Eight-Mile Trail #654.02

Experience The Far Reaching Mountain Views Of Eight-Mile Trail  With Magical Waterfalls!

White Chuck and other Mountains from Squire Creek Pass, photo by Kim Brown

It is a 2400’ elevation gain in 3.7 miles. Sure, it’s steep. The map doesn’t lie and neither do the legs, but it’s only 3.7 miles and the views are boot-stopping, so there are plenty of reasons to stop and catch your breath on the way to Squire Creek Pass.  The Eight-Mile Trail gets its name because it begins at the 8th mile on the mining tram going into Bornite.  Receiving only occasional maintenance, some years it’s brushy and full of downed logs, but on those years that it gets maintenance  count your lucky stars!  

Looking from Eight-Mile Trail, photo by Kim Brown

The trail goes up and up and there are usually a few logs to crawl over, under or around, but trust me here - it's worth it!  Marvel at the trees and several low-angle waterfalls slip sliding down smooth slabs of rock.
Unnamed waterfall along Eight-Mile Trail, by Kim Brown

The long and gentle traverse just before the pass winds through huckleberries and crosses intermittent streams - again, gliding over smooth rock.  On a clear day, turn around for views of Mt. Pugh and Glacier Peak!  Once at Squire Creek Pass, a large expanse of grainte dotted with carins of rocks piled up in little forms of art.  I dare you to resist building your own or adding to another.  There is a great view of Three Fingers Mountain, Salish Peak and Whitehorse.  A scramble up the surrounding hills will get you better views of Three Fingers from the top and all the way down to Squire Creek.  There are even views of the mountains on the Verlot side of the Mountain Loop Highway.

Three Fingers Mountain from Squire Creek Pass, photo by Kim Brown

This trail starts out on an old roadbed, long-closed after a logging operation. This portion is fairly uninteresting – crowded, dark forest - but you must keep going! Not long after hiking past an eye-poppingly huge western red cedar is 3 O’Clock Rock, popular with sport rock-climbers. This is where some views open up. Stop to watch the climbers, and check out some views before diving into virgin old growth forest, chock-full of graceful Alaska yellow-cedar (Chamaecyparis nootkatensis) (actually cypress) trees. It is very unique to see so many Alaska-cedars as are on the Eightmile trail! 

The Pass can be very sunny, and it’s a great place to relax, have lunch, listen to ravens clucking and calling – it’s a nice place to just “be.”  Be warned. It is notoriously buggy in summer. The low-angle water-slides are interesting and wonderful, but bugs like them too!

Written by Kim Brown

Type of Trail: USFS
Length: 2.5 miles
Elevation: 1,600 - 4,000
Level of difficulty: difficult

Best Season: Summer & Fall

Seasonal Interest:
  • Summer - seasonal waterfalls, lower elevation wildflowers vistas
  • Fall - high elevation wildflowers, fall colors, possible mountain goat viewing
General Information:

Wilderness restrictions: Yes

Restroom: None

Bring drinking water

Road & Trail Conditions

Getting There:  To get there: From Darrington, take the Mountain Loop Highway for 3.3 miles to FS 2060 (or Clear Creek Road). FS 2060 is on the right – if you get to Clear Creek campground on the left, and the big bridge over Clear Creek, you’ve gone too far. Drive 2060, a very rough gravel road, 6.2 miles to the trailhead, a wide spot in the road (trailhead sign on the right).

Hiking the Cascades, Squire Creek Pass video

Further Information:
Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
Washington Trail Association