A fun, intermediate hike suitable for families with older children. The trail climbs to a pretty lake nestled at the base of impressive peaks in the Alpine Wilderness. The lake is great for swimming and fishing and has several sites for camping. If you wander in different directions around the lake, you will find fields of rusty-colored boulders that are unique to the lake.
Nearest Town: Leavenworth
Skill Level: 2
Fitness Level: 2
Distance: About 7 miles roundtrip
Elevation: Starting elevation: 3320 feet; ending elevation: 4640 feet; total elevation gain: about 1320 feet.
Access: From Leavenworth take the Icicle River Road up to Bridge Creek Campground (about 8 miles), cross the bridge across Icicle Creek here, and follow the Eightmile Road (road No. 7601, signs to Colchuck Lake) about 3 miles to the trailhead.
Trip Instructions: You will find the trailhead for Eightmile Lake trail No. 1552 on the uphill side of the road. The first 1/2 mile follows an abandoned road along Eightmile Creek. Little Eightmile Lake is reached at about 2 1/2 miles. At this lake there will be junction–the right fork continues up to Lake Caroline and Windy Pass. Take the left fork and continue another mile to Eightmile Lake. There are several good campsites around the lake.
Fees/Permits: A Northwest Forest Pass is required to park at the trailhead. Day passes can be purchased at the Leavenworth Ranger Station or at the Stuart Lake trailhead, another 1/2 mile up the road. Permit season for overnight trips to the lake is mid- June until mid-October. The procedure for how permits are issued is occasionally tweaked. Call the Leavenworth Ranger Office (509-548-2550) to get the details. As of 2012, getting a permit to camp at the lake has never really been a problem.
Not Allowed. Motorized vehicles, mountain bikes, dogs, and horses.
Dogs and Horses. Both dogs and horses are prohibited in this portion of the Enchantment Permit Area.
Maps: View our topo map below. Note: use ‘Print Preview’ before printing to properly scale this map to a full sheet of paper.
–For more information about this route, click here to read the description prepared by the Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce.
–Information for this trip description was compiled from 100 Hikes in Washington’s Alpine Lakes, published by The Mountaineers.
Condition Update: June 29, 2008. Reported by Allison Dappen. The trail was in great condition and the wildflowers were still blooming. The lake was a perfect way to cool down after the climb. A great day hike–would also be a great family backpacking trip.
Leave It Better Than You Found It. This should be every outdoor user’s goal. Pick up trash left by others, pull some noxious weeds along your route, throw branches over unwanted spur trails, don’t ride or walk wet trails when you’re leaving ruts/footprints deeper than ¼ inch…
Disclaimer. Treat this information as recommendations, not gospel. Conditions change, and those contributing these reports are volunteers–they may make mistakes or may not know all the issues affecting a route. You are still completely responsible for your decisions, your actions, and your safety. If you can’t live with that, you are prohibited from using our information.