Lakes are my new favorite place to go since having a child and this lake does not disappoint. We have been to this particular lake twice. Once in colder gray weather and another in beautiful warm weather.
The worst part of this trail for me is the road. Bumpy forest service roads with massive potholes and washboard isn’t my favorite thing to drive. This can really limit options. Someday I’ll have big tires with a lift and new shocks. Then I can bomb up those roads. So I drove like a grandma, pulled over and let the fast cars by. Having a tiny human in the car has sure changed my driving style! But I digress.
Up, up, up is how the trail begins. The wildflowers were beautiful with purples, pinks, blues, oranges, and whites. Each flower was propelling little legs up the trail to examine new flowers and comment on how beautiful they are. “Mama it’s beautiful.” Views of the river come in and out of sight as the sound of crashing becomes louder with each step. The first crossing is the largest with two fallen trees made into a bridge. I find these crossings fun! Water is beautiful and powerful. The spray on a hot day is welcome. Trekking poles help with balance without a rail. I get comments about how difficult the crossing must be with a child. It is not.
The trail level offs. There are a few more stream crossings. Burnt trees start showing up. The sun beats down. We explore the new growth in the forest and talk about how a fire ripped through but the forest is rejuvenating itself. We turn around to look at the view behind us. With the morning light shining down it looks more magical. The trail starts to steepen again. My thighs start to feel the weight.
A beautiful small pond appears approximately a mile before Eight Mile Lake. It’s a beautiful spot to take a break and some pictures. Ridge fell asleep ten minutes ago. An extra friendly hiker talks loudly to me and Ridge wakes up. The friendly hiker talks to him. I cringe inside and leave as quickly as possible. My nap time peace is gone. There will not be another nap today.
We arrive at the lake. There are plenty of spots around the lake to eat lunch and relax. Ridge asks to be right by the water. We scout around looking for the perfect toddler location. Thankfully leaving early allows us numerous spots to choose from.
An hour passes as we make friends, eat, throw rocks, hunt for marmots, and make sure the chipmunks do not steal any food! The hike back begins. My hips are feeling the weight this trip. I move as fast as possible to get back down. We stop to take pictures, talk with friendly hikers who are curious about our setup and sing songs.
Arriving back at the trail head we wave goodbye to hikers we’ve met and jump into the car. The mosquitoes are swarming and the ice cream is calling. Driving back to the main road isn’t as bad as the drive up. I put the car in first. Tell Ridge we are having a few minutes of quietness while we drive back to the main road. We stop at the first ice cream spot and enjoy our post hiking treat.
The Hike: Eight Mile Lake, WA
Miles: 6.6 miles round trip
Elevation Gain: 1,300 ft