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The Enchantments

The Enchantments

Icicle Creek Road, Leavenworth (WA), United States

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(509) 548-2550

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Description The Enchantments is an area comprising an upper and a lower basin, the lakes and tarns contained within them, and the peaks of the Stuart Range bounding the basins. The area is located entirely within the Alpine Lakes Wilderness about 15mi southwest of Leavenworth, Washington in the United States. The Enchantments is regarded as one of the most spectacular locations in the Cascade Range.HistoryThe first European American to discover the area and name it was A.H. Sylvester, topographer for the US Geological Survey and first supervisor of the Wenatchee National Forest. Sylvester visited the middle Enchantment basin and probably did not venture into the upper basin. Snow Creek Glacier covered more of the upper basin at the time than it does today, which may have discouraged him from exploring the higher areas. He is credited with naming some of the features in the region.By the 1940s climbers discovered the area and began naming the crags. Bill and Peg Stark of Leavenworth, became frequent visitors who drew upon various mythologies to name features of the landscape. When they made their first visit in the fall of 1959, they were captivated by the golden splendor of the larch trees in the fall, the numerous lakes and tarns, and jagged peaks towering above. They used fairy names such as Gnome Tarn, Troll Sink, Naiad Lake (officially Temple Lake), Sprite and King Arthur legends in the Lower Enchantment Basin because "the lower basin was not as austere as the upper basin," according to Peg. They used Norse names and mythology for features of the upper basin, for example Brynhild Lake (officially Inspiration Lake), Lake Freya (officially Tranquil Lake), and Valhalla Cirque because, Peg said, it felt "as if the Ice Age had just gone off."

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