Believe me it's there
This trail at one time was probably a very scenic trail along the Northern slopes of Mica Mountain, below Mica Lookout and Spud Rock to the Saddle east of Helen’s Dome. Now, after the Helen’s II fire in 2003, it is a trail through burnt trees either still standing or across the trail. On the upside if there is one, there are good views in the northern direction. The trail is still there just hard to locate in some places but with help from a GPS, I had no problem staying on the trail.
The North Slope Trail starts along the North Fire Loop Trail and heads down to Italian Spring. The Italian Spring area is moderately burned but there are still some pine and fir trees that survived the fire. The area is recovering with new growth. Italian Spring is a far cry from what it looked like in 1970 with its dense forest of Fir trees. The North Slope trail heads west immediately at the spring and the Italian Spring Trail heads north down the mountain (signed). The trail climbs a saddle and then over a small ridge and continues west staying fairly level within an elevation window of 200 feet. For the first mile the trail is relatively easy to follow but as you approach just below Mica Mountain and Spud rock the trail is concealed by numerous tree falls. Follow your instincts and as to where the trail is heading and you will have no issues, A GPS is a nicety. Every so often you will see the infamous red metal trail markers on a tree still standing or one on the ground to let you know you’re on the right track. Keeping on the route wasn’t that difficult compared to the continuous stepping over tree falls. The trail becomes more visible after about a quarter to half a mile as you approach the Saddle east of Helen’s Dome. The Pine trees become more abundant as the effects of the fire are less.
This trail is worth doing and I don’t consider the route finding skills to be that demanding; know where the trail is heading to and follow the most logical path for this short section of trail. I really liked this trail and the views to the north are spectacular. This trail makes a good loop trail with other trails on Mica Mountain.
This hike is listed as One-Way.
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WARNING! Hiking and outdoor related sports can be dangerous. Be responsible and prepare for the trip. Study the area you are entering and plan accordingly. Dress for the current and unexpected weather changes. Take plenty of water. Never go alone. Make an itinerary with your plan(s), route(s), destination(s) and expected return time. Give your itinerary to trusted family and/or friends.