Eightmile Lake

Trail No. 1552

JULY 3, 2008  The weather forecast was for 96 and a 30% chance of thunderstorms on the second day of my hiking weekend.  I intended to hike to Caroline Lake, but it was hot, and frequent short rain showers kept the humidity levels high, so I chose to hike the less steep trail to Eightmile Lake instead.  The trail begins in an area that burned in 1994, and the landscape is still dotted with the skeletal remains of charred trees.  Sun-loving wildflowers grow thick here and carpet the slopes with an amazing splash of color, and the trail is never very far from  Eightmile Creek.  Little Eightmile Lake is not very picturesque, so I hurried past it and entered an area strewn with orange rocks and boulders.  The trail winds through the woods and finally emerges on the shores of an exquisite alpine lake. 

Eightmile Lake generally gets less fanfare than nearby Stuart Lake and Colchuck Lake, but it is no less beautiful than these more popular lakes.  I climbed up on a large boulder for a leisurely lunch and enjoyed the views.  I hiked the trail to its end near the inlet stream, where a group of men were setting up camp in what they assured me was the best camping spot at the lake, having more solitude than views and the easiest access to the best fishing spot on the lake.  

8.4 miles

1361' elevation gain