Leavenworth, Washington

Backpack to Lake Caroline in the Enchantments

5.75 Miles Total - 3100 ft gain - Out-and-Back Trail

Originally added by Jarad Switzer

Solitude in the Enchantments awaits. The Enchantments in Washington are well known for drawing a lot of people to them for their beauty and endless lakes. Lake Caroline is one of the less frequented lakes but the views are nothing short of spectacular.

From Leavenworth, WA head down Icicle Creek road and head to the Eightmile Lake Trailhead.

The backpack starts at roughly 3270 feet of elevation and the highest point of the hike is 6300 feet. To start you will hike through a very beautiful and forested area for a while before getting into a burn area. The climb will be pretty steady here. After about 1 mile you will reach the Alpine Lakes Wilderness.

After about 2.8 miles you will reach a junction with a pond (Little Eightmile Lake) on your left of the trail. There's a bench here which is perfect for a little snack and a break to prepare for the climb ahead. If you continue straight, it goes to Eightmile Lake. Turn right at this junction and this is where the trail starts to climb dramatically. As you climb though, take a moment and realize the views you are witnessing of the mountain range behind you. Incredible.

You will continue switchbacking along this trail for a while and gaining elevation until the climbing eventually eases up as well as coming out of the burn area.

At about mile 5.5 you will basically be at the highest point of your hike at 6300 ft where you start descending back town to Lake Caroline and you can see the lake. Once descended, the trail meanders around the lake keeping it on your left. There are several camp sites all around the lake but they are limited. There is also a dedicated backcountry bathroom trail with sign posted for it. How nice and convenient.

A great day hike from here is up to Windy Pass. It's another two mile hike with some good elevation gain and you pass Little Caroline Lake along the way. The views on the way back down as you can see from the pictures are incredible of the Stuart Range.

NOTE: FEE Permits are required for overnight use and are issued via lottery. You can either apply ahead of time for the lottery or chance it at the Ranger Station in Leavenworth the day of your trip. If chancing it the day of, be at the ranger station as it opens to draw for a permit. Lake Caroline is in the Eightmile / Caroline zone and is not as heavily used as the other Enchantment zones so your chances for a permit here are better. You must have an account on recreation.gov to apply for a permit ahead of time. Click the following link for more information: wwww.sf.suda.gov.

Read More

Tags

Camping
Fishing
Photography
Backpacking
Hiking
Forest
Lake
Scenic

Reviews

Have you done this adventure? Be the first to leave a review!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

Stay Nearby

Leavenworth, Washington

Eightmile Group Site

Overview Nestled in a forest canopy of pine and fir on the banks of Icicle Creek, Eightmile Group Campground in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest offers a peaceful setting for groups and large g...

Leavenworth, Washington

Bridge Creek Group Site

Overview Bridge Creek Group Campground sits in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest in northwest Washington. Nestled in a mountainous forest near the confluence of Bridge Creek and Icicle Creek, the ...

Leavenworth, Washington

Icicle Group Campground

Overview Nestled in a forest canopy of pine and fir on the banks of Icicle Creek, Icicle Group Campground in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest offers a peaceful setting for groups and large gathe...

Leavenworth, Washington

LOGE Leavenworth

Hostels starts at $55, hotel rooms start at $150 Your own private cabin with a river view, or bunk with all your friends (and meet new friends) in our co-ed community style hostel! Grassy lawn, fir...

From $55/night

Nearby Adventures

  • Climb Cashmere Mountain

    To get to Cashmere Mountain, drive east towards Leavenworth on Highway 2 and turn right on Icicle Creek Road. After 8.5 miles, turn left onto Eightmile Road for 3 miles, and park at the Eightmile Lake trailhead. The hike begins at Eightmile Lake T...

    17 miles 5700 ft gain

  • Backpack to Eightmile Lake

    Beginning at the trailhead, fill out a self-issued permit allowing you to stay overnight. Start your trek heading upwards at an elevation of 3300 feet. As you become adapted to the trail, you will start to realize it is maintained and well groomed...

    6.6 miles 1300 ft gain

  • Hike to Eightmile Lake

    The hike to the lake was an uphill battle for the first 1/2 mile but after that it leveled out and got easier. The struggle was made better by the amazing views of the mountains in the meantime.At Little Eightmile lake you can make a right and he...

    6.6 miles 1300 ft gain

  • Backpack the Enchantments

    There are a couple different ways to tackle this hike through the stunning Central Cascade region. I recommend checking out this handy resource for more detailed info.Bottom line: this is an absolutely amazing hike for people willing to take a lit...

    18 miles 4500 ft gain