Eaton Lake

Popular steep hike to a pristine mountain lake near Hope.

Statistics

Total Distance: 8.2 km (return)
Estimated Time: 5.5 hours
Average Grade: 22.3%
Structure: Linear - Return
Elevation Gain: 915 m
Start Elevation: 410 m
Max Elevation: 1325 m

Directions

From Highway #1 (Trans-Canada Highway) near Hope, take exit #168. Follow Flood Hope Road east to a flashing amber light and turn right on to Silver Skagit Road. Zero your odometer and head south on Silver Skagit Road, continuing on as it transitions to a car accessible gravel road. At the junction for Silver Lake Provincial Park, stay to the left and follow signs marked for Ross Lake instead.

Shortly after the road's 16 km marker, turn left on to a side road marked with a sign for the Eaton Lake Trail and Eaton Creek forestry campsite. Follow the road a short distance to the campsite area, where there is parking for approximately four cars. Do not park in any of the campsites, in case someone wishes to camp there. If the trailhead parking area is full, carefully park on the edge of the main road.

Details

One of the most popular hikes near Hope, the Eaton Lake trail challenges visitors with a relatively steep climb. If the complete hike to the lake ends up being too much, a waterfall lookout offers an alternate destination.

Starting at the Eaton Lake Forestry Campsite, the route begins at a larger boulder blocking vehicular access to an old road. Follow the old road approximately 350 meters to a spot alongside Eaton Creek where the actual footpath starts to the left. From here, the trail climbs steeply on the north side of the creek with a small number of switchbacks.

Approximately 380 meters of distance and 100 meters of elevation later, the trail reaches a large log that serves as a makeshift bridge over the creek. Unfortunately, the original bridge with it's wire railing has broken in half and collapsed into the creek. Upstream is large waterfall that can sometimes be a popular destination for people who are short on time or don't want to hike to the lake. A short side trail used to lead to a viewpoint closer to the waterfall, but it has been completely obliterated due to blowdown.

The trail heads south past the crossing and performs a long sweep around the side of the ridge, finally heading back to the creek quite awhile later. This section of trail tends to be quite a bit warmer than the rest in the summer months since it's no longer near the cool moist air along the creek.

At a point marked as "halfway", there is a small bridge and an 'L shaped' bench near the creek. It's not a bad spot for a rest, and around the corner is another waterfall that might be worth investigation. From this point on the trail leads uphill steeply with a large number of switchbacks before finally leveling off as it nears the lake. Make your way around the left side of a small pond to another collapsed log bridge. Ignore the first part of the bridge, instead hopping across the creek on a small logjam. Climb across the small island in the middle of the creek and climb onto what remains of the bridge. Use caution and carefully make your way across to the other side.

Continue onwards for a short distance on the straight and relatively level path before reaching another log bridge over Eaton Creek. Continue over the bridge and over flat terrain to a small boulder field approximately 100 meters in length. Once across, it's a short and easy 200 meters to the edge of the lake.

The lake has a good number of locations suitable for camping, and it's not uncommon to find people camping and fishing during the summer months. There are no formal trails around the shore of the lake. Some people may choose to continue onwards past the campsite area and scramble up either Eaton Peak or 'Grant Peak', both of which loom provide an impressive backdrop to the Eaton Lake area. There are old tree carvings near the lake dated 1960; it would seem that the trail has been in existence for quite some time.

Photographs

GPS Waypoints

Trailhead N49.24624 W121.39121 10U 617088 5456075
End of old road / start of trail N49.24552 W121.38690 10U 617403 5456002
Log crossing below waterfall N49.24534 W121.38303 10U 617685 5455988
Half-way marker and corner bench N49.24632 W121.37597 10U 618196 5456108
Pond N49.24704 W121.36221 10U 619196 5456209
Bridge #2 N49.24719 W121.36228 10U 619191 5456226
Bridge #3 N49.24779 W121.36033 10U 619331 5456296
Rock pile N49.24795 W121.35914 10U 619417 5456315
Lakeshore N49.25056 W121.35686 10U 619577 5456609