Devil’s Thumb Hike

One of our favorite day hikes that is literally just down the road is Devil’s Thumb – named after the thumb-shaped rock formation at the top.

Trail Details:

  • Name: Devil’s Thumb Trail
  • Length: 3.93 miles one-way
  • Elevation Gain: From 9,609 feet at the trailhead to 12,236 feet at the destination
  • Trailhead Location: From Ranch Creek Log Home, continue on County Road 8 east until it becomes USFR 128 (water board road). Then, turn left and continue for 1 mile before taking a right and proceeding for another 0.3 miles. The road will end at the trailhead.

Trail Description:

  • Montane Forest: The hike begins in the Montane Forest, which is characterized by a mix of coniferous and deciduous trees. It’s a beautiful starting point for your journey.
  • Meadow with Views: The trail then takes you through a meadow, offering breathtaking views of Devil’s Thumb Pass and the surrounding area. This is an excellent opportunity to soak in the natural beauty of the region.
  • Trail Fork: At marker 2, the trail forks. Take a right towards the Devil’s Thumb trail. This is an important point to pay attention to in order to stay on the correct path.
  • Cabin Creek Crossing: After taking the right fork, you’ll encounter a crossing over Cabin Creek. Be cautious when crossing streams, especially if the water level is high.
  • Uphill Climb: As you continue, the trail starts to ascend, and the forest will transition from subalpine to timberline. You’ll notice changes in the vegetation as you gain elevation.
  • Timberline: As you climb higher, the trees will start to thin out, and the landscape will become more open. This signifies that you’re approaching the timberline, where the conditions become more challenging.
  • Rock Formation: When you’re nearing the top, you may find that the trail becomes less distinct. Keep going until you can see the iconic thumb-shaped rock formation on the Continental Divide. This is your ultimate destination and a stunning reward for your effort.

 

Remember to pack essentials for a safe hike, such as water, snacks, appropriate clothing, a map or GPS, and be prepared for changes in weather conditions, especially at higher elevations. Also, it’s a good idea to let someone know your hiking plans and estimated return time for safety purposes. Enjoy your hike to Devil’s Thumb!

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