Eagle Lake

Stevens Pass West

North Cascades, Washington

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Eagle Lake


  • Easy, rolling trail to Barclay Lake.- Eagle Lake
  • Well-travelled wooden planks across a marshy area.- Eagle Lake
  • Barclay Lake.- Eagle Lake
  • The not-so-obvious turn-off to Eagle Lake from Barclay Lake.- Eagle Lake
  • The trail to Eagle Lake is very steep, with much hand-over-hand root scrambling.- Eagle Lake
  • Moss and mountain heather cover rocks.- Eagle Lake
  • The trail to Eagle Lake meanders across the ridge.- Eagle Lake
  • The trail can be hard to find at times.- Eagle Lake
  • The route moves over a talus slope.- Eagle Lake
  • Look for the cairns to find the way up the rocks.- Eagle Lake
  • Thimbleberries along the way.- Eagle Lake
  • Stone Lake.- Eagle Lake
  • Valerian flowers.- Eagle Lake
  • Paradise Meadow.- Eagle Lake
  • Merchant Peak over Paradise Meadow.- Eagle Lake
  • Lustrous copper (Lycaena cupreus) butterflies.- Eagle Lake
  • Arrowleaf balsamroot flowers.- Eagle Lake
  • Eagle Lake and Merchant Peak.- Eagle Lake
  • Cabin at Eagle Lake.- Eagle Lake
Overview + Weather
Wildflowers. Lakeside camping.
Trail hard to follow.
North Cascades, WA
Pets allowed: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
1,780.00 ft (542.54 m)
Parking Pass: 
NW Forest Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Spring, Summer, Fall
Total Distance: 
8.60 mi (13.84 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
2,220.00 ft (676.66 m)
Current Local Weather:
Hike Description

Hike Description


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.

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Field Guide + Trail Map

Field Guide + Trail Map

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(16 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(113 within a 30 mile radius)

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