Hike of the Month: Jungle Hill Loop (Kettle Variety, Northeast Washington)

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The Jungle Hill loop delivers hikers the solution of a strenuous day hike or a moderate backpack trip in the Columbia Highlands. On a common August check out, hikers will be distracted by ripe huckleberries along the reduced portions of the hike, and will delight in colorful wildflower displays along the Kettle Crest. This hike can also be shortened to any length by performing an out-and-back in either path or by leaving a car or truck at Sherman Pass and hiking 1 way from Jungle Hill trailhead.

I generally commence my circuit at the Jungle Hill trailhead in order to get the majority of my climbing out of the way early in the hike, then sooner or later finish with a significant downhill. The loop could be completed in either path, but I typically hike it counter-clockwise so that I can linger in the greatest huckleberry patches on the Sherman Pass Trail at the finish of the hike. For these who favor to stay clear of driving on dusty Forest Service roads, it is also quick to start out this hike at Sherman Pass.

To attempt my preferred route, start out by dropping down the hill from the trailhead and quickly crossing Sherman Creek. Then commence the switchbacking climb up Jungle Hill Trail #16, which tends to make up for its unrelenting ascent by possessing an fascinating forest in its reduced reaches and wildflower-filled meadows close to the top rated. The trail is a small significantly less than four miles but climbs around 2000 feet. The reward at the top rated is an old sheepherders’ camp with exceptional access to a piped spring. It is normally suggested to filter, but this is the purest water supply along the Kettle Crest.

From the campsite, continue south on the Kettle Crest Trail #13. The trail skirts about Jungle Hill very first and then Columbia Mountain. The spur trail to the summit of Columbia Mountain is a terrific solution for extending this hike. Pass rock outcroppings and aspen groves, and then descend to Sherman Pass. There’s an outhouse obtainable at the parking lot at the pass, but to continue the hike cross the trailhead access road and continue downhill on Sherman Pass Trail #82. This trail passes the Sherman Overlook Campground, an additional alternate beginning point for the loop for any individual who would favor to car or truck camp at this compact campground just off the highway. The trail passes the campground and descends to Sherman Creek by means of a number of huckleberry patches. At the creek, a brief uphill finish will return hikers to the Jungle Hill Trailhead. 

Round-trip distance: 15.four miles (a great deal significantly less for out-and-back selections)

Rating: Challenging (complete loop) moderate (out-and-back shorter selections)

Elevation acquire: 3348 feet (complete loop)

Map: USGS Copper Butte and Sherman Peak 

Finding there: From Kettle Falls take Highway 395 west across the Columbia and turn left on Highway 20. 

Assistance regional trails:Volunteer with WTA on a backpack trip to North Fork Sullivan Creek, Aug. 15-18, or support make a new bridge in Mount Spokane State Park in late August. 

[Photos courtesy of Holly Weiler]

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