Trails for everyone, forever

Home Go Hiking Hiking Guide Lake Caroline

Lake Caroline

Central Cascades > Leavenworth Area
47.5360, -120.8139 Map & Directions
Length
11.5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain
3100 feet
Highest Point
6300 feet
Calculated Difficulty About Calculated Difficulty
Hard
Lake Caroline. Photo by JoanHikes

One of the lesser-visited lakes in the Enchantments, Lake Caroline is a hard-earned reward for those seeking a bit of solitude in this immensely popular region. Continue reading

  • Dogs not allowed
  • Wildlife
  • Lakes
Rating
2.75 out of 5

(8 votes) Log in to rate

Hiking Lake Caroline

One of the lesser-visited lakes in the Enchantments, Lake Caroline is a hard-earned reward for those seeking a bit of solitude in this immensely popular region.

From the Eightmile Lake trailhead, the trail ascends steadily through a burn area before entering the Alpine Lakes Wilderness at 1 mile. The grade eases a bit as the trail follows along Eightmile Creek. At 2.8 miles, just after Little Eightmile Lake, is a signed trail junction. To reach Lake Caroline, take the trail to the right. (The  trail straight ahead makes its way to Eightmile Lake.)

The trail continues climbing, steeply now, through the brushy recovering burn area. Be prepared with sun protection and plenty of water as the trail switchbacks upward. The views increasingly improve as you climb, with the Stuart Range and the Enchantment peaks coming into view. After crossing a few small streams at 4 miles, the grade eventually relaxes as the surrounding landscape transitions to unburnt forest and then to meadows.

Cresting a high point at 5.5 miles, the forested trail now drops steeply for a quarter mile to the shores of  Lake Caroline.

Nestled in a basin between Eightmile Mountain and Cashmere Mountain, Lake Caroline is a peaceful place to soak your feet while you soak in the sun. Dayhikers will want to enjoy the lake’s shore before returning the way they came. Lake Caroline does make for a great overnight destination, but you will still need permits since it’s in the Enchantments area.

Those camping at the lake might wish to explore the high country more by continuing on the trail for  another 2.3 miles to Windy Pass. From here, stellar views of the surrounding mountain peaks will take your breath away.

WTA Pro Tip: Overnight trips to Lake Caroline between May 15 and Oct. 31 require an Enchantments
permit. Go to recreation.gov/permits/233273 for information.

Hike Description Written by
Lindsay Leffelman, WTA Correspondent

Lake Caroline

Map & Directions

Trailhead
Co-ordinates: 47.5360, -120.8139 Open in Google Maps

Before You Go

See weather forecast

WTA Pro Tip: Save a copy of our directions before you leave! App-based driving directions aren't always accurate and data connections may be unreliable as you drive to the trailhead.

Getting There

From the western edge of Leavenworth (milepost 99 on US 2), follow Icicle Creek Road for 8.4 miles. Turn left on Eightmile Road and continue 3.1 miles to the trailhead. Park on the left side of the road and cross to the trailhead.

More Hike Details

Trailhead

Central Cascades > Leavenworth Area

Eightmile - Trout Creek (#1554)

Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, Wenatchee River Ranger District

You can improve or add to this guidebook entry

Lake Caroline

144 Trip Reports

Hiked here recently?

Submit a trip report!
 
Trip Reports