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mrpickles
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PostTue Apr 30, 2019 10:58 pm 
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Planning a road trip with my brother in OR and WA in mid August this year. Interested in the Enchantments, but didn't get a permit in the early drawing. Per my itinerary I would get there Mon morning in time for drawing so maybe could get lucky and score one of the day of permits but don't want to end up disappointed. Has any one been there recently? From reports it seems like the numbers have been getting higher each year.

I understand you have to choose whether you want to try for the more desireable core zone or alternate zones. Can my brother and I each try to get a permit for different zones to maximize our chances and then whether gets the permit adds a +1?

Also, I'm a little concerned about how crowded it may be up there and not excited about being interrogated by permit checking rangers every day.

Some other threads have suggested less trafficed permit free areas like Glacier Peak or Spade and Venus lakes, thoughts or alternate suggestions?
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RandyHiker
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PostWed May 01, 2019 3:46 am 
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Mid August is a great time.

The point of the permit system is to not have it too crowded.

Day of permit lottery is held at 7:45 sharp at the ranger station.

The classic alternative is Tuck and Robin lakes, which has a similar flavor with lakes set in polished rock.  Ladies Pass is good as well, different type of experience (more green, less polished rock), but is accessed from the same Icicle Creek road as used to approach the Enchantments trailheads.

Go mid-week if your schedule permits.
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RichP
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PostWed May 01, 2019 5:03 am 
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The Chiwaukums right across the road are a good back-up option too. You can easily get off the beaten path there and likely see nobody.

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gb
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PostWed May 01, 2019 7:03 am 
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I really wouldn't think your shot at the Enchantments is a very good one.
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hbb
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PostWed May 01, 2019 9:47 am 
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mrpickles wrote:
Also, I'm a little concerned about how crowded it may be up there and not excited about being interrogated by permit checking rangers every day.

The quota system allows for just 24 people per day overnighting in the Core zone, but you should expect well over 100 day trippers to pass through the Core in August, often in large parties, even mid-week.

Plus, many of the folks overnighting in the Snow/Colchuck zones will be trying to maximize their time in the Core zone, so a surprising number of folks will pass through the Core zone very early in the morning and late in the evening.

In short, it will be crowded. Just about any other alpine zone in the state is likely to be far less crowded.

USFS runs regular ranger patrols along the loop, I can't think of an overnight or day trip I've taken up there in August where I didn't run across a ranger.
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JonnyQuest
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PostWed May 01, 2019 12:16 pm 
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mrpickles wrote:
and not excited about being interrogated by permit checking rangers every day.

For the chants, I've observed permit checking to be quick and cordial.  Nothing to really be concerned about if you have a permit.
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uww
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PostWed May 01, 2019 12:43 pm 
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JonnyQuest wrote:
For the chants, I've observed permit checking to be quick and cordial.  Nothing to really be concerned about if you have a permit.

That's my single point anecdata as well- Saw a ranger coming down Aasgard as we were going up. Just said hello and didn't stop us, though we has obvious daypacks. I'm glad to see rangers on the trails, I can only imagine the issues with special snowflakes who can't learn or follow rules would be worse.
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Schroder
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PostWed May 01, 2019 1:02 pm 
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In the many times I've been in the Enchantments I've never run into a ranger.  I've also had no problem scoring an overnight permit for Colchuck earlier in the season.
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Jeff
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PostWed May 01, 2019 4:08 pm 
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In the last 10 years I have overnighted five times in the core, twice at Colchuck, and done more day trips in the general area than I can count. I never even saw a ranger.
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Bootpathguy
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PostWed May 01, 2019 6:13 pm 
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Rookies!

http://www.nwhikers.net/forums/viewtopic.php?t=8027354

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BigBrunyon
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PostWed May 01, 2019 9:30 pm 
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There's few moments in life that are as INTENSE as when that name is drawn from that hat at quart'ta 8. There's a CORE ZONE pass at stake!!!! I love it!!! Everyone getting all competitive 💪

I've heard stories of physical altercations in the parking lot over the CORE pass!

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BigBrunyon
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PostWed May 01, 2019 9:40 pm 
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Also the rangers up there are the real deal. You don't want to mess with these guys!

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i ALWAYS camp at the upper lake!
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schifferj
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PostThu May 02, 2019 5:27 pm 
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I noticed on recreation.gov that there is no "W" (walkup permit) for the Core Zone; instead there is a 0. All other areas of the Enchantment Permit Area have have a walkup permit available. I contacted the Wenatchee Ranger district and learned that they are going to allow 8 persons per day on a walkup basis. They will award core permits until they reach their quota of 8 persons. This is, of course, subject to minor "tweaks" between now and when the permit season begins.
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reststep
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PostFri May 03, 2019 11:46 am 
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If that is true I wish the forest service would update their website.  It says one permit per zone including the core area for walk up permits.

The following quote is from the forest service website.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/okawen/passes-permits/recreation/?cid=fsbdev3_053607

Quote:
3.  Obtain a daily “walk-in” permit during the lottery season.

Only one permit per zone for the Core Enchantment, Colchuck, Stuart, Snow Lakes and Eightmile/Caroline zones will be issued in the walk up lottery. These are available daily (except Sundays) at the Wenatchee River Ranger District Office in Leavenworth at 7:45 a.m.  These permits are limited and demand usually exceeds availability. It is not unusual to have 50 people or more present to enter the lottery during the peak season from July - Sept.  If more people are present than permits available (usually the case), a drawing is held to distribute the permits.  Because a drawing is held, there is no need to camp out at the front door or arrive ahead of time.  However, please arrive by 7:30 a.m. as the drawing takes place promptly at 7:45 a.m. Late arrivals will NOT be able to participate in the drawing. If any of the advance reservation permits have not been sold ahead of time (from recreation.gov) these permits will be given out at this time as well.

Our office is closed on Sundays. No drawing is held for walk-in permits on these days.  Persons with advance reservations entering on those days should plan to print their permit online.

Questions about the Enchantment Permit lottery website should be directed to recreation.gov customer service:

Contact Info
Recreation.Gov
Reservation Line:
Call Toll Free 1-877-444-6777
International 518-885-3639
TDD 1-877-833-6777

Customer Service Line:
Toll Free 1-888-448-1474


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fyodorova
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PostMon May 06, 2019 1:28 pm 
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Mid-August is a bad time for wildfires. The Enchantments have been smoky and have had closures around August a couple of times in recent years. Another reason to have a backup plan.

I have camped in the core Enchantments twice (2014 and 2017) and the Stuart zone once (2018) and had my permit checked by rangers every time. Last year, there was a ranger at the Colchuck trailhead checking permits of every hiker with an overnight pack. As others on this thread mentioned, the rangers were always friendly and efficient.
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