Jackita Ridge #738, , Devil's Park
Aug 08, 1999
- Type of Outing
- Day hike
- Read More in our Hiking Guide
- Hike: Jackita Ridge
- Region: North Cascades -- North Cascades Highway
- Trails: Jackita Ridge (#738)
- Avg Rating: 3.00
- Be Aware Of
- Water on trail
Imagine an alpine meadow bench the size of downtown Seattle. Throw in a generous portion of mosquitos, multiple clusters of Doug and subalpine fir and spruce, and the beginnings of paintbrush, lupine and hellebore. And then climb 4000 feet to get to it. This is Devil's Park, approximately 7.5 miles from the Jackita Ridge TH just off Hwy 20.
The trail to the ridge switchbacks up. You can rock hop the first two streams which you hit in the first 2 miles. The third and final creek crossing (at around 3 miles) is splashed by a roaring waterfall and lacks any convenient crossing rocks -- bring your Tevas or toughen your soles.
The trail is snow free and in pretty good shape. We constructed a water bar to drain the water off the last half mile of trail before the ""pass"" at 5300 feet.
The first set of meadows you reach, McMillan Park, are lovely as well, and just 4 miles from the TH. But range further and the upper meadows (juxtaposed with the North Cascade peaks you start to see as you ascend the trail beyond the Devil's Park meadow) made even this occassionally jaded alpine ridge hiker reach for her panaramic camera.
We hoped to do an extended day hike further along the ridge trail on our 2nd of three days, but thunder and lightening storms kept us off the ridge tops. There were no bugs until 5,000 feet, but after that the hatch was on. They even took shelter from the rolling rainstorms under our tent fly. We also expected a bit more snow but only found patches in the shade at 6,000.
The trail heads north and then over to Ross Lake for a complete loop. We met a couple out for five days to do the entire thing, and encountered no others except one other couple departing as we climbed up, and another small party of climbers coming in as we left.
If you plan to venture much further than Devil's Park, you will want an ice axe to traverse a couple of steep and shaded chutes around 2 miles up the trail from the park.