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Photo Diary: Day Hiking The Enchantments

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In early October Alex and I decided to go larch hunting. Every fall I have seen posts about "larch madness" on social media but I had never had the pleasure of seeing these vividly yellow trees myself. With the weather forecast to be absolutely perfect, we set off to hike the 18 mile trail that connects the Colchuck/Stuart Lake Trailhead to the Snowy Lake Trailhead and traverses the Core zone of The Enchantments. Ideally we would spend a few days backpacking through this idyllic region but in order to get a permit you need to win a lottery. We lost. But we didn't want to miss out on seeing the stunning region so we decided to thru-hike it in one grueling day. We left Seattle at 3am and hit the trail a little after 5am in order to make it to Colchuck Lake by sunrise. It took us a little longer than we anticipated to make it to Colchuck and as we neared the lake we saw the sky turning pink through the canopy of trees above us. We ran the rest of the way to the lake and made it, breathless, just in time to watch the clouds over Dragontail Peak turn cotton-candy pink and then a brilliant orange. 

There was a fresh dusting of snow on the trail, which made the going a little slower than usual, especially on Aasgard Pass, where the trail gains 1900' in less than a mile. We had a pretty strict schedule to keep if we wanted to make it to Snowy Lake Trailhead before dark but it was hard not to stop and take photos often. We passed lake after lake, each surrounded by yellow larches and a blanket of snow. It was a truly beautiful hike!