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You will want to get an early start here. On a nice weekend, the parking lot, trail, and campsites fill up fast. The parking lot here has been known to have frequent car break-ins, so make sure to keep nothing tempting in your car.
Plan to hike about 8-10 miles today and don’t plan on being alone. The first 2 miles of the trail are super busy with day hikers. After that it thins out a bit, but you still get a number of day hikers and overnights heading to Tunnel Falls.
Shortly after you pass behind Tunnel Falls, you will want to start looking out for camp sites. One of the larger and more popular sites is 7 1/2 Mile camp. This will be the second large campsite you pass on your left. There is easy access to Eagle Creek and smaller run off creek 2 minutes up the trail. Don’t plan on camping alone tonight, as this is where most overnighters setup camp.
Hike out to Lake “Name Goes Here” and take a long lunch break by the lake. If you are feeling up to it and snow isn’t an issue, take a detour to hike up Shindera Mountian for some amazing views. Just be ready for some steep climbs/descents. If you want to keep walking, but don’t want to climb, follow the trail all the way around the lake until it meets back up with Eagle Creek Trail.
Many people choose to camp around the lake. If you do, don’t plan on being alone. The lake camp sites fill up fast from hikers and car campers, as there is easy access to these sites by car.
You will actually have passed the best camp site on the entire trail on the way to the lake. The trail almost makes a u-turn where you have to cross a fairly wide waterfall/creek. The site is right beside the creek and has a number of very flat camping sites and even a few hammock spots.
One option is to hike the 15 miles back to the trailhead and call it a day. Another choice is to make this and easy, lazy day of hiking. Hang out in camp for a while, slow down the pace on the trail, and take some time to get those photos you passed on while hiking in.
Plan to camp at any site your previously passed on the way in.