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The hike itself is good. The trail had it’s up and down slopes, not many rocks on the trail so it’s fairly even ground to walk on. The views of the lake are awesome. The only thing I didn’t like was the drive to the trail head. It’s about 15 miles on gravel roads.

The view is a 5 star view
The hike is a 1 star hike

I think you'd be hard pressed to find a better view within the park. Maybe at the top of St. Helens. Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Adams and Mt Rainier are all very large and visible from the peak. Mt. Hood is in the distance quite a bit, but still clearly visible on a clear day (it was for us).

The reason the hike is a 1 star is because you have to book it up the mountain until you clear the trees so as to not be a stationary target for mosquitoes. They are vicious, and in numbers. I was trailing my wife and could see 30-40 swarming her at all times. Another review commented to wait a few weeks until they clear out. I'm not sure that will happen anytime soon. It's pretty dry there (not sure it's rained in some time) and they're still really bad. Once you clear the tree line it's just the flies, so we took our time at the top.

When you get to the top, you'll get a good view of Rainier and Adams. You'll then want to keep going on the trail until you see a trail that doubles back to the top of Juniper Peak. It's pretty steep, but the view is worth it.

We shared the summit with a few mountain bikers, but didn't see any other hikers. It was 90-95F in most places yesterday, but only 75F through the trails and at the summit. Nice way to beat the heat!

The trail also claimed my favorite pair of sunglasses. Not sure where i lost them, but if you find them, you're welcome. :(

Simply OUTSTANDING trail. Great views in AWESOME weather. Fantastic trail for a single-day trek.

Falls are beautiful. Supposedly, the trail up to the lookout is down at the moment but they are trying to get it finished. My dad lives about 1 mile from this hike so I do it quite often. Great workout. Can't wait until we can hike all the way to the top.

hiking
1 month ago

Outstanding view up top but would NOT recommend right now. Mosquitos! Tons of them!! Even with bug spray, they'll lay siege to your ears, nose... one even flew straight down my throat. Seriously. There are very few breezes (which also means it can get hot) until you get to the very tippy-top, and even then a couple still tracked me down. Tenacious buggers! And it is fairly steep, so unless you're built like a mountain goat, you'll be like me - huffing and puffing and a total easy target. The steepness lets you run down the trail on the way back though!

The trail is rutted due to motorbikes, but I've seen much worse in the area (and I didn't run into any on a Saturday afternoon). The drive to get there is fine - there are many weird 'speed bumps' along the last 4 miles of road (some on blind curves - very annoying). If I were driving a sedan I might've worried about scraping, but I saw a car had made it just fine so what do I know. But yes, the view is worth it... maybe just a wait a couple weeks for those bugs to clear out.

As my second attempt to summit Juniper Peak (first was 5/12 - snowfield blockage 0.5 mil in to trail), I am so excited to share this trip report from today 6/24.

Start temp: 59 degree @ 9:30a. Clean skies. First on the trail. Alt 3600 ft

End temp: 74 degrees @ 12:45p. Clear skies. Five cars at trailhead (some for Tongue Mountain trail)

I won't bore you with the details on the forestry road to the trailhead. It was good. No issues.

I'll do my review a little differently this time. I've broken it up to segments for new folks wanting to check this hike out and would know what to expect.

Trailhead 0.0 - 0.75mi : Consistent incline (~15% grade - felt like a 500 ft/mi pace). Trail is wide most of the way, but remember as this is an OHV approved trail (and the motorcycle track is basically a trench that you'll need to trek through or you can do it along the edge.

0.75-1.5 mi: The switch back begins. The first two segments are longer (200yds each), then the next three are shorter (50 yds), and the final one is the straight shot to the peak. After a bit, you'll see peakaboos of Adams and Juniper ridge. Note the grade increases a little. I'd say around 20-25% on average. Not too bad though. Just pace yourself. Segments are in good condition and foot friendly. Lol.

1.5-2.25 mi: The grade here gets sort of steeper, but not by much. It felt like it fluctuated 10%-25%. Overall not bad. But also be advised that the massive amount of bugs live in this zone. It's like an air raid…if it had wings…you'll know it. Great news though, you'll start to see more of Mt Adams.

2.25-2.75 mi: I honestly feel this is where the gain occurred the quickest. Nearly 45%-50% typical grade in most places. My altimeter showed a ~600 ft gain in this 0.5 mile segment through old growth. Nothing to see here…it was just shaded and steep. Take your time and breath. Not many bugs whizzing by. So you're ok. As you make the final accent to the open views, you'll come to a makeshift Y junction created by bikers. Take either…they will both converge a little ways up just before you exit the tree line. Yeah. You made it.

2.75-3.0 mi: You're already at the top ridgeline at ~5400 ft. You'll skirt the ridge to Juniper Peak (its more of a big mound/hill..200+ ft in height). Trek as far as you like forward.

Once as the base of the Juniper Peak…head to the south side staring at My Adams (so very cool). You have two options. Continue to trek another 0.5 mile to the small rock peaks (clearly visible).

Hint, not really worth it, I went. It's very buggy and visibility to St Helens is hindered a bit from nearby mountains. But you can see Rainier, Adams, and Hood. Anyways, I recommend to save that energy and climb up Juniper Peak on the back side instead. It's about 240 ft up (40-45% grade the lower half, and 50%+ at you approach the top). The first half has a little dirt trail (see in pic), but after that you make your own trail through rocks, grass, and dirt. Others have made many so you can mix and match. Here you will see FOUR volcanoes (Rainier, Adams, St Helens, and Hood in the distance. This was a real treat on such a beautiful cloudless day (but some haze did exist at distance).

