12.4 miles
2,450 feet
Out & Back

dogs on leash





mountain biking

nature trips



hot springs


wild flowers


Wednesday, June 14, 2017

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!