Mileage: 6.5 miles RT
Elevation Gain/Highest: 1900ft/3800ft
Map: Green Trails Monte Cristo No 143
Favorite Eats After Hike: Wallace Falls Cafe
Find out current conditions and as always, practice Leave No Trace. Pretty Please.
It took me 3 attempts to finally make it up to Eagle Lake from Barclay Lake and I can’t say it was pretty at all. As in, my attempts were not pretty. I am writing this report awhile after having hiked it, so I might as well write it to you rather than spend TOO much time describing what I did. I did go when there was still snow at the higher elevation which did not help at all. Not that I imagine there is a trail to follow anyway. I pulled my map and compass out MULTIPLE times. However, I was much more successful on the way down.
Hiking to Barclay is a no brainer. Flat and easy. As you start to make you way along the trail at Barclay Lake, continue until the trail leaves the shoreline. There is a horseshoe bend in the trail to the left and you will see a sign for a second toilet (you passed one near the outlet for the lake). You can see the boot path for Eagle when you stand right in front of the toilet sign. The boot path in on the left as you come around that bend. From here, you will be making your way almost straight up. There is no trail, just MANY boot paths and pieces of flagging. Expect to be clinging to the side of slope on trees. My advice is to stay as close to the creek as possible. It does flow from Stone Lake, the direction you want to be heading in.
After a short time in the woods, you come out onto a talus field. There should be some cairns but you are going to be moving to the right and up here. You will see the boulders from the talus going up on your left and a “trail” to the right in what looks like it might be a saddle.
Go for the saddle. From here, you have to go around on the left but expect more clinging to trees on the slope as you go up and over. Continue to try and stay close to the flowing water from Stone Lake. When you come out onto what could either be a meadow or tarn depending on the time of year, follow it to the left. Yep, wet feet.
It won’t be long and you should come out to the back of the cabin at Eagle Lake.
On the way back, I skipped most of the last part and just came down the talus field from the top. Wahoo.
In summary, understand there really is no trail and route finding is necessary. If you keep Baring to your back going up and in front of you going down, you should be able to make it. Descriptions are in the pictures. Good luck!
Directions: From Monroe, head east on US-2 to the town of Baring. Near milepost 41 and across from a convenience store, turn left (north) onto 635th Place NE. Cross the railroad tracks and continue 0.3 miles. Reach a junction and keep left on 635th Place NE for 0.1 mile. The road becomes FR-6024; continue 3.9 miles to the trailhead. Watch for potholes. There is a privy at the trailhead and parking for about 20 cars.
Follow the Barclay Lake trail to near the end of the lake. Just past the “Toilet” sign and the second bridge, look left for a bootpath leading up the mountain.
For more hikes off HWY 2, click HERE.