Hiking the Squilchuck – Devils Gulch Spur Loop on Mission Ridge
One thing about being on the Far East Slopes of the North Central Cascades is the weather can be substantially better than a few miles to the West towards the Cascade Crest and completely different (often for the better) than what the area on the Cascade Crest is getting. The leeward side of the mountain range often offers you a pleasant hiking sanctuary when unsettled weather dominates the mountains in terms of cold, rain, snow, and wind, such was the case when we did this quick day hike a 15 minute drive from our home to the TH. We started at the Squilchuck trailhead hiked up to and over the North side of the Mission Ridge Plateau to Liberty Beehive road then arced back at a lower elevation via the Devils Gulch Spur trail which cuts across the top of a canyon with nice rock formations and today some scenic Fall colors. We had a nice lunch break on one of the high rocky outcroppings before completing our 7 miles, 1600′ elevation gain car to car trip. It was a weekday so we had quiet solitude the whole time. Nice trip !