Field Report No. 20150927MH
Topic: Eight Mile Lake & Lake Caroline
Conditions: Bright & Comfortable
COMMENTS: Water? Check! Shoes? Check! Carload of steady companions? Check!
Some may say that Sundays should be a day of rest, but I’d beg to differ- Sundays should be a day of adventuring. Four girls, feeling empowered and ready to play, loaded up the Subaru on a clear Sunday morning and headed toward Leavenworth. A pit stop at Anjou Bakery for a cold brew & croissant was the perfect cure for our somewhat sleepy selves. The excitement built as we continued onward. Bright skies were the perfect foreground as we sang along with Dixie Chicks & Beyonce and partook in philosophical conversations about life, love and boys. Arriving at the trail head, we stretched out our legs and geared up for the escapade. We followed the trail past Little Eight Mile admiring the colors, continuing previous discussions on deep philosophical topics (life, love and boys) and arrived at Eight Mile Lake to ditch a layer and have a snack. Briefly backtracking the we came in, we turned left at Little Eight Mile toward Lake Caroline. Upward we climbed, gaining elevation as well as views of vibrant colors, old burn, and new growth. Various trip reports described the last mile as "STRAIGHT-UP-HILL," claiming the brutal assent deters many from actually reaching the lake. Either we are in extraordinary hiking shape or were talking too much to notice (let’s go with the first), fortunately it did not seem any steeper than the few miles before. We reached the top and headed down a few switch backs to our final destination...beautiful Lake Caroline!
KEY FEATURES: The trail to Eight Mile Lake is great for all levels. It is well maintained and runnable (if you’re into that sort of thing). The branchless trees provide huge exposure to a sense of freedom with wide open spaces and beautiful views. The meandering trail and gradual incline toward Lake Caroline keeps the mind occupied, sometimes forgetting you’re gaining elevation! I would recommend adding the out & back to Eight Mile Lake as described above; though, if short on time, you can head straight to Caroline from Little Eight Mile. Once you arrive to Lake Caroline, walk around the lake and cut down to the rocks at the back side of the lake. Perfect spot for lunch and cat nap in the sun.
Extra Layers: As summer turns to fall, the way up may be warm, but if you plan to take a break at the top, chills will soon begin.
Selfie Stick: My first experience with the infamous selfie stick (hence the photo).. enough said.
Dinner Plans: Trail snacks can only sustain you for so long. As the trek down becomes a bit tedious, a good way to distract the mind from the constant step after step is to plan where you’ll go to dinner. My recommendation: Wok-About Mongolian Grill in Leavenworth, a great choice with loads of options for everyone. Sit outside or in the bar for the full impact of the Bavariaville backdrop.