In a nutshell, the loop circumnavigates Jack Mountain with half of the trail along Ross Lake and Ruby Creek, and the other half almost all above treeline on Jackita and Devil's ridges. The highest point is just over 6,900' on the summit of Devil's Dome.
It took us longer than expected because of the route finding and overgrowth/blowdown. August-September will be much better conditions, but it was a great time-on-legs day for all of us.
A few of my pictures (my PhotoShop is not working; when it's fixed I'll stitch some of the panos and hopefully post some pictures from Dave and Richard, as well as their trip reports):
|Greg crossing a creek on the way up to the Crater Mountain trail junction.|
|Devil's Park, heading up to Jackita Ridge.|
|Central Jackita Ridge; Anacortes crossing in the center background.|
|Route finding through central Jackita Ridge; Richard's photo.|
|North Fork Devil's Creek headwaters; cross-country travel from here up to Devil's Ridge; Dave's photo.|
|Richard (r) and Dave running toward Devil's Pass.|
|On Devil's Ridge, NE face of Jack Mountain behind.|
|Leaving the summit of Devil's Dome, looking west; Dave's photo.|
|Devil's Dome group shot. Thanks Richard!|
|Action Dave descending from Devil's Dome (I butt-glissaded...); Richard's photo.|
|On top of Devil's Dome.|
|Shuffling along the East Bank trail; Richard's photo.|
- Currently, there still is significant snow in the central and northern portions of Jackita Ridge, especially in the North Fork Devil’s Creek valley (up toward Anacortes crossing). Significant route finding and cross-country travel is required for approximately three miles in this section from the descent into the valley up to regaining the ridge toward Devil's Pass. There is patchy snow earlier, and along Devil's Ridge, but it is not an issue.
- There is ample water along every section of trail (longest distance without maybe 4-5 miles from Dry Creek Pass, which has water, down to Ross Lake).
- For two miles From Dry Creek Pass toward Ross Lake the trail is very overgrown and there are 10-15 major blowdowns. The last two few miles down to the East Bank trail has only small trees across the trail. There also is overgrowth on the Ruby Creek trail going east from the East Bank trailhead.
A BIG thank you to the guys for coming out and doing this. It was awesome.