Trip 018 - April 13, 2010 (Tuesday)

Eaton Lake Trail

Near Hope BC


Distance From Vancouver:
About 148 km on Highway 1 East. Take Exit 168. Get to Silver Skagit Road, and then drive for 16 km on Silver Skagit Road - look for the trail sign on your left.

Liked: Several fine waterfalls, pleasant forest, lack of any artificial noise (except for an occasional airplane).

Of note: Remote wilderness area, moderately difficult terrain, snow past the 2 km mark, very deep snow close to 3 km mark makes reaching the lake itself too dangerous. There were also were strange noises indicating possible avalanches in the area. Hiking poles and boots are highly recommended.

Vancouver, Coast & Mountains Backroad Mapbook (2010 edition) Coordinates: Page 5 (Chilliwack Lake) G2. The latest edition of Backroad Mapbook for this and other regions, as well as GPS maps, are available at BackroadMapbooks.com.

103 Hikes in Southwestern British Columbia (2008 edition): hike #76. The latest edition is available at Chapters.ca.

Other Trips in Hope Area: Skagit River Trail, Skyline II Trail Hike, Silver Skagit Road (Skagit Valley Provincial Park), Mount Outram Trail Hike, Othello Tunnels, Mount Hope Lookout Trail Hike, Town of Hope BC.



Eaton Lake Trailhead is located at the side of Silver Skagit Road, 16 kilometers after Silver Skagit Road starts from Flood Hope Road near Highway 1's Exit 168. Eaton Lake Trail is a very good hike, with several fine views. However, the snow was so deep at around the 3 km mark that it made further progress unwise.

1. To get to the trailhead of the Eaton Lake trail, drive on Highway 1 and take exit 168. Follow signs to Skagit Valley, and you will end up on Silver Skagit Road.

2. Once on Silver Skagit road, check your odometer - you would be at the turnoff to the trailhead about 16 kilometers later. Silver Skagit Road is all gravel after a very short stretch of asphalt, and your vehicle would likely get very dirty in short time. But, it's a nice road to drive before you get to the turnoff.

3. Here is your turnoff. It is better to park on Silver Skagit Road, as the short road to Eaton Lake Trail is steep and narrow, and parking space is very limited up there.


Silver Skagit Road near Eaton Lake Trail by Hope British Columbia Canada

4. If you have a small 4x4 like a Jeep Wrangler, you may try to proceed.


Eaton Lake Trail Entrance from Silver Skagit Road British Columbia Canada

5. Here is that steep and narrow road.


Road leading to Eaton Lake Trail from Silver Skagit Road

6. And about 200 metres later is the trailhead.


Eaton Lake Trail trailhead

7. The trail starts nicely enough.


Eaton Lake Hiking Trail British Columbia Canada

8. And then Eaton Creek makes an appearance.


Eaton Creek BC Canada

9. In about 25 minutes you reach a very good waterfall. This could be a final destination, if all you want is a short hike. On this photo you see a broken bridge and a log used as an alternative.


Eaton Trail bridge across Eaton Creek British Columbia Canada

10. There is no way to use the bridge on the right, so the log is the way to go, but it is slippery, though wide.


Broken bridge across Eaton Creek

11. Waterfall view from the middle of the log.


Eaton Lake Trail Waterfall British Columbia Canada

12. We have crossed the creek and are now looking back. As you can see, the bridge is way too broken to be of any use.


Photo of a broken Eaton Creek bridge British Columbia Canada

13. If you manage to cross by using the log, this gorgeous stump view is your reward.


Eaton Lake Trail Stump near Silver Skagit Road by Hope British Columbia Canada

14. Falls lookout sounds promising. But, at first, a debris obstacle course awaits the intrepid hikers.


Eaton Lake Trail near a waterfall

15. Actually, it is not entirely bad, and once you manage to climb over this very slippery and dangerous pile, there is a good path beyond it.


Waterfall seen from Eaton Creek Trail British Columbia Canada

16. And then you can get right to the waterfall.


Picture of waterfall on Eaton Lake trail near Hope BC Canada

Here is our video of the waterfall:

A Complete List of Our Videos.

17. Time to move on. The fog had become more and more obvious the higher we climbed.

18. And another waterfall, though not as big as the first one.

19. Just after the 2 km mark, the snow became a permanent presence on the ground. And we started hearing remote avalanches quite well.

20. An interesting tree (what's left of it).

21. Finally, a clearing. The snow is so deep at this point that proceeding any further would be complicated.

23. But it was still possible to enjoy a fine winter view.

Eaton Lake Trail is a good hike, and would likely be even better when the snow is gone.


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