Fall Enchantment Thru Hike

Crowds and Larch Madness

For an early birthday weekend, I wanted to take Kylie into the Enchantments for the first time and experience the fall larches. I had been into the core zone quite a few times, but actually had never done the traditional thru-hike (I had done it backwards). Later in the week, we found out that some friends were looking to do the same thing, so we organized a car shuttle with them, making for easy transportation.

It was a cold fall morning. Sometimes I forget how little daylight there is this time of year, but it was still shaded when we reached Colchuck Lake.

Our friend Sarah at Colchuck Lake.
Kylie with Aasgard Pass behind.

There were huge swarms of people as we contoured around the lake and started crossing the boulders. I think a group of like 20 trail runners passed us!

Mt. Cashmere reflects in a still Colchuck Lake.

Then we began the long grind up Aasgard. Up high, there were even a few water ice sections from the streams that had frozen overnight! We also started to enter larch territory. They were obviously not fully yellow, but pretty close.

Colchuck Peak and some cool clouds.
Kylie making her way up Aasgard.
The shoulder of Dragontail Peak.

When we crested Aasgard and entered the upper core zone, we finally got into the sun and were able to warm up. It was a beautiful fall day up here, cool and crisp.

Matching R1 buddies!
Kylie with Witches Tower and Dragontail behind.
Larches on the shore of Isolation Lake.
Our friends for the hike.

A few of us decided to hike up Little Annapurna, while others chilled at a nice spot near the lakes. Up near the top, there was actually a bit of fresh snow, but nothing that made the hiking difficult or anything.

One friend on the summit of Little Annapurna.
Kylie descending Little Annapurna.

Reunited with the rest of the group, we kept hiking through the core zone. As we got lower, the larches got more abundant and the scenery just kept improving! Prusik Peak went from being a little high point on a ridge to a majestic spire.

Prusik Peak over Inspiration Lake.
Panoramic view of Perfection Lake and Prusik to McClellan.
I need to climb it someday!
A different angle on Prusik.
Prusik Peak and Lake Viviane.

Once we got down to Lake Viviane, the magical section was over and we began the long slog out the Snow Creek Valley. The Snow Lakes were super low and kind of ugly actually. We got down to the car right as it was getting dark, tired but happy with a beautiful hike through the Enchantments!

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