Boasting views of massive Cascade volcanoes, constellations of wildflowers, and an embarrassment of huckleberries, the Juniper Ridge Trail offers an excellent opportunity for a backpacking trip, complete with views or shorter day hikes from the ridge.
From the trailhead on Forest Road 2904, climb for the first two miles through second- or third-growth evergreens, enjoying peek-a-boo views between trees. The trail follows the ridgeline for 4.5 miles to the base of Sunrise Peak, then drops down to a meadow and pond, before climbing back to the ridge.
The trail skirts Juniper Peak, Sunrise Peak and Jumbo Peak ending near Dark Meadow. Along your hike, you'll enjoy views from high open ridge tops, since much of the trail traverses through an area that burned in 1902 and again in 1918, resulting in the beautiful meadows along the ridge today.
This trail was once used by sheepherders as a "stock driveway" from 1900 to the 1930s. Look for an old watering trough north of Jumbo Peak, but carry all you'll need -- it's a dry hike!