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The Enchantments is among the premier backpacking destinations in the Pacific Northwest, and is especially wonderful in autumn, when Alpine Larches are golden. This is part one of an account of a week-long hike into this high country of Mountain Goats, wilderness lakes, and granite peaks.

This light has a clarity more sharp-edged than any location I’ve ever been, and for a few days in summer, it is stunning. We had two such days of clarity this past weekend during a backpack trip into Olympic National Forest, located on the Olympic Peninsula.