Juniper Ridge - Boundary Trails Backpacking

Randle, Washington

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The Boundary Trail traces a circuitous course along the ridge dividing the watersheds of the Lewis and Cispus rivers. Along the way it travels through the Dark Divide Roadless Area, some of the finest remaining wild country in the southern Washington Cascades. The path visits flower-covered meadows, numerous craggy rock formations, fields of huckleberries, and miles of quiet forests. The two star attractions, however, are the inspiring ridgetop views and one particular flower. In early to mid-July of favorable years the tall stalks and white blooms of beargrass put on an amazing show. As for views, whether you hike from east to west or the reverse, you will always have either Mount St. Helens or Mount Adams as a landmark to hike toward. Warning: The entire length of this trail is open to noisy, erosion-causing motorcycles. Even though early-season blowdown may seem like a hassle, it is really a blessing in disguise; because while hikers can scramble around the logs, these same obstacles effectively keep out the machines. Partly to avoid the headaches of motorcycles, not many hikers take this trail. Those who do, typically start at Council Lake near Mount Adams and faithfully follow the Boundary Trail to the west. The author, however, recommends using the Juniper Ridge Trail as an alternate approach.
Backpacking Washington

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Backpacking Washington

by Douglas Lorain (Wilderness Press)

The Boundary Trail traces a circuitous course along the ridge dividing the watersheds of the Lewis and Cispus rivers. Along the way it travels through the Dark Divide Roadless Area, some of the finest remaining wild country in the southern Washington Cascades. The path visits flower-covered meadows, numerous craggy rock formations, fields of huckleberries, and miles of quiet forests. The two star attractions, however, are the inspiring ridgetop views and one particular flower. In early to mid-July of favorable years the tall stalks and white blooms of beargrass put on an amazing show. As for views, whether you hike from east to west or the reverse, you will always have either Mount St. Helens or Mount Adams as a landmark to hike toward.

Warning: The entire length of this trail is open to noisy, erosion-causing motorcycles. Even though early-season blowdown may seem like a hassle, it is really a blessing in disguise; because while hikers can scramble around the logs, these same obstacles effectively keep out the machines. Partly to avoid the headaches of motorcycles, not many hikers take this trail. Those who do, typically start at Council Lake near Mount Adams and faithfully follow the Boundary Trail to the west. The author, however, recommends using the Juniper Ridge Trail as an alternate approach.

©  Douglas Lorain/Wilderness Press. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Backpacking, Hiking
Nearby City: Randle
Distance: 30
Elevation Gain: 5,400 feet
Trail Type: Shuttle
Skill Level: Moderate
Duration: 2-4 days
Season: Usually open late June to October; best early to mid-July / mid- to late August
Trailhead Elevation: 3,600 feet
Top Elevation: feet
Local Contacts: Cowlitz Valley Ranger District
Local Maps: Green Trails - McCoy Peak (#333) & Blue Lake (#334)
Driving Directions: Directions to Juniper Ridge - Boundary Trails (Backpacking)

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Apr 2018