This is a great hike for those looking to get a foot into overnight backpacking. It is either a long day hike or a comfortable one-night/two-day hike with stunning mountain and lake views. Although, it is only 8.6 miles–it is a long and grueling uphill battle from Barclay Lake to Eagle Lake.
From the trail head to Barclay lake, it is a quick fun/family friendly hike with a very well maintained trail. In ~2miles and minimal elevation you arrive to the beautiful and sometimes eerie Barclay Lake, where you can take in the views while you mentally prepare yourself for the next chunk of the hike. When you continue on, you the trail quickly diminishes and you have to follow the florescent ties in the trees to maintain your path. As long as you are headed uphill and keep your eyes on the ties, you should find your way up. It starts gradually with switchbacks back-and-forth for a while and then it becomes so steep you will probably be climbing on your hands as well as your feet. You will soon reach Stone Lake and it will even out to a snowy path (until late summer/fall) until you reach Eagle Lake.
When you reach the top- check out the old cabin, enjoy the views of Mt. Townsend and Merchant peak and enjoy your night. And as always, leave no trace.
Barclay Lake, the first lake on the way to Eagle Lake
The sunset in the Eagle Lake cirque.
Trying to hide from the mice running around the old Ranger Cabin at the top
The ranger cabin we slept in…not recommended.
Clark taking in the views of Merchant Peak!