Devils Peak (7,582 ft / 2,311 m) sits on the divide between the Seven Lakes and Sky Lakes Basins in the Sky Lakes Wilderness. It’s not the highest point in the wilderness but from its summit you have an expansive 360° view, plus a unique view north toward the Crater Lake Rim. Four years had passed since our last visit and it was certainly time for another. An attempt this August was foiled by choking clouds of wildfire smoke. 😥 But it’s rained a few times since, the fires are out, and the air is now clear. Another wet cold front went through last night, further clearing the air and dropping temperatures (and a tiny bit of snow); it was time for another go at Devils. 🙂
Deer season began this month, so we started up the Seven Lakes Trail (#981) festooned in orange clothing through cold, clear air. The trail was clear except for its permanent collection of ankle-wrenching rocks. 🙁
About 2 miles (3.2 km) in, we passed Frog Lake, now showing considerably more muddy shoreline thanks to the drought.
We continued on the #981 past the lake and on up to its junction with the Devils Peak Trail (#984) and then followed that trail east toward the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). The #984 is an easy trail with a few open sections that afforded us a wonderful view of the Crater Rim to the north. It might be worth hiking up here just for this view.
The #984 took us to the PCT and we went north on that to where an obvious use trail starts up Devil’s southwest ridge. Soon this use trail merges with the trail built to access the fire lookout which once stood on Devil’s summit. Just short of the summit, it merges with another use trail that comes up from the saddle between Devils and Lee Peak – you can use this to make a loop over Devils.
We enjoyed a snack on the summit in sunny, mild, windless conditions. 😎 A fire lookout was here from 1917 to 1968. Once again, I was struck by how amazing it would have been to spend the summer up here as a lookout. Of course, I have this feeling about most old lookout sites which is probably why I go out of my way to visit them. 🙄
When the clouds began spilling over the ridge from Frog Lake, it was time to retrace our route back to the trailhead.
This hike is 10.3 miles (16.5 km) round-trip with 2,300 feet (701 m) of elevation gain spread out over the whole distance – you are mostly always going up. The stretch from the trailhead to Frog Lake is rocky and boring but things get better and better past the lake. The #984 seems almost level and offers those big views of the Seven Lakes Basin and the Crater Lake Rim. The views from Devil’s southwest ridge and its summit are (weather permitting) expansively wonderful. Having tried Devils at other times of the year, I think that a cold, clear day in early Fall (like the one we had today less the clouds) is the best time for a visit. 😁RETURN TO FRONT PAGE