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 Cascade Bill (William Mooseker) | Home > Backpacking Trips > 2001 - 2004 Trips > 
Seven Devils Wilderness

Seven Devils Wilderness, Idaho
August 2004

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Day 1: Windy Saddle Trailhead to Lower Cannon Lake.
Day 2: Lower Cannon Lake to Dog Lake.
Day 3: Dog Lake to Baldy Lake
Day 4: Baldy Lake to Echo Lake
Day 5: Echo Lake to Shell Lake
Day 6: Shell Lake to Sheep Lake
Day 6: Sheep Lake to 7 Devil's Lake

Fred Heading Down to Sheep Lake

Photos titles ending in "b" are by Bill and in "r" by Roger.

Troop 24 Kickass Trekkers: "The High Adventure Troop" Alumni Backpacking Trip
-Cascade Bill Mooseker

Date(s): August 2004. Album by Cascade Bill. Photos by WHM/Shelby. 1 - 100 of 100 Total. 6185 Visits.
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What a great trip!  My friends and I are making the trip this August.  We're planning on going counter clockwise; however your trip pictures and notes are going to be a great help to planning it.  Thank you!
Jason Day, Thu, 4 May 2006 3:51PM
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Map for Day 1:
Trailhead at Windy Saddle to Lower Cannon Lake - 3.7 miles and 850' climb.

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Shelby and Joel at the Windy Saddle Trailhead - We arrived at Windy Saddle in late afternoon after a long drive from the Martha Lake Community Club, with stops in Lewiston, ID for fishing licenses and lunch.  This is looking south, the direction of our first days hike.

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Fred and the New Moby Dik.

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Heading out - From the trailhead (Elev 7600') ,The trail crosses a meadow before dropping sharply past a USFS Guard station (.4 mi), Silver Fir Trail (.7 mi) , and begins to contour (with ups and downs) at Bridge Creek (Elev 6660 - 1.2 miles) a drop of about 1000 feet.  We were glad that we wouldn't have to climb back up at the end of the trip.

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Map for Day 2: Lower Cannon Lake to Dog Lake - 6 Miles & 2000' climb.
Lower Cannon Lake (El 7020') to Jctn Boise Trail (El 6720') - .8 miles; Jctn to Wurl Tr (El 6640 -1.3 mi); Hansen Cr (El 6790 - 3.0 mi); Jctn Dog Lk Tr (El. 7020 - 4.9 Mi); Dog Lake (El 7910 - 6 mi)
All mileages from Lower Cannon Lake.

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Fred at Lower Cannon Lake as we were heading out on our second day: - we got to the lake pretty late on our first day, reaching the Cannon Lakes Trail after the sun had gone behind the 7 Devils Crest.  The Cannon Lakes Trail about 2.9 miles from the trailhead. It is about 3/4 mile with a 400' climb up to Lower Cannon Lake where we camped.  There were fish jumping in the lake, but we didn't try fishing for them.  The camp was in the woods to the left, with little or no views of the lake.

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Lower Cannon Lake -

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The was a big forest fire in the area in 1994 (Rapid River Fire) and the trail went through a lot of "Silver Forests" like this one, which is a little ways down the trail from the Cannon Lakes Jctn.

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Crossing a talus slope with views to the Southeast on  the Boise Trail (7 Devils Loop).  Another Silver Forest ahead as Fred moves on down the trail.

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Some areas of the trail were untouched by the fire and provided welcome shade.

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Fred making his way up the meadows on the Dog Lake High Route: After trudging up and down on the Boise Trail, you reach the junction with the Dog Lake High Route (About 5 miles from Lower Cannon Lake).  The trail shown on the Topo map was pretty much obliterated by the 1994 fires, with the most difficult route finding near the start.  Here and there are vague remnants of trail - its not too difficult to pick your way up to the lake.  The most difficult part was at the end with a steep climb, dubbed "Hell Hill" by our small group.

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Our Campsite in the woods near the outlet of Dog Lake - There were a couple of more exposed camps around the east side of the lake, but we opted for this one.

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Map for Day 3: Dog Lake to Baldy Lake (10.5 miles - 2500' climb)
Dog Lake (El 7909); Jctn 7 Devils Loop Tr (El 7030 - 1.1 mi);Horse Heaven Cr (El 7190' - 3.2 mi);Haas Cr (El 7100' - 3.8 mi); Horse Heaven Pass (El 7840' - 5.2 mi); Pyramid Mtn HP ( El 8200' - 5.9 mi);Devils Farm (El 7440' - 7.3 mi); Jct Baldy Lk Tr (El 6900' - 9.3 mi); Baldy Lake (El 7240' - 10.5 mi)

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Dog Lake - The outlet is just to the right of the picture. The peaks are the Twin Imps.  We tried ar luck with the fish, but had poor luck.  You had to work hard for a strike, which were few and far between.

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Cascade Bill at Dog Lake - This was just before we left camp on our third day.

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Joel and Shelby at Dog Lake.

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Joel and Fred on the shore of Dog Lake (Elev 7909'). Look at the peak above - the Twin Imps. We would see them from the other side at the end of the day. But oh!, What a long way to get there!

