Pacific Crest Trail Pacific Crest Trail - 2018

Pacific Crest Trail (2018) 20: Eaten

Friday, June 15, 2018 – 7.40 miles

Visitor in the morning

Today was Man Eaten Lake day!  I was excited to see Man Eaten Lake due to its beauty and cool name (the latter being most important, of course). eTrails has it listed as ‘Man-Eaten Lake’ and I had initially read that as ‘lake eaten by man’, but when I was searching online in Etna for the origin of the name, it was coming up without a hyphen and websites were reading it as ‘man was eaten lake’. Which is less philosophical but still raises some interesting questions. Animals? Cannibals? Just so long as it wasn’t a scenario like this:

Sue: (screaming) Billy! Billy!

Bob: What’s wrong, Sue?

Sue: Billy disappeared below the surface of the water and hasn’t come up!

Joan: Good God! It’s like THE LAKE ATE HIM.

(Billy swims back to shore)

Sue: Billy!

Billy: Ha ha ha, did I fool you? Now someone get me a towel, I’m becoming hypothermic.

Sue: Oh Billy, you silly.

(Whole company laughs heartily while Billy slowly collapses)

If it was like that, don’t even tell me. Movie rights: $5.

The day began with burn walking that fortunately ended upon the trail crossing a saddle. The scenery was gorgeous afterwards with lakes, meadows, flowers and gushing seasonal waterfalls. The amount of snow above seemed small in proportion to the snowmelt.


Minor snow patches on the trail during the climb to Man Eaten Saddle. Mt. Shasta was visible in the distance.

Distant Shasta

Man Eaten Lake came into view, dramatic and gobsmacking in its deep bowl with its deep blue water.


In retrospect I wish that I had lingered longer on my way up to the saddle to enjoy the views, but I was eager to check out camping opportunities at the lake so I made my way down a dodgy death trap of a loose scree trail to the shore. The lakeshore was surprisingly windy and I saw bear scat, which was discouraging, but I pitched my tent and decided to hang my Ursack along the PCT so it would be far away and I wouldn’t have to climb up with its weight tomorrow morning. Back up and down the devilish trail.


The walls of the basin seemed lower at the lake and were blotted with snow that had created a large waterfall on the opposite side. Insects were thick and included a few types that I hadn’t seen before.

I wonder what you are.
Covered with ladybugs

I saw a black salamander drifting about lazily in the water. If my hiking style were to be compared to a salamander, it would definitely be that salamander.

Miles for the day = 7.4. Camping at Man Eaten Lake had to be done.

By Krista/Bane

Thru-hiker, LASHer and packrafter from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Enjoys walking slowly, seeking out ice cream whenever possible, and just generally being uninspirational.

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