Elevation Gain
?
Trail type
There-and-back
Distance
13.00 mi (20.92 km)
Warming hut
No
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

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

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass

Pros

Old-growth forest. Big vistas. Frozen alpine lakes.

Cons

Sometimes dry portions of road and trail travel.

Pets allowed

Not Allowed

Trailhead Elevation

2,318.00 ft (706.53 m)

Net Elevation Gain

2,300.00 ft (701.04 m)

Features

Big vistas
Old-growth forest
Cross-country skiing

Typically multi-day

No

Groomed trail

No

Location

Field Guide + Map

Nearby Adventures

Nearby Lodging + Camping

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