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Joel pauses a moment at the top of "Hell Hill"  - you can see the swath the 1994 fires left in the valley below.

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Fred heading down Hell Hill - Joel and Shelby can be seen far below (2 dots) at bottom.

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Taking a break at Horse Heaven Creek.

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Joel at shoulder where the 7 Devils (Boise Trail) turns west and clumbs to Horse Heaven Pass.  The peak at center is where the Horse Heaven Cabin is located.

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A view of Horse Heaven Hill (right) and the pass beyond - we did not go that way but turned north on the 7 Devils Loop Trail at Horse Heaven Pass.

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A series of steep switchbacks leads up to Horse Heaven Pass, seen here.  The trail is heading away from the pass to enable the climb at a steady pace.

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Your heart is pumping along this section - just before the final switchback where the trail heads west again up to the pass.

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Taking a break at Horse Heaven pass, Shelby got this shot of these blue butterflies sitting on his hiking boots.

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Heading out of Horse Heaven pass, the trail climbs sharply before "leveling off" between 8000' and 8200'.  The climb seems easier than climbing up to HH pass because of the wide views across Hells Canyon to the west.

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Meadows along the trail between HH pass and Pyramid Mtn.

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This section of the route is near the Spring shown on the Topo map.  The spring is near one of the stands of "Silver Forests" shown above - There wasn't much flow but it's the only water along the trail between Dog Cr and Baldy Lake.  Make sure you have enough water if you do this stretch of the trail - there was just a trickle flowing from a pipe, but it allowed me to fill a canteen for which I was very greatful.

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Looking back towards HH pass.

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Joel - Hells Canyon beyond.

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Fred along trail between Horse Heaven pass and Pyramid Mtn - I wish the whole trail was like this but we soon found ourselves descending on a rocky poorly maintained trail that was hard on your feet.

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Hells Canyon from the 7 Devils Loop.

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Fred rounding a shoulder of Pyramid Mtn with Hells Canyon beyond.  We still had about 4.5 miles to go and our feet were shot by the time we go to the Baldy Lake cutoff trail.

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Map for Day 4: Baldy Lake to Echo Lake (4.2 mi - 1150' climb)
Baldy Lake (El 7200'); Jctn 7 Devils Loop Tr (El 6900' - 1.2 mi); Baldy Cr (El 6520' - 1.9 mi);
Jctn Echo Lake/ He Devil Lake Tr (El 6920' - 3.5 mi); Echo Lake (El 7250' - 4.2 mi)

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Baldy Lake - A very beautiful spot. Here we see the back side of the Twin Imps we had seen at Dog Lake the previous day.

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Baldy Lake - The Devils Throne towers over the lake.  We tried our hads at fishing but had no luck; no strikes; and didn't see any trout rising for insects either.

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Baldy Lake is a huge alpine lake.  It would be nice to spend a few days here.

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The outlet of Baldy Lake is at the right.

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Fred heading out from our camp at Baldy Lake.

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View of Baldy Lake from the outlet - very scenic.

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Looking south toward the cirque that holds Baldy Lake - the trail drops from the lake down to the valley below and then climbs back up the other side where you get this view.  Potato Hill is on the right and the Twin Imps again to the left.

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Looking across Hells Canyon, you can the the Wallowa's on the horizon - We made a trip to the Eagle Cap Wilderness there in 2000.

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After a short day, which was a welcome relief from the death march the previous day, we pulled into Echo Lake.  We found a nice camp on the west side of the lake.  There was a large group of scouts from Pullman, Wa camped  on the opposite side who were going in the opposite direction that we were.  They were out trying to spear some trout for dinner.  When they were hiking out, Fred gave one of the scouts a bag of Jerky to alleviate their food shortage.

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Shelby trying to catch some of the hard to catch trout in Echo Lake.

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A view across Echo Lake - You can see the Devil's Throne at the far left.

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There were some nice cutthroat trout in Echo Lake.  While they ingnored the spinning lures, I was able to have some success with a a dry fly.  I lost a few flies as I was used to fishing for much smaller fish.

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A nice Echo Lake Cutthroat - we had a nice fish fry.

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Map for Day 5: Echo Lake to Shelf Lake - 5.7 miles and 1050' climb:
Echo Lake (El 7250); Jct 7 Devils Loop (El 6900 - 1.5 mi); Little Granite Cr (El 7200 - 1.4 mi - good water);
Hibbs Cow Camp (El 7360' - 1.8 mi - good water); Jctn Dry Diggens LO Tr (El 7580 - 2.1 mi);
Jctn Sheep Lake Tr (El 7400 - 3 mi); Basin Lake (El  7390 - 5.3 mi); Shelf Lake (El 7450 - 5.7 Mi)

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Looking back towards the basin that holds Echo Lake - framed by He Devil Mtn on the left and the Devil's Throne on the Right.

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A good view of Hells Canyon.

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A wooded meadow between Echo Lake and Hibbs Cow Camp - this was just before a small stream with good water - first water since Baldy Cr. There was also good water at a spring at Hibbs Cow Camp.

