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Ruby Mountain is one of the most prominent mountains in Washington, located in one of the most spectacular locations, the heart of the west side North Cascade peaks. Ruby Mountain makes for a good summer hike because it has an unofficial trail to the summit that isn’t on maps. Even better, Ruby makes a superb spring climb on compact snow with little avalanche danger. The gate closing Highway 20 is right at the trailhead so you can climb up even before the highway opens in spring.
Distance: 9 miles
Summit Elevation: 7,408 feet
Elevation Gain: 6,200 feet
From Newhalem on Highway 20, go east for 9 miles to the Colonial Creek Campground and Thunder Creek Trailhead.
Take the Thunder Creek Trail for 2.1 miles to a junction with the Panther Creek Trail. Follow it for 3.2 miles to Fourth of July Pass. On the east side of the path, as you approach a 30 foot long bridge, look for a hidden path approximately 50 feet west of the bridge. This is the Ruby Mountain Trail. Within 100 yards along the trail, a sign is found that says "Trail abandoned – no longer maintained”. The trail hasn’t had any work for some time so it is overgrown in places. Without the trail or if snow covered, it is still an easy climb to just continue up to tree line and follow the long ridge to the summit.
Ross Lake from the summit of Ruby Mountain
Northwest to Luna Peak and Mount Terror
Paul Bunyons Stump, Pinnacle Peak and Pyramid Peak
An outstanding summit
Paul Bunyons Stump