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

This trail sees light use and little maintenance except from volunteers and work parties for National Trail Day.  You start your hike on an old road grade then continue with several switchbacks not far from Eight Mile Creek.  The Eight-Mile Trail and creek gets their names because it begins at the 8th mile on the old mining tram that went into Bornite. Every bit of this trail climbs steadily and no great rewards at first.  Keep attention to where you are stepping as to roots and over grown vegetation posing trip hazards.  When you reach the giant old growth cedars you will enter the Boulder River Wilderness and pass by the famous climbing routes on 3 O'clock Rock.

Looking up at 3 O'clock Rock, photo by Nels Rasmussen, D.C.

Once you come to 3 O'clock Rock the trail splits, keep to the right which tends to get more brushy at this point.  The trail is usually marked by wayfinding cairns.  It is a steep climb but plenty to keep your interest with wildflowers, gorgeous rugged rock and during much of the hiking season several low-angle waterfalls flowing down the rock creating small reflection pools.

Unnamed waterfall along Eight Mile Trail, by Kim Brown

Just as you reach the pass the trail is a long gentle traverse through huckleberries and an array of wildflowers.  On a clear day spectacular views can be seen in all directions.  White Chuck Mountain, Mount Pugh and Glacier Peak can be seen towards the eastern vista.  To the western vista is Salish Peak, Three Fingers, Whitehorse and Jumbo Mountains.

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

Once reaching Squire Creek Pass you see the signs where hikers took a very earned rest here, just basking in the beauty of this remarkable destination.  Rock cairns and slab benches seem to beckon to just sit and be in the moment enjoying the solitude.  Look to the east at the peak of Three Fingers Mountain and see if you can spot the legendary Three Fingers Fire Lookout
built back in 1931.

Looking south from Squire Creek Pass, photo by Martha Rasmussen

Descending down the trail is just as steep, so treat yourself to having poles with you to save your weary legs as well has safer footing.  It can get quite buggy in the summers as the bugs love the pools of water and wildflowers too.

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: 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