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Just beyond Hibbs Cow Camp and before the Dry Diggens LO Trail, I saw some of these Lillies.  I took a picture as I had never seen them before - I think that it is a Sego Lily.

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Another show of a pair of Sego Lillies.

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Shelby and Fred in a light hearted moment at the Jctn of the Dry Diggens LO trail.

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Just beyond the Dry Diggens LO trail Jctn, the trail goes over a meadowed high spot  (El 7600') and begins a gradual descent to the Sheep Lake Trail.

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On our descent down to the Sheep Lake Trail.

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Shelf Lake - We had a nice camp here.  We met a couple of Horsemen at the lake - a Dad and his son who were taking a break from their work as trail builders (they had a company that bid on trail restoration).  We had a nice talk with them.

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Joel, Shelby, and Fred - ready to head out from Shelf Lake.  There were a lot of fish in Shelf Lake - the only problem was that they were all less than 5 inches long!  The other drawback was that you had to drop over a 100 foot from the Sheep Lake trail to the lake.

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Shelby, Joel, and Bill at Shelf Lake.

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Map for Day 6: Shelf Lake to Sheep Lake - 2.1 mi & 900' climb
Shelf Lake (El 7450); Gem Lake Tr (El 7720 - .4 Mi); He Devil Pass (El 8300' - 1.2 mi); Sheep Lake (El 7890 - 2.1 mi)

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Climbing to the divide to Sheep Lake, you pass this impressive rock formation.

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Fred heading up the trail to Sheep Lake - the snow fields are on the flanks of He Devil (at left).

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Looking back down the trail from near the divide.

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Fred at the divide I call He Devil Pass (El 8300')

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Finally we get a view of beautiful Sheep Lake.

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Fred at viewpoint of Sheep Lake.

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There are a lot of switchbacks for the descent to Sheep Lake, but the views are with you the whole way.

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Fred making his way down.

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We were planning on taking the climbers route out to the cars - from here we thought the route went up the talus slope to the right.  If you look closely you can see a path through the talus up to the pass above.  The actual route is much less steem and goes up a ledge around to the pass at the left of the picture.  It could be that the route up the talus is a climbers route up the Tower of Babel.

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He Devil from the Trail.

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The Tower of Babel - I tried casting a lure for quite a while but had no luck.  On our way out the following day, we met a couple coming in for the weekend.  The guy said that one of his friends had caught a very large trout in the lake and had carried it out in a garbage bag filled with ice. Maybe that explains the lack of fish - the big one had eaten up all the others.

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Talus at the foot of He Devil - Joel on rock in foreground shows the scale.

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Meadow camp at Sheep Lake - you can still see Joel on the rock to the right.  The pot in the foreground is Shelby's squirrel trap.  He Devil is in the background.

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Talus and snowfield on She Devil - there is also a Mountain goat at the center, but it is standing in front of the snow field so it is hard to see. (zoom picture to original size to find it).

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Here the goat is more visible as it stands on a rock face.

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Alpenglow on Sheep Lake as the sun sets.

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Alpenglow on the Tower of Babel.

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Joel's tent in the foreground with the Tower of Babel beyond.

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We had a nice camp fire at Sheep Lake.

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Map for Day 7: Sheep Lake to Trailhead at Seven Devils Lake CG - 2.3 mi & 650' climb.
Sheep Lake (El 7890); Goat Pass (El 8500' - 1.2 mi); 7 Devils Lake CG (El 7600' - 2.3 mi)

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After making your way around the east shore of Sheep Lake, you have to go up this very steep  talus slope.

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After climbing up the talus slope you reach a 10' - 15'  ledge that you follow up.  Looking back you get this view of Sheep Lake and the images of He Devil and its reflection in Sheep Lake.
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She Devil is to the left.

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Another view of Sheep Lake from the climbers route back to the trailhead.  The reflection is from the ponds north of Sheep Lake proper - at high water it would be all one lake.

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Here, Bill is making his way up the talus slope.

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Fred going up the ledge.

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Another view of Fred going up the ledge.

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Nearing the top, the trail contours around to the pass - here Joel takes in the view.

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Charlotte at Goat Pass : We met Charlotte at Sheep Lake - She caught up to me just before Goat Pass. She and her friend had camped at Sheep Lake.

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Charlotte and Fred :   You can see Joel on top of the rock beyond.

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Looking west from Goat Pass - the Devil's Tooth is in the foreground.  You can see the 7 Devils Trail as it crosses the talus beyond the Devil's tooth.

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Bill at Goat Pass.

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Joel and Shelby fooling around at Goat Pass.

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Shelby - "Just hanging around"

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Joel - he's come a long way since he punctured my butt pad on our hike to Navaho Pass way back in 1998. (See 1998 Hikes)

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The Tower of Babel from the north - Mirror Lake is at bottom left.

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Last Pass - Fred, Shelby, and Joel.  - You can see the Windy Pass Trailhead in the saddle at the road junctions below.  We still had quite a descent from here.

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Bill, Fred, Shelby, and Joel.

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Fred and Joel are really moving down the steep slope - by the time I got down there they were long gone and I didn't see them till I got to the trailhead.

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Map showing the entire 7 Devils Loop - Best Viewed at Original Size.

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