While Barclay Lake is a commonly visited destination, far fewer hikers brave the extra 2 miles to Eagle Lake. Nestled under the slopes of Mount Townsend and the rocky face of Merchant Peak, the lake offers camping spots as well as an abandoned trapper's cabin if you wish to make this an overnight trip. The lake plays host to a large number fish, so you may even be able to catch your dinner.
The first 2 miles to Barclay Lake are very gentle, staying low in the valley for an elevation gain of only 200 feet. Near the far end of the lake just past the second toilet sign, an inconspicuous trail turns left up the slope toward Eagle Lake. The trail is steep and heads straight up with minimal switchbacks, gaining 1,500 feet in just over a mile. It starts in dense forest then heads across a talus slope where wayfinding becomes challenging. Keep an eye out for cairns, which mark a faint path over and around the large rocks; these eventually lead to a grove of yellow cedars and hemlocks where the trail becomes clear again. Here you will get a reprieve from the climbing at Stone Lake before continuing up one last ridge.
After a final ascent, the trail heads down to Paradise Meadow, full of wildflowers, butterflies and streams. Traverse this muddy section with care, and you will find Eagle Lake just beyond the meadow with Merchant Peak towering behind it. Another trail (Fisherman's Trail) to Paradise Meadow and Eagle Lake is available, though the road to the trailhead is rougher.