August 16, 2012
I rode this with a friend in mid-August after a week of dry weather. The sun was out and we did not encounter much mud but could see where there would be some big slop holes. We started in Hope and made it to the other side in 9 hrs 50 mins (5 hrs 30 mins of actull pedaling). I would definetly recommend starting in Hope because the climb is gradual and decently smooth whereas the trail on the other side of the pass gets rocky and bumpy from horse tracks. Also there is a sweet 5 miles of fast downhill to the end which would be a very hard way to start.
We did run into two trail junction problems. First was a sign that read "Devils pass cabin" and "Cooper Landing" each with an arrow. The sign lead us to believe we shlould turn left (towards Cooper Landing) and do a 180 turn (which would have led us down Devils Pass Trail and far from our car). The fact is that there is a second left about 50ft up the trail which is the turn we needed. After making the right descion we looked back and saw that the back of the sign read correctly and pointed out the devils pass trail that we almost took by mistake. Moral of the story is bring a map and check it if you are not absolutely sure.
The second trail junction in question is the "Swan Lake Cabin & Winter Route" or "Juneau Lake". Either way will get you there but after taking the Juneau Lake route we realized its just a shory cut (a very rocky/rooty techinal short cut). Taking the Swan Lake route would have lead us to Swan Lake (beautiful from afar) and then to Juneau Lake and probably not taken much longer.
Miles 25-35 on either side of Juneau Lake were really bumpy and kind of demoralizing, there are more horses on this end and hence the trail is very hummocky with dried horse print holes. If i had encountered this at the begining of out ride instead of the end I would have been demoral