Eaton Lake

July 8, 2012

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.

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Waterfall

Approximately 380 meters of distance and 100 meters of elevation later, upstream is a 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.

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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.

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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.

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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 of investigation. From this point 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.

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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.

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Eaton 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.

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Some people may choose to continue onwards past the campsite area and scramble up either Eaton Peak or 'Grant Peak', both of which 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.

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Hiking Trip Statistics

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Region: Chilliwack Skagit
Difficulty: Moderate
Time: 5.5 hours
Distance: 8 km
Elevation Gain: 915 meters
Hiking Season: Late June - October
Camping: Yes
Dog Friendly: Yes
Public Transit: No

Coordinates
1. 49.2478241398931-121.389876510948 Elev: 398m Trailhead
2. 49.2506472487003-121.356649640948 Elev: 1312m Lakeshore

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How to get there

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From Highway #1 (Trans-Canada Highway) near Hope, take exit #168. Follow Flood Hope Road east for a few hundred meters 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.

Driving distance from Vancouver: 165 km (102 mi)
Driving time from Vancouver: Approx. 2 hours 24 minutes

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