Need help with a better simple gravel and stone path
I find the directions for building a gravel path confusing, and I'm not sure it all pertains to NW soils since we seldom have frost heaving. My path is about 8' x 2' and is lightly used. I dug out the grass a few years ago, laid the bricks out flat, and filled it with pea gravel. The brick wasn't holding in the gravel or keeping out the soil from the beds, so I've turned them on their sides, which will give me 4" depth if I dig out the compacted clay. I've removed the pea gravel as I know I need to use crushed gravel to lock it into place.
I want to dress it up a little by adding 4 or 5 stepping stones (flags probably) and fill in between the stones with crushed gravel. We bought some 1/4"- 10 washed gravel for the top layer.
What is needed as a base layer? Do I need to lay landscape fabric? What depth do I need to dig out the soil? Can I just fill with gravel or sand, lay the stones, and fill in between the stones with more gravel?