Devils Dome/Jackita Ridge


Backpack - Devils Dome/Jackita Ridge

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  • Fri, Aug 18, 2017 — Mon, Aug 21, 2017
  • Foothills Backpacking Committee
  • Backpacking
  • Singles, 20-30 Somethings, Retired Rovers, Adults
  • Very Strenuous
  • Challenging
  • Mileage: 40.0 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 10,750 ft

Canyon Creek Trailhead, 8 AM.

Ridge running, high mountain meadows and spectacular views abound on this 40 mile 4-day counterclockwise loop around Crater and Jack Mountains, with an optional sidetrip to the site of the former Crater Mountain Lookout, and completing our hike along the shores of Ross Lake and Ruby Arm.  Flatlanders beware – this very strenuous loop climbs 10,750’, with the optional sidetrip to Crater Mountain Lookout adding another 1,800’.

Listed in 100 Classic Hikes in Washington, and rated 5 stars by Craig Romano in Backpacking Washington, this trip offers much, but exacts a price in elevation gain. 

We will plan for 3 nights on the trail.  To avoid the need for a very early departure, I recommend car camping the night before our trip at Colonial Creek Campground in North Cascades National Park (which is about 15 miles from our trailhead).  No reservations are required for this campground. 

The specific campsites are subject to change both before and during the trip, depending on weather and trail conditions.  The tentative schedule is:

Day 1:  Drive to Canyon Creek Trailhead, ascend Jackita Ridge Trail to intersection with the trail to Crater Lake and Mountain.  We’ll drop our packs here, for an optional out and back sidetrip to Crater Lake and Crater Mountain Lookout No. 2.  After sidetrip, continue on Jackita Ridge Trail to abandoned Devils Park shelter.  5.7 miles, 4,300’ ascent and 400’ descent.  Optional sidetrip to the Lookout adds 4.9 miles and 1,800’ ascent.  Some may chose to sidetrip only to Crater Lake and not continue to the Crater Mountain Lookout; this adds about 1.5 miles and 500’ of ascent. 

 Day 2:  Follow Jackita Ridge trail to Devils Ridge Trail, taking short sidetrip up Jackita Ridge, then follow Devils Ridge Trail west to Skyline Camp.  10.8 miles, 3,750’ ascent, 3,250’ descent.  If the weather is favorable, we may chose to dry camp on the summit of Devils Dome and enjoy the stars on the almost moonless night of August 19, 2017.

Day 3:  Follow Devils Ridge Trail over Devils Dome, descend to Ross Lake, follow East Bank trail south to lake-side Rainbow Point camp.  11 miles, 2,100’ ascent, 6,710’ descent.

Day 4:  Follow East Bank Trail to Ruby Creek Trail back to our cars.  11 miles, 1,500’ ascent and 1,500’ descent.

Total:   Approximately 40 miles, 10,750’ ascent and descent.  With optional sidetrip: approximately 45 miles, 12,550’ ascent and descent.

Guide Books:  Backpacking Washington, 100 Classic Hikes in Washington, and Day Hiking North Cascades (all Mountaineers Press).  Online descriptions: ;

Leader permission is required, which you can obtain by sending an e-mail to the leader.

I expect low overnight temperatures will be in the 30s. You should check the current weather report shortly before departure: .  Rain should be expected, and you should bring rain coat, rain pants, and pack cover and clothes that will keep you warm when wet (no cotton!). The trip is subject to change or cancellation if the predicted weather is unusually poor.

Conditioning:  This trip requires excellent conditioning.  We will average about 2 mph on the trail, including breaks.  You should be able to climb Mt. Si with a full backpack in 3 hours or less, and be able to repeat the climb on the next day.

Other gear notes:

1. Bear canisters are not required.  We will hang our food each night.   I plan to bring my Ursack. 

2. You should bring some method of water purification.

3. Bugs are certainly possible; bring bug repellant.

4. To reduce pack weight, you should consider sharing gear, especially stoves, cooking pots, water filters, and tents. About 2 weeks before the trip, I will send an E-mail to all. If you are interested in sharing any items, Reply All to this E-mail, describing gear you would like to provide for sharing or if you are interested in sharing another’s gear. Sharers should make arrangements directly with any interested people.

5.  We may camp some distance from water, so you should bring containers sufficient to carry 1 gallon of water. 

Although open to all club members over age 18, this trip is also part of the B3 Backpacking Building Blocks series and eligible for B3 course credit. 


Devils Dome/Jackita Ridge

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent 
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports