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I finally made my way up to Eightmile Lake in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness with my friend David. We headed over to Leavenworth a day ahead of the retirement party for one of my co-workers and bagged this sub-alpine lake. It was a beautiful afternoon hike, a little breezy, but with great temperatures and killer clouds rolling by.

The trailhead was busy, but not overly so. We passed a few groups heading down and one or two going up to the lake during the hike. The path starts out moderately-steep as you climb to gain a small ridgeline that carries you into the canyon. After the initial 3/4-mile (or so), the trail noticeably levels out and then gently climbs and falls as it traces the contours of the valley floor. Always in the background is the sound of the creek that is fed by Eightmile Lake. For the first portion of the hike, Dragontail Peak, which rises above Lake Colchuck, is visible to your left as you climb. The trail is easy to follow and very soft underfoot, with only minimal large rocks/roots to trip hikers, and it makes for easy going.

About 1/2-mile before the true lake, there’s a small body of water to the south of the trail. You may be tempted to stop here and call it good, but push on, as the actual lake is only a few more steps ahead.

There is a trail that circumnavigates Eightmile if you’ve got the daylight. Unfortunately, we were short on time and could not complete the loop around the lake before dark so we opted to save it for another day.