Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
3,300.00 ft (1,005.84 m)
Trail type
0.00 mi (0.00 km)
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 Enchantments are a very popular place for backpacking, and after your first trip to this incredible area, you will understand why. A trip to Eightmile Lake is one of the easiest ways to experience this protected section of the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Part of this area was consumed by fire in the summer of 2012, but don't let that deter you from exploring this area. This 4-mile hike through the burn provides a wonderful opportunity to witness nature's amazing ability to repair itself, and you'll see many wildflowers and saplings growing right out of the charred remains of the forest.

The east-west orientation of Eightmile Lake makes for warm water along the shallow edges, as the sun has many hours to heat the basalt-lined shores (this is great for swimming, but the water won't chill your drinks). A hike to the west end of the lake will put you in a microclimate where it is cool even on a hot day. Here you will find many varieties of berries and mushrooms (including the prized bear's head, if you are lucky).  

A hike to Lake Caroline is another good option either from the trailhead or from Eightmile Lake. This hike is much more difficult because of the 2,000-foot climb from Little Eightmile Lake, but the climb brings rich rewards: breathtaking views of Mount Stuart and the Stuart Range. At roughly 4.5 miles from the Eightmile Lake campsites, this is a steep day trip that is easily finished in a day. 

Note: A permit is necessary if you will be staying overnight in peak season, June 15 through October 15.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)




Parking Pass

NW Forest Pass


Beautiful views. Fishing for cutthroat trout and makinaw (lake trout). Swimming.


Congestion. Permits are issued by lottery. No campfires.

Trailhead Elevation

3,200.00 ft (975.36 m)


Backcountry camping
Big vistas

Suitable for



Nearby Lodging + Camping


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