Overall a great hike. I am so happy to have driven 3 hrs to get here and witness this amazing beauty.

This trail is more of a Moderate plus, due to some steep segments up top that may catch some offguard.

hiking
1 month ago

Did this as part of a 31 Mile day hike around the St Helens Monument. Very cool experience getting close to the mountain from this angle.

Trail has been maintained and the views were great.

I have never actually done this said trail! But burley mountain lookout itself is an old fire lookout in which you can drive too. However I wouldn’t recommend taking a full size. Coval creek and angel loop falls trail at cispus learning center offer a trail that takes you to the lookout! It’s a climb! Once you reach the top you can see Mount Rainier, St. Helens. and mount hood! Tongue mountain and the side of tower rock.
You are surrounded by wild blue berries! You can see more with a good set of binoculars! The view is breathtaking.

hiking
Friday, July 14, 2017

Good workout, but otherwise not anything incredible. Besides the waterfalls at the very start, there aren't any real views of anything except lots of trees and blow downs.

Monday, July 10, 2017

This hike was a bit of a chore getting up because of the rutted out nature of the trail, the mosquitos, and the fact there were motor cycles on the trail. Be careful for that! They are allowed on the trail and probably the cause some of the rutting of the trail.

But after dealing with all of that the payoff was amazing! Truly spectacular wildflowers and awesome views of Mt Rainer and Mt Adams. The is also a view of the top part of Mt St Helens that is not as amazing but still cool. We ate lunch at the summit... with a few bugs :)

For us the payoff was worth the rest for sure.

We enjoyed this hike overall thanks to the top and would consider it again in the future!

hiking
Thursday, July 06, 2017

Definitely a unique perspective of Mt. Saint Helens. The trail is in good shape and the wild flowers were lovely. As it's completely out in the open, I'd highly recommend plenty of water and sunscreen.

hiking
Tuesday, June 27, 2017

A unique look at Mt. St. Helens, about as close to the caldera as you can get. Bring sun protection as it's all out in the open

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Very nice

hiking
Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Loved the climb, scenery. Gaiters is a good idea.... and lots of water.

hiking
Monday, June 08, 2015

My husband and I took the Juniper Ridge Trail in early June. A strange year with little snowpack allowed our early trip. We were dissappointed with the trail, it is rutted and hard to hike in places, but the views and wildflowers made up for the poor trail.
Most high country trails in this area are packed and we were happy to have this trail to ourselves, aside from two groups on motorbikes that we passed.
This area gets rather dry towards the end of the season. We felt lucky to see lush green views with Beargrass, Paintbrush, Penstemon, Mariposa Lily, Lupine, Asters and Wild Carrot popping up everywhere we looked. there are not many places that offer such stunning views for the distance of this hike. We made it to Jumbo Peak and were rewarded with views of Mt. Rainier, St. Helens, Mt. Adams and even Mt. Hood!

We looked for goats but only saw their tracks. Next time, we plan to leave early to catch cooler weather, better light for photography and hopefully spot a few goats.

hiking
Sunday, June 22, 2014

Juniper Ridge Trail #261 trailhead is on the right side of FR 2904 with moderate parking. Tongue Mountain trail #294 can be accessed from the same place but on the left side of the road.

Juniper Ridge Trail #261 is an OHV trail and rated Most Difficult, allowing for Motorcycles, Mountain Bikes, Horses and Hiking. And right from the get-go, its obvious. The trail starts out steep, with few minor reprieves. Since ATV's are not allowed and motorcycles are, it's not a foot-friendly trail with one deep rut in the center of the trail all the way to the top. Of course snow melt run-off adds to the rut near the top.

Not a sole was there when we started and saw only 2 others hiking the ridge while we were eating lunch from the summit of Juniper Peak. Hiking is either in the center of the rut (with feet never completely flat) or on top of the rut on either side if and when one presents itself. Near the 2 mile mark, you'll get your first view point. Lovely Mt. Adams. Go on a cloudless day to see the whole mountain. From this point you'll hike another 1.5 miles on a thinning forested ridge till you get to the timberline. You'll have a couple good views of your destination along the way .

Nearing the top we found parts of the trail covered with snow. Once past timberline, your on top at ridge level at approximately 5400 feet where you can explore the small peak left of the trail with views of Mt. Rainier to the north, Mt. Adams to the south-east and Mount St. Helens to the south-west. To your right, is the rocky cliff face of Juniper Peak.

Continue on the ridge around the base of Juniper Peak. Once at the backside of Juniper Peak, climb a couple hundred feet to the summit. Approximately 5611 feet in elevation. You'll have a 360 degree view from here of Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mount St. Helens and Juniper Peak Ridge which runs North/South. Continue along the ridge for better views of Sunrise and Jumbo Peaks and others along the ridge.

We continued along the ridge for another 1/2 mile past a small peak and returned. Hiking back down the rutted trail proved to be somewhat difficult, however it went quick and hiking on the sides of the rut were easier. I rated this a 4 out of 5 simply because of the trail. The views were 5 stars!

Definitely go on a cloudless day for the best views, however, our partly cloudy day was still gorgeous! On cooler days, bring something to block the wind and cold.

hiking
Friday, January 13, 2012

The size is impressive, but the land still has not recovered and is quite barren

hiking
Monday, January 02, 2012

Great views. Can be chilly, even in summer months. Ranger guided tours help you see and notice things otherwise missed on self guided tours. Check with the visitor center and see if you can join a ranger led program.

hiking
10 days ago

hiking
1 month ago

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Saturday, June 27, 2015

hiking
Friday, June 20, 2014