Snow Lakes Trail #1553


This trail is within Alpine Lakes Wilderness.  The Snow Lakes Trail is 12.0 miles long, gains 6500 feet of elevation, and is designated hiker-only. The trail begins at the Snow Lakes Trailhead, crossing a large bridge over Icicle Creek, then immediately starts to switchback up the rocky canyon. The heavily-used trail has very little tree cover and no water for approximately 2.5 miles, then it passes Snow Creek on the right and continues to switchback up through the forest. The trail climbs more steeply across an old landslide path, and heads into denser forest, leveling out and opening up at Nada Lake, which is about 5.6 miles from the trailhead. There are many well-established campsites on the east shore of Nada Lake, and the trail continues to the southeast end of the lake. It then switchbacks up over a large talus and scree slope, climbing 1.7 miles until it reaches Lower Snow Lake, where there are several well-marked campsites. The trail goes over the old dam between Upper and Lower Snow Lakes, and continues for 1.5 miles along the south shore of Upper Snow Lake, where there are dozens of clear campsites. After the head of Upper Snow Lake, the trail is designated unmaintained, and is very rugged. The path switchbacks up extremely steeply: parts of it cut through dense forest, where gnarled roots grow in the middle of the trail, and sections of it cross precipitous granite outcroppings that can be very slick if it is raining. The trail reaches Lake Viviane after about 1 mile of steep uphill scrambling, and there are several lovely campsites here with breathtaking views of the valley below and the surrounding peaks. A short, steep climb up the north-facing granite cliff, and the trail passes Leprechaun Lake, then continues less steeply—though no less ruggedly—past Sprite Pond and around the east side of Perfection Lake. At the head of Perfection Lake, Snow Lake Trail ends and becomes Colchuck Lake Trail #1599.1, which continues through the Upper Enchantments. Please be advised: while heavily-trafficked, the trail beyond Upper Snow Lake to the Core Enchantments is a primitive route marked with rock cairns, and is recommended only for experienced hikers.

Dogs are prohibited on Snow Lakes trail and within the Enchantment Permit Area, except for Service Dogs as defined by the revised Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

At a Glance

Reservations: An overnight reservation permit is required from May 15 to October 31. Wilderness permits for day-use are required. The self-issuing day permits are available at trailheads.
Fees $5 per vehicle/per day or valid Recreation Pass required on vehicle at trailhead
Permit Info: Alpine Lake Wilderness permit required.  Day use permits are self-issued at the trailhead. Special overnight permits required May 15 - Oct. 31 for the Enchantments Permit Area.
Usage: Heavy
Restrictions: Wilderness regulations apply. See: Alpine Lakes Wilderness Regulations Booklet (PDF File)  
  • Manditory permit area.
  • Hiker only trail.
  • Group size limit 8. 
  • Dogs are prohibited on Snow Lakes trail and within the Enchantment Permit Area, except for Service Dogs as defined by the revised Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • Campfires are prohibited.
  • Designated hiker campsites at Nada Lake and Snow Lake.
Closest Towns: Leavenworth, WA
Passes: A valid Recreation Pass required at Snow Creek Trailhead.
Information Center: Wenatchee River Ranger District, (509) 548-2550

General Information


From Leavenworth, WA  follow US-2 W for .8 miles and take a left onto Icicle Road. Follow Icicle Road for 4.3 miles to the Snow Lakes Trailhead. The trail ends at Aasgard Pass.


General Notes:

Green Trails Map - #209S The Enchantments

USGS Map - Leavenworth/Blewett/Enchantment Lakes, WA

Vicinity Map of Enchantment Permit Area Zones

Small Map of Enchantment Permit Area Zones. Click for larger version.

Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

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