Hard to believe I've never done this route by Leavenworth! It was incredible from start to finish. If you scroll down you will see some videos and lots of pictures of the Enchantments. Most hikes/runs have a long uphill section that is in the woods, not very scenic and at least a little tedious. In other words, you usually have to work a bit to get your reward. James and I began at the Stuart Lake Trail head, and if you start there, you too will be up at the magical blue lakes before you know it. FYI- starting at the opposite end, from the Snow Lakes Trail head, would have taken several miles longer to get the views. We ran the route point to point, leaving a car at both ends of the 17-18 mile route (about 5,000 feet of climbing? Not sure because my Garmin crashed the day before).
I will definitely be back to do this roue again! We swam in alpine lakes, ran across long sections of boulder fields and rock trails, ran right next to mountain goats and their babies, ran/slid down snow slopes cannonballing into lakes, sunbathed on rocks, swam to deserted islands and everywhere admired the views. We took our sweet time and 8.5 hours after we started we were back at our car in 90+ heat. The Enchantments was HOT! It had been warm but not hot up at 6,000 feet on the trails and the air hit us like a hairdrier when we dropped down to the trail head in the afternoon. We got dinner at a Bavarian themed American food restaurant in Leavenworth. Amazingly, I got a excellent salad with really nice greens. I like to order salads when I'm on the road for extended periods of time, vegis just don't keep as well in a cooler, although I try... the Enchantments.