160 – Eight Mile Lakes

Car camping at the Ida Creek Campgrounds (go here – Car Camping at Ida Creek Campgrounds – to read about that) in the Leavenworth area after our backpacking trip into the Enchantments (go here – Backpacking the Enchantments – to read more about our Enchantments trip) so we could enjoy another day of hiking before making the long drive home, Eight Mile Lakes was our destination. Getting there was an easy drive up a well-maintained gravel road. The morning sun lighting the fall colors along the way was a special treat!

Driving to the trailhead
Driving to the trailhead

Ready to make the 6.6 mile hike up another trail, we paused long enough at the trailhead to snap this photo.


The trail made a steady climb and often we passed through open areas with impressive looking pines.

Passing tall pines . . . along the trail
Passing tall pines . . . along the trail

We stopped to refill our hydration units with fresh water from Eight Mile Creek.

Purifying water from Eight Mile Creek
Purifying water from Eight Mile Creek

We passed some impressively sized boulders along the way.

(pic by Kenton Doughty) Rose along the trail
(pic by Kenton Doughty) Rose along the trail

And crossed a few streams.

(pic by Kenton Doughty) Stream crossing
(pic by Kenton Doughty) Stream crossing

Reaching the first of the two Eight Mile Lakes, called Little Eight Mile Lake, we continued around this lake to make the final climb to the upper Eight Mile Lake.

Little Eight Mile Lake
Little Eight Mile Lake

The last stretch was steep and took us through an area recently burned by forest fire.

Climbing to reach the next Eight Mile Lake
Climbing to reach the next Eight Mile Lake

It seemed worth our effort to make the climb to Big Eight Mile Lake as it was truly a beauty. We stopped for a picnic lunch on the shore and basked in the afternoon sunshine before turning around and heading back to the trailhead.

Big Eight Milie Lake
Big Eight Milie Lake

It had been a long hike with approximately 1,300′ of elevation gain, so Snickers bars made the perfect high-energy quick snack to help us power back down to the parking lot.

Time for a power snack - Snickers
Time for a power snack – Snickers

For more information and recent trip reports for the hike to Eight Mile Lakes on the Washington Trails Association website, go here –http://www.wta.org/go-hiking/hikes/eightmile-lake.

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