it just doesn’t feel right to be required to get permission to walk in the mountains.

    1. I agree, it doesn’t seem right. But it is probably the only way to get to enjoy it without being wall to wall with others. And there’s that all important LNT.

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