Hike a spectacular mega-loop full of views, wildflowers, past burns, and.... an overgrown trail! Cumulative elevation gain is 3,000 feet.
A major warning for this hike: Do NOT attempt this hike without GPS and route-finding skills. Be prepared to get scuffed, crawl on your belly under logs, step over hundreds of logs, and hike through termite-infested snags. But if you carry along a GPS, you will have a memorable adventure worth telling about, be glad you did it, (and never wish to re-do!) The views are constant throughout this hike. By providing a GPS track, you will hopefully have less issues finding the trail than I did.
Start out on the Pine Ridge TH, turn right onto the Turpentine Trail, pass under thick green forest before reaching the burn. Cross and pass under hundreds of fallen logs, descend a series of extremely overgrown switchbacks, then reach the Duffy Lake Trail as you exit the burn. Turn left at the junction, pass by Duffy Lake, re-enter the burn, pass by Mowich Lake, little Alice Lake, and cross over a pass before descending down a forested trail to Jorn Lake. Jorn Lake is the centerpiece of the popular Eight Lakes Basin. Turn left onto the Blue Lake Trail.
Once on the Blue Lake Trail, pass Blue Lake and ascend over a burned, exposed saddle between Saddle Mountain and a lava plug, then descend down in a series of switchbacks before re-entering the forest. Turn left onto the well-graded Pine Ridge Trail and take this forested trail back to your car. To add the optional half-mile hike to Marion Mountain (extremely recommended!), once on the Pine Ridge Trail, take the Marion Mountain Trail detour. See the hiking guide on MyHikes for Marion Mountain via Pine Ridge.
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