Devils Peak (Sky Lakes Wilderness) 17-Oct-2017

Devils Peak Sky Lakes Wilderness Oregon

Humans plan; the gods laugh.  I had several new hikes planned in Southern Oregon’s Sky Lakes Wilderness to enjoy it during the usually glorious (and bug-free) Fall weather.  But lightning strikes (thank you, Zeus!) ignited the Spruce Lake, Blanket Creek, and North Pelican fires, and these closed this wilderness (and parts of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)) until a week ago.  Then we got our first snow (thank Chione for that!), with more coming soon.  So, with my Sky Lakes hiking needs unmet, and the weather window about to snap shut, I consulted the auguries and soon visualized Devils Peak.  Devils isn’t the highest peak in this wilderness (that would be Mount McLoughlin), but it is the presiding monarch of the Seven Lakes Basin and a summit which, based on previous trips, I knew had one heck (metaphorically speaking) of a great view.

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Lucifer (Sky Lakes Wilderness) 23-May-2015

Lucifer Sky Lakes Wilderness Oregon

It’s been a somewhat below normal snow year in Oregon, particularly down here in Southern Oregon. “Low” snow does not mean, however, no snow – particularly along the Cascade crest on north- and east-facing slopes at about 6,500 feet or above. Plus, a persistent low centered over Nevada has been sending waves of clouds (and some rain) at us for the past two weeks. So, as the saying goes, maybe summer doesn’t actually start in Oregon until the 4th of July? That said, I nonetheless felt impelled to venture up into the Sky Lakes Wilderness to see conditions for myself.

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