The Eagle Trail provides a scenic hike above the Chelan River, which happens to be Washington State's shortest river at 4 miles long. It makes for a great spring hike, when the river is flowing fast with snowmelt and the hills are covered with wildflowers. Less than a half mile into the Reach One trail, the Eagle trail breaks off for a little over a mile, and provides access to the Cutthroat and Coyotel loop trails if you want to extend your hike.
The last time I was hiking on Reach One I noticed the Eagle Trail breaking off, although at that point there was no signage and limited information about the hike. I convinced my son to come on a hike (my wife's allergies were really bad, forcing her to stay behind), and we were planning on doing Cutthroat loop. Although arriving at the Chelan Butte trailhead, I realized I had forgotten my backpack with our water and food at home.
It wasn't quite noon, but the temperatures were heating up as we made our way down the Reach One trail. There were still wildflowers blooming, although all the arrowleaf balsamroot were past their prime at the lower elevations.
The recent high temperatures and snowmelt meant the Chelan River was quite full, and flowing fast. Definitely looked different than the last couple of times I was down here in the late summer and early fall. Upon reaching the Eagle Trail, we saw new signage had been put in.
The trail was in good shape and not too dusty, as it made it's way down the canyon above the river. In addition to the wildflowers, there were some red grasses that contrasted nicely against the greenery and light blue river. At this point, my son and I were really wishing I hadn't forgotten the water. Discussions ensued about turning around, but I convinced him to walk to the junction with Cutthroat loop before heading back.
The trail started to descend down towards the river, and we finally reached the junction with Cutthroat Loop. I was itching to carry on a little farther until we reached the end of the Eagle Trail at Coyote Loop, but my son was very thirsty and not interested in continuing. He promised next time we could do one of the loops, assuming I didn't forget the food and water.
After a short break, we turned around and started hiking back up the Eagle Trail. It was an uneventful hike back, and we didn't encounter anyone else along the Eagle Trail, even though there had been a couple other cars in the parking lot.
All and all, the Eagle Trail is a really nice hike, considering how close it is to Chelan. Scenic views of the river, and lots of different wildflowers. Looking forward to having some water next time and completing one of the loops with my family.