This is the perfect short backpack or long day hike! From the Jungle Hill campground, the trail drops approximately 0.25 mile to Sherman Creek. Note the return trail on the left, then cross Sherman Creek to the Jungle Hill Trail and begin the approximately four-mile climb to the meadows near Jungle Hill.
Near the intersection with the Kettle Crest, the open grassy meadows are suddenly overtaken by sagebrush. Depending on the season, watch for wild forget-me-nots, lupine and Indian paintbrush adding splashes of brighter color. The junction with the Kettle Crest is the site of an old sheepherders’ camp, boasting a nice campsite with easy access to a piped spring for filtering water.
From the campsite, continue south on the Kettle Crest. The trail skirts around Jungle Hill and winds its way toward Columbia Mountain. At around the 9.5 mile mark, hikers will reach the junction with the Columbia Mountain Summit Trail. There is a dry campsite near the summit. From the junction with Columbia Mountain, continue on the Kettle Crest Trail to Sherman Pass.
Note that there is a small campground located near the trailhead, along with a vault toilet. Complete the loop by crossing the trailhead entrance road.
At the junction with the Kettle Crest South Trail, stay left on the Sherman Creek trail. The trail follows the power line for a short segment, and also passes a trail junction with Sherman Creek Campground (fee required to stay here), before descending back into the forest as it returns to the junction with the Jungle Hill Trail.
This portion of the hike is the best place to fill empty water bottles with huckleberries when they are in season.