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I went up the Jungle Hill side at the end of May. It is a horse trail. There is one sign that says trailhead up past the logging staging area, but that is not the trailhead. The camping area and the real trailhead is a little farther up the road. There is a decent sized creek crossing less than a quarter mile from the start. This year there has been significant snow melt so the creek was swollen. Taking shoes/socks off and crossing alone with a large pack is not for the faint of heart. Of course if its a hot day maybe you wouldn't mind the splash, but there just is not anything to keep you from falling but your own tenacity and balancing. After that is the real "Jungle Hill". I really enjoyed the constant supply of edible flowers and medicinal herbs along this trail. That is what would bring me back, along with the very interesting variety of ecosystems. I saw woodland flowers I see on Mt. Hood, orchids, nettles, and even succulants, but also saw higher elevation/dry area type plants like bluebells and sagebrush. I saw on several occasions sign of cougar, deer, and elk. No bear sign. I believe I had deer going by my tent both nights I was there.

About the trail - It needs to be maintained. Usually I don't care if a trail has blowdown trees or obstructions all over the place, which this trail does. There IS one section, however, where several trees had fallen over a switchback, causing horseback riders to cut back before the turn and go up to the unobstructed part of the trail. There are actually a lot of spots like that. But one spot in particular, the ground has been churned up so much, if there was a large sustaining rainstorm, it would turn that whole area into a large mudslide and destroy any remaining terrain in its path. I really do hope some trailworkers get up there and at least attend to that one spot.

At the top, the trail wound around both sides of Jungle Hill, showing you two beautiful vistas. I'm pretty sure you can see Montana from the east side view. Where the trail met up with Kettle Creek trail, it was all covered in snow. I had not been up this trail before and did not see any boot/horseshoe prints in the snow either. I had no way of knowing what the rest of the trail was like, if I might lose it in the snow the next day, so I stayed there that night and just went back down Jungle Hill the next day. I also did not see anyone else the whole time I was there, so that was another reason why I didn't risk it.

Funny thing though, at the top there, I had good reception and even 4g on my cellular, which was nice, just in case of any emergency. Go figure. Verizon.

Decent, interesting, fun trail. I would probably do it again and take someone with me!

hiking
13 days ago

hiking
14 days ago

There is a land slide at 1.5 miles from Trout Lake trailhead. Wild flowers were out.

backpacking
1 month ago

I really enjoyed this hike, though not necessarily for reasons that others would. First, I was overjoyed to have the entire area to myself. I saw only one other party while I was out, which was exactly what I needed. Second, it was open when most of the trails i wanted to do are still snowed in. The terrain was pretty, but not spectacular. There were small streams every couple miles, but I wouldn't be surprised if they dried up later in the season. The trail was faint in places, but nothing horrible. Overall, a very pleasant overnight trip.

camping
2 months ago

This is an awesome trail, we did it last April or so and it was a lot longer than 3 miles, I think it was something like 8-10, after the initial climb up, it is a relatively flat circle with amazing views of valleys on both sides. Amazing hike.

beautiful and we'll maintained. love this hike, I've done it winter and fall....I need to do a spring hike.

backpacking
9 months ago

This was an interesting hike. My buddies and I stayed over the weekend at Emerald Lake, which was very low bur still very awesome. When you are at the lake there is not much exploring you can do, for you are inside canyon walls, but we had a great time. The trail is moderate and could be done by kids around twelve and up more easily if you had to go out and back the same day; for younger children be prepared to take your time and stay the night at the lake. Be advised there are only about 3 spots that you could actually camp at. Also, we are always looking for a little more challenge in our hikes so instead of taking the Hoodoo Canyon Trail to Emerald lake we took a left turn at the the sign just across the wood bridge and went nearly straight up to hit the the trail and headed North to Emerald Lake. Beautiful country; always a pleasure to be in God's country.

hiking
9 months ago

Nice trail, it has varying details depending on where you look. If you start at the parking lot, and go to the intersection with Kettle Crest Trail, you've covered 5.4 miles out and back. The trail quickly moves to a moderately steep and steady incline, then concludes with breaking out of the woods to more moderate switchbacks, which makes for a very nice trail (most strenuous first, then easier). The views begin to open up as you reach the large switchbacks, and you can see for a long ways (see panoramic shot).

hiking
9 months ago

A word of caution - using the directions from the app leads to the Trout Lake campground, which is described in the "100 Hikes in the Inland Northwest" hiking guide as an optional alternative route to Emerald Lake that is "an easier trail, well-constructed but less scenic" than the route through Hoodoo Canyon that starts from the north end and includes a view of Lily Lake.
To be fair, I wasn't able to find the actual trailhead at either end, and eventually gave up, so I can't speak to the quality of the hike either way.

This trail is a well maintained trail. Expect some scree on the last section actually summiting Columbia Mountain. On top you will find the ruins of the old fire lookout and a salvaged structure that the local backcountry horseman rebuilt a few years ago. This would be a great place to camp for the night.

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

Good hike. Fun swimming hole. Fun rock formation to jump off of. Bring some water shoes though, ground mostly covered in sharp rocks.

Gorgeous hike. Make sure snowpack has melted before tackling the forest service roads, we learned that the hard way.

hiking
11 months ago

Nice little swimming hole