Eightmile Creek

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Washington

Start Exploring
Eightmile Creek


  • The winter gate and trailhead on Forest Road 7601 at the bridge over Icicle Creek.- Eightmile Creek
  • Icicle Creek from the bridge.- Eightmile Creek
  • View east to Icicle Creek Ridge.- Eightmile Creek
  • Forest Road 7601.- Eightmile Creek
  • Looking south from the road toward Cannon Mountain (8,638'). - Eightmile Creek
  • Eightmile Creek summer trailhead.- Eightmile Creek
  • Looking south to Dragontail (8,842') and Colchuck (8,705') peaks.- Eightmile Creek
  • Leaving the logging road.- Eightmile Creek
  • Eightmile Creek.- Eightmile Creek
  • Squirrel on a dead cedar limb.- Eightmile Creek
  • Eightmile Creek.- Eightmile Creek
  • Eightmile Creek.- Eightmile Creek
  • Looking north to Icicle Ridge.- Eightmile Creek
  • Little Eightmile Lake.- Eightmile Creek
  • Fire-damaged trees.- Eightmile Creek
  • Little Eightmile Lake.- Eightmile Creek
  • Small boulder garden with unnamed peaks.- Eightmile Creek
  • Eightmile Lake with Eightmile Mountain (7,996').- Eightmile Creek
  • Dragontail Peak (8,842') near sunset.- Eightmile Creek
  • Icicle Ridge from Forest Road 7601 near sunset.- Eightmile Creek
  • - Eightmile Creek
Overview + Weather
Old-growth forest. Big vistas. Frozen alpine lakes.
Sometimes dry portions of road and trail travel.
Alpine Lakes Wilderness, WA
Pets allowed: 
Groomed trail: 
Net Elevation Gain: 
2,300.00 ft (701.04 m)
Parking Pass: 
NW Forest Pass
Preferable Season(s):
Total Distance: 
13.00 mi (20.92 km)
Trail type: 
Trailhead Elevation: 
2,318.00 ft (706.53 m)
Typically multi-day: 
Current Local Weather:
Adventure Description

Adventure Description


The far eastern reaches of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness take you to a recovering land of intense beauty. In 1994, Massive forest fires scorched thousands of acres in Icicle Creek Canyon and the surrounding drainage and threatened to destroy the nearby Bavarian-themed town of Leavenworth. The wilderness area continues to represent its name well, though, with countless high alpine lakes littered about the jagged icy pinnacles of the Stuart Range.

As is the case with many snowshoe adventures, the first leg of the Eightmile Creek route sends you marching up a gated forest road to meet with the official summer trailhead. In low snow years, you may need to hike from your vehicle for a mile or two before using your snowshoes or skis. Some tremendous views of Icicle Ridge and Icicle Creek Canyon to the east appear along the way. Also, Cannon Mountain to the south becomes a prominent figure as you close in on the signed trail junction just before where Eightmile Creek rushes under a bridge to meet Mountaineer Creek.

As you begin a more westward course into the mouth of the Eightmile Creek Valley, note the view to the south, where the serrated ridges of Dragontail and Colchuck Peaks cut into the sky above the Colchuck Glacier. Soon after, the route joins with an abandoned logging road that leads a half mile further along the bottom of the valley's steep western wall. Avalanche assessment skills are a necessity here when the danger is above moderate. Continue by finding the path of least resistance through charred forests and jutting boulder gardens before stumbling upon the welcoming shores of Little Eightmile Lake. Eightmile Lake proper rests another 0.75 miles upstream and offers first-class campsites with captivating views of Eightmile Mountain rising above the opposite shore.  

Note: always check weather and avalanche conditions before traveling in the backcountry.

Recommended Gear

Before you head out on your next Mount Hood adventure, make sure you have the right gear! 

Here's a list of our go-to snowshoeing essentials to get you started:

Snowshoes: MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoe

Cushioned, Made in USA, Ultralight, 98.8 oz

Men's • $299.95 • MSR | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Women's • $299.95 • MSR | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Jacket/Shell: Arc'teryx Zeta AR Jacket

Waterproof, Adjustable Drawcord Hem, Pit Zips, GORE-TEX

Men's • $431-475 • Arc'teryx | Amazon | Backcountry

Women's • $475 • Arc'teryx | Amazon | Backcountry

Pack: Mammut Nirvana Pro Pack 

35L, Carry-On Size, Hip Belt, Ice Axe / Pole Loops, Hydration Compatible

Standard Fit • $189.95-199.95 • Mammut | Amazon | Backcountry

Small Fit • $199.95 • Mammut | Amazon

Insulating Layer: Moosejaw Dequindre Down Jacket

Water-resistant, Insulated, Adjustable Drawcord Hem

Men's and Women's • $179

Poles: Black Diamond Traverse Pole 

Aluminum, Adjustable with Lever Lock System, 21 oz.

$79.95 • Black Diamond | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Gloves: The North Face GORE-TEX Gloves

Waterproof, Adjustable, Insulated, GORE-TEX

Men's • $99.95-181.63 • The North Face | Amazon | Backcountry

Women's • $99.95-100.00 • The North Face | Backcountry

Boots: Vasque Snowblime UltraDry Boot

Waterproof, Cushioned, Insulated

Men's • $149.99 • Vasque | Amazon | Backcountry

Women's • $149.99 • Vasque | Amazon | Backcountry

Gaiters: Outdoor Research Verglas Gaiter 

Waterproof, Breathable, Lightweight, Abrasion-resistant

Men's • $41.32-65 • Outdoor Research | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Women's • $49.95-65 • Outdoor Research | Amazon | Backcountry | REI

Backcountry Safety

Winter backcountry adventures can be dangerous outdoor activities that pose significant risks as conditions affecting safety (i.e. weather, snowpack stability, avalanche hazard) are constantly changing. Prior to engaging in these activities each individual should get the proper training to make safe decisions and be equipped to use avalanche safety resources and tools. Please visit our Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety post to learn more.

Updates, Tips + Comments

Updates, Tips + Comments

Field Guide + Map

Field Guide + Map

Location + Directions

Location + Directions

Nearby Camping + Lodging

(29 within a 30 mile radius)

Nearby Adventures

(68 within a 30 mile radius)

Related Content

Related Content

Adventure Community

Adventure Community

Who Wants To Do It
13 Members
Who's Done It
3 Members
Submission by
58 Adventures Explored
56 Adventures Published

Newsletter Signup

Join the Outdoor Project Community

Get access to essential planning materials and information for your next adventure. Take a few seconds to join the community. It’s FREE!

Free Field Guides + Maps

Post Updates, Tips + Comments

Organize + Track Your Adventures

Insider Detailed Info, News + Benefits

Custom Driving Directions

Recommended Campsites, Photos + Reservation Info