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Outdoor adventures, mostly gravel rides, but not always

Eightmile Lake

A hike through the remains of a forest fire to a picturesque alpine lake

By the Numbers

Pyramid
Buggy, muddy trail
Distance
7 miles
Elevation
1600 feet
Moving Time
3h0m
Nutrition
Plenty of water available along the trail.
Logistics
Straight forward hike from the trailhead; the bugs were fierce.
External

Trail

We go to the trail early (7:30 am) mid-week to plenty of parking. The trail to Eightmile Lake starts through a burn from 2017 resulting in little cover from the sun and a lot of shrubby new growth. Fortunately the views along the trail are plentiful from the start and the grade wasn’t too bad for our mixed-skills hiking party.

Peaking through the tree at the Stuart Range
Peaking through the tree at the Stuart Range

Evidence of the burn are everywhere.

Crazy tree with burned base
Crazy tree with burned base
Trail through the burn area
Trail through the burn area
Moss on a tree
Moss on a tree

We were not prepared for the swampy trail conditions – nor the bugs! There’s a lot of standing water on the trail making for several stretches of very muddy conditions requiring balancing along makeshift boardwalks to avoid sinking.

The bugs were terrible. We, stupidly, neglected bug spray so were left to decide between overheating from long sleeves and hoods or bug bites; we opted for the former.

Swampy trail
Swampy trail

There are two lakes along the way, the first is Lower Eightmile Lake at which we did not stop. The only other people we saw on the ascent were two hikers who took advantage of the cold lake water and popped in for a swim.

Lower Eightmile Lake
Lower Eightmile Lake
Boulder field above Lower Eightmile Lake
Boulder field above Lower Eightmile Lake

We finally arrived at the upper lake hoping to enjoy a pleasant lunch but between the heat and bugs we stayed only long enough for a few photos and made our way back down to break along the rushing waters where a tiny amount of wind kept the bugs at bay.

Reflections on Eightmile Lake
Reflections on Eightmile Lake

Wildflowers

We saw quite a few wildflowers along the trail but the bugs being awful limited the time spent photographing.

Route

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