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The Enchantments, Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

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The Enchantments, Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

Postby windknot » Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:51 pm

Did a three-day backpack to the popular Enchantments area of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness in central Washington last weekend. This area receives a ton of traffic and so backpacking is strictly regulated with quotas for each of the entry zones. Most permits are snatched up through a lottery held in the spring, but I got lucky and happened to find one permit available on the Recreation.gov site about a week before we were planning to head up to the mountains.

Went up on a Sunday, so I was a little amazed to count 62 backpackers and 46 dayhikers coming down the trail as we labored up. We passed an additional 5 backpackers on our way, and saw 34 others camped at the big lake at the top of our permitted zone (couldn't camp past the boundary). A reminder that I wasn't in Kansas (er, the isolated High Sierra) anymore.

Still, the high visitation is warranted. The core Enchantments are indeed beautiful, and very reminiscent of many areas of the Sierra.

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Another reminder that I wasn't in the Sierra anymore was that the trailhead started at the lofty elevation of 1,200 feet. The highest point of our backpack was Aasgard Pass at 7,841 feet. So even though the Cascades don't come close to reaching the absolute elevations of the Sierra, 6,600+ feet of elevation gain in two days isn't exactly a stroll through a meadow.

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Saw a few of the ubiquitous mountain goats while we were up there. Apparently they've learned to follow hikers around so they can lick up their urine and get some extra salt that way. Hmm, a plan was hatched to try to capture and tame one so we'd have a new pack goat.

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Even managed to catch a few feisty cutthroat, too.

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Just when I was starting to think that I'd been spoiled by our easy-to-catch Sierra trout.

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Thanks for looking!

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A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/



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Re: The Enchantments, Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

Postby maverick » Tue Aug 18, 2015 2:56 pm

Marvelous trip, many folks from WA talk about how beautiful the ALW are, thanks for supporting those thoughts with these wonderful pic's. :nod:
HST= Wilderness Adventurer who knows no bounds, except for their own imagination.

Have a safer backcountry experience by using the HST ReConn Form 2.0, named after Larry Conn, a HST member: http://reconn.org
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Re: The Enchantments, Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

Postby Wandering Daisy » Tue Aug 18, 2015 4:58 pm

It looks like you were not impacted by the fires in Washington. Beautiful area. I never thought of the Cascades in respect to fishing since all my time in the Cascades in my youth were concentrated on climbing. Some healthy fat fish there!
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Re: The Enchantments, Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

Postby rayfound » Wed Aug 19, 2015 8:16 am

6,600+ feet of elevation gain in two days isn't exactly a stroll through a meadow


Ouch.

That first picture... man, that's some pretty water - the dropoffs looks so fishy.
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Re: The Enchantments, Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

Postby TahoeJeff » Wed Aug 19, 2015 9:38 am

Great scenery, good fish and even mt. goats, what more could you ask for?!?!?!?
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Re: The Enchantments, Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

Postby windknot » Thu Aug 20, 2015 8:37 am

Thanks all. WD, ever since I saw a thread on an online forum showing page after page of 20"+ backcountry trout taken from alpine lakes in WA I've been wanting to explore the fishing up here. Have to say that everything I've found to this point has just gotten me more excited.

Rayfound, that lake indeed had a ton of fish, but all looked to be pretty small cutts.
A few backcountry fishing pictures: http://wanderswithtrout.wordpress.com/
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Re: The Enchantments, Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

Postby Troutdog 59 » Thu Aug 20, 2015 1:57 pm

Gorgeous cutthroats Matt! Looks like the Washinton fish like Army Ants as well!!!!!
If you stand in the light, you get the feel of the night, and the music that plays in your ear......
In your mind you can hear, a voice so sweet and clear, and the music that plays in your head......
As it flows up from the ground, taking all that hear the sound, close your eyes, it’s about to begin.

R. Trower
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Re: The Enchantments, Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA

Postby giantbrookie » Sat Aug 22, 2015 4:16 pm

That is some truly rugged and beautiful scenery and gorgeous cutts!
Since my fishing (etc.) website is still down, you can be distracted by geology stuff at: http://www.fresnostate.edu/csm/ees/facu ... ayshi.html
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