Yep, This Happened!

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Oh Ruby Ruby- mid July

view from Ruby

I had had Ruby on the bucket list for a long time.  I first read about it in an old hiking book then found the approach on  I decided to make it an over-nighter. Parking is at the end of the road in the Colonial Creek Campground, NW Forest Pass required.  The trail starts along the beautiful Thunder Creek where in just over 2 miles the junction with the trail heading to Fourth of July Pass is reached.

So far the trail had been pretty flat and easy but here is where the up started.  In the first 2 miles the elevation gain was only 250 ft or so, in the next 2.5 miles the gain was about 1875 ft up to Fourth of July Camp.  A permit is required to sleep here and when I stopped by the ranger station in Marblemount, I was told I was lucky, there was one spot left.  I think there must have been a glitch in their computer program because I had the entire place to myself all night…well, except for the bear.

The camp was nice, there was running water about 500 ft away and a pit toilet off in the woods.  I hung my food on the other side of the stream before settling down.  I had read that the campsite farthest up the  trail had the best views and it did indeed.

The next morning I packed up my overnight gear and stashed it in a safe place to be picked up on my way back down later that day.  I headed up the trail that was fairly flat until the cutoff to Ruby.  I missed the cutoff at first and had to backtrack about a quarter of a mile.  Summitpost says “As soon as the first 30′-long bridge is seen, search for a hidden path”.  I would like to add that if you come to the bridge you have gone too far. As you approach the bridge the trail is on the left.  You will know it when you see it and there is a sign just a few feet up the trail.

While SP says the trail is sometimes hard to follow, I didn’t find that to be the case at all until the last half mile and then you can still tell where you need to go.  This is not a maintained trail and there were literally dozens of small downed trees to step over and a few to work around but not that bad all in all.

At this point you are gaining elevation fast as the trail climbs the mountain through thick forests for a bit until it starts to break out into more open territory.  Eventually the trail starts to pass through beautiful open meadows heading ever upwards

At this point I lost the trail a bit but just went for the middle of that saddle that can be seen in the above picture.  The hill wasn’t at all bad to go up and I soon made it up to the ridge.

Once on the ridge the already amazing views got even better if that is even possible.  I could see the structure off in the distance and headed on over taking so many pictures as I went.  Once there I signed to register and enjoyed my lunch and the views.

At this point I had gained about 4000 ft in the five miles from camp.  I hated to leave, I really really did.  I had spoken to a young man heading down while I was on my way up and he had spent the night up here on the ridge.  I was regretting not carrying my gear up and doing the same.  Sadly, I started heading down and as I was getting close to the saddle I saw this guy just hanging out cooling his belly.

This was an excellent hike, I would definitely consider doing it again.  Total was about 19 miles rt with 5900 ft gain.  Apparently Ruby has quite the history and it is an interesting read over on Summitpost if you are interested.

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I know, it’s been awhile

I have been doing things, really I have.  I hiked the Teton Crest trail last summer, I went up King Mountain in Utah (Utah’s highest peak), I have been going up things, really I have.  Oh, I went up Ruby Mnt a few weekends ago, that had been on the list for several years. For the last little bit I have been working on planning and getting ready for a trip and last night I bought my tickets so it is now real…I am going to AFRICA!!!  There is a mountain there I am going to go up and then a bit of a safari, should be fun!

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Ridley Creek Trail 6.4.17

shelter approach

approaching Mazama Meadow shelter


~8 mi rt

max: 4524 ft

gain: 1959 ft

Ridley Creek track

The weather was rather overcast but I still wanted to get some snow so I decided to head up to Mazama Meadow via the Ridley Creek trail.  I have written about the trail before so this is just a review and a snow update. I like going in from this trail even though the trail approach is a little longer because the road is accessed off of Mosquito Lake road just outside of Bellingham.  If I go into Park Butte area via the normal route I have to drive down to the Baker Lake area and up that way which is a few hours away. Continue reading

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A path through the woods in Glacier


6.2 rt

max: 2014 ft

gain: 1268 ft

I had gone up to Glacier to help out on the clearing of Dead Horse Creek Rd, the road up to Skyline Divide but there is a tree spearing the road so we will have to wait for the big toys to take care of that.

FSR 37 MP 5.72 deadfall damage station I. Fisher Photo IMAG0398

Continue reading

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view from first viewpoint at abou 2.5 mi from truck


~5 mi rt to first viewpoint (N 48° 37.935 W 122° 27.754)

~9.7 mi rt if you go to the top views (east and west)

burnout screen grab

This is a local hike I often do in the afternoon after I get off work.  The views from the first overlook are excellent and while the crowds are up at Oyster Dome, I am here drinking my view beer all by myself : )

I thought I had written about this walk before but last night I told some students about it and that it was here on this here blog but when I looked I realized it wasn’t.  Corrected. Continue reading

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Keep Kool 5.20.17

goat shuksan pano


about 5.5 mi rt

gain: ~2600 ft

I love this trail, I use it just about every year.  The parking area is low enough that it can be reached early on and if you are comfortable with snow travel then you can get to the tarns below Yellow Aster Butte (and up the Butte if you so desire) way before the regular trail can be traveled.   Continue reading

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