This was my first time to the legendary Enchantments. A futile attempt to encourage others, friends, family and TNABers to come along meant it would be a solo trip. Several folks suggested the counter clockwise Stuart Lake trail start, so I went with that. But, how to get back from the Snow Lake trail parking lot? 8 miles is a long road walk and I don't want to leave my fancy mountain bike chained up to a wooden post.
The hike was amazing. 4am to 4pm just as I had planned. No blisters. Perfect weather. The only problem was getting back to the car. A decision to leave my daughter's outgrown 24" wheeled bike and attempt a hitch hike failed miserably. People just don't seem to want to offer rides to sweaty old guys who ride pink girls mountain bikes. I just don't get it!
Ok, so I'm committed to the ride back. It turns out though that it is more efficient to walk up a steep gravel road with washboards than to ride a small bike. That was 8 more miles of hiking. Ditched the bike and came back for it. So, here's a valuable warning to anyone planning same!
Great photos! And yes, we had this issue too last year, we did not do a one day, but an overnighter. We had been assured a hitchhike back from Snow to Colchuk was doable. By the time we hobbled out in 100 degree heat to the Snow TH in the late afternoon (thru the last 2-3 miles of burn with no shade) I could barely make it up to the road.
I had come prepared with a printed sign for hitch-hiking back to the Colchuk trailhead. After 15 minutes no-one had picked us up, and Doug was panicking. Thank goodness some good old boys stopped in an ancient pickup and picked us up. We negotiated 15 dollars, and I ended up giving them 20 and a liter of water from Nada
If they had not stopped, I was prepared to wave the green into the wind along with my thumb
That's interesting about the bear canister requirement at Monogram. When we were up there...maybe 7 years ago, we kind of got charged by a bear! I also read some other reports about a cranky bear in that area the year before we were there. I wonder if there have been other problems.
So, here's a valuable warning to anyone planning same!
There's a company in Leavenworth that does trailhead shuttles (e.g. they'll drive you from your car at Snow Lake to the Stuart Lake trailhead at 4am). Not cheap, but not an expense I regretted after hiking over 12 hours.
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