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Helena Ridge


Views from Helena Ridge, photo by Richard Morell

The Helena Ridge Trail begins approx. 6 1/2 miles from the Mtn. Loop Hwy. on rd. 2075.  It starts out from the trailhead gradually following up an abandoned logging road to the second landing where it  becomes a real trail and starts to  climb steeply up to gain the ridge top. This is where it intersects the original trail which was built between 1933 and 1935.
Starting off on the Helena Ridge Trail, photo by Richard Morell

The trail is well marked with old blazes and follows through old growth forest along the ridge South up over Iron Mtn. at 4580 ft. elev. and descends several hundred feet to pass through meadows and rocky areas with spectacular views in all directions. 

Looking down at Helena Lake, photo by Richard Morell

Helena Lake and seasonal Jade Falls come into view at about 5 1/2 miles of hiking with Devils Thumb and Devils Peak in the background.  This about half way along the trail and very close to where the old trail shelter used to be in a beautiful meadow.

The rugged country of Helena Ridge, photo by Richard Morell

The trail climbs back up several hundred feet to the ridge top again and continues  South through more old growth forest for several miles before turning slightly West high above Windom Lake and working it's way along a steep hillside and up to connect with the North Lake trail near a small tarn. This was the location of another trail shelter long ago. The North Lake trail  descends through a series of switchbacks to Independence Lake and then out to the trailhead at the end of the Coal Lake road for an approx. 12 mile hike.

Taking a break on the Helena Ridge Trail, photo by Richard Morell

When hiking the backcountry and especially when on user trails be sure you notify someone where you will be heading to.  Be prepared for any kind of conditions and that it can be easy to get turned around out there.  This trail information is for informational purposes only and you hike user trails at your own risk.


Type of trail: User
Length: No determined length being this is a user trail branching in several directions.  There is no maintenance nor mapping of these trails.
Elevation: Undetermined

Best Seasons: mid-summer & fall

General Information:
Wilderness restrictions: No, these user trail descriptions are not within wilderness but other user trails connecting could go into wilderness areas.

Restroom: None

Bring plenty of drinking water

Be prepared before you go

Getting There:  From Darrington drive south on the Mountain Loop Highway for almost 9 miles, turn right (west) on Forest Road #2070.  Drive up about 2.5 miles, keep to the right taking Forest Road #2075.  After passing a rock pit and old gate the trail / old road will be on the left