Trail No. 1552
|JULY 3, 2008 The weather forecast was for 96º
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
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.
1361' elevation gain