It’s important to be mindful of the rules within North Cascades NP and Ross Lake NRA. The campsites on the lake require Ross Lake NRA permits and are exclusive to boaters except for Devils Camp which is primarily for those using the ferry. There is no dispersed camping along East Bank Trail. The established sites require a North Cascades NP permit.
It was quite warm and dusty descending from Dry Creek Pass on the Devils Ridge Trail to Ross Lake. By the time I got to this point, I was ready to jump in. Too bad there wasn’t easy access. This gorge was especially inviting. I was jealous of the kayakers I’d watched paddle under the bridge.
To complete the loop, I hiked past the East Bank Trailhead along Ruby Creek. According to my map, this is part of the East Bank Trail, but there was no signage and in fact a tree had recently crashed taking this sign with it. I resurrected the sign and notified the ranger station.
to be continued . . .
- Dates Hiked: August 22-26, 2016
- Mileage: Approximately 50 miles
- Elevation Gain/Loss: Approximately 16,000′
- Trail Conditions:
- Day 1 – B+, only a few down trees and eroded trail
- Day 2 – C, scree field and steep eroded overgrown trail near North Fork Devils Creek
- Day 3 – A-, better signage needed for Deception Pass, Devils Pass shelter and Devils Pass spring
- Day 4 – C, steep and dusty descending from Dry Creek Pass
- Day 5 – B, not too many down trees nor overgrowth but could use some love
- Solitude Factor:
- Day 1 – two groups of 2 people each hiking out (one of the groups was day hikers)
- Day 2 – two tents at the Crater Mountain junction, one solo hiker hiking loop in opposite direction
- Day 3 – two at Devils Dome, two at Dry Creek Pass
- Day 4 – too many to count, probably at least 20 going the opposite direction up to Dry Creek Pass
- Day 5 – didn’t see anyone
- Day 1 – no skeeters or biting flies
- Day 2 – bees taking care of the flowers in the subalpine areas
- Day 3 – zip except bees minding their own business
- Day 4 – another bug-free day
- Day 5 – zip
- Day 1 – a few light showers
- Day 2 – zip, just some nice clouds
- Day 3 – zip
- Day 4 – another shower-free day
- Day 5 – zip
- Day 1 – 36 overnight low
- Day 2 – 40 overnight low
- Day 3 – 40 overnight low
- Day 4 – 59 overnight low
The positives of hiking counterclockwise are the initial climb is much more friendly with better switchbacks, trail is shaded, water is plentiful, and camping is available sooner. The positives of hiking clockwise is using the ferry to cut-off 15 miles of trail, or getting the permitted section out of the way first giving you freedom of campsites the remainder of the trip.
- Parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 of Jack Mountain Circumnavigation
- More Jan’s Jaunts in Washington
- National Geographic, North Cascades NP Map
- Washington Trail Association, Devils Dome Loop
- Seattle Backpackers Magazine, Devils Dome Loop