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!
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.
We stopped to refill our hydration units with fresh water from Eight Mile Creek.
We passed some impressively sized boulders along the way.
And crossed a few streams.
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.
The last stretch was steep and took us through an area recently burned by forest fire.
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.
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.
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.