No reservations needed for some hikes
Day hikers, who must obtain self-serve permits at trailheads, do not need reservations to visit restricted portions of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness as long as they come out the same day.
This opportunity for spontaneity has spawned a growing number of “through hikers” who tackle the 18-mile “Enchantments Traverse” from the Snow Lakes trailhead to the Colchuck Lake trailhead.
The hike involves about 6,500 feet of elevation gain over 12 miles from the Snow Lakes side, or 6 miles from the Colchuck Lake Trail with 4,400 feet of elevation gain including a gnarly, steep ascent up Aasgard Pass.
Adventurous hikers might also choose one of several less-traveled backdoor entries to the Enchantments, such as Crystal Creek and Witch Mountain.