Bottom line: Most thru hikers in the Enchantments swim at the lower elevation lakes, like Viviane, Snow or Nada Lakes.
Given the best time of year to day hike through the Enchantment Lakes Basin, it can be hot.
Reason enough to take a quick break and jump in a chilly mountain lake. Plan on 20-30 extra minutes to find the right spot, swim, dry off and get your clothes back on.
The lakes in the basin are cold. It doesn’t take long to cool down! But beware the risks of staying in the water too long. Hypothermia can lead to drowning.
Upper Snow Lake and Nada Lake will be the warmest lakes, relatively. The south shore of Upper Snow is mostly beach. The south end of Nada is smooth granite.
Inspiration Lake has a big flat square granite slab on the shore, near where the trail to the (non-existent in 2022) toilet would be. Great for afternoon sunbathing, if you have time.
Colchuck is a swimming favorite but you’ll probably be there early in the morning, anxious to get started up Aasgard Pass before it gets hot out.
Some kind of water shoes are good to have for getting in and out of the lakes. Crocs or sandals are the thru hiker favorites.
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