Newbie, looking for suggestions close to Vancouver, WA

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iowa90
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Joined: July 16th, 2018, 8:48 am

Newbie, looking for suggestions close to Vancouver, WA

Post by iowa90 » July 16th, 2018, 9:07 am

Hello! I live in the corn fields of the midwest and will be traveling to Vancouver, Washington in late September to stay with a friend. I'm new to hiking, but would like to do some while I am there.

Ideally, I'd like to drive somewhere from my friend's place in Vancouver (no more than a 2-3 hour drive if possible) (and somewhere not too difficult to get in and out of) - park - and then take a day hike that would loop me back to my car in the late afternoon/early evening. I'd like to bring a backpack and a lunch with me to make it a longer hike - something in the neighborhood of 15-20 miles total perhaps?

I'm pretty active so it doesn't necessarily have to be an easy hike. I'd also prefer some scenery. Thanks so much for any recommendations!

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Arturo
Posts: 178
Joined: April 20th, 2015, 6:44 am
Location: Portland

Re: Newbie, looking for suggestions close to Vancouver, WA

Post by Arturo » July 17th, 2018, 8:15 am

Coldwater Peak from the South Trailhead.
14 miles. 3,500 feet EG.
Unbelievable scenery.
Still my favorite.

viewtopic.php?t=21824

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retired jerry
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm

Re: Newbie, looking for suggestions close to Vancouver, WA

Post by retired jerry » July 17th, 2018, 8:20 am

Silver Star

Mt St Helens

The field guide has some specifics

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jeffstatt
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Joined: May 28th, 2008, 10:03 pm
Location: Vancouver

Re: Newbie, looking for suggestions close to Vancouver, WA

Post by jeffstatt » July 17th, 2018, 6:29 pm

Arturo wrote:
July 17th, 2018, 8:15 am
Coldwater Peak from the South Trailhead.
14 miles. 3,500 feet EG.
Unbelievable scenery.
Still my favorite.

viewtopic.php?t=21824
That's the first one that came to mind for me too. Mt St Helens has a uniqueness you can't get anywhere else. Paved roads all the way to the TH - that's a plus. There's a zillion other ideas too - hard to limit to just one suggestion. You have all of Mt Hood at your disposal with the criteria you mentioned.

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oldandslow
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Joined: August 22nd, 2012, 12:47 pm

Re: Newbie, looking for suggestions close to Vancouver, WA

Post by oldandslow » July 22nd, 2018, 2:05 pm

The Skyline Trail on Mt. Rainier would be a very good hike for you. The trail starts at the Henry M. Jackson Visitors Center which is about a three hour drive from Vancouver. You can find a description of the hike on the internet if you are interested.

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arlohike
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Joined: April 28th, 2014, 8:28 pm

Re: Newbie, looking for suggestions close to Vancouver, WA

Post by arlohike » August 28th, 2018, 3:25 pm

I certainly wouldn't want to squelch someone's enthusiasm, but 15-20 miles might be too ambitious for a self-described newbie, considering elevation gain, potentially rough terrain, possible wrong turns / detours and the inevitable photo stops when visiting for the first time. I can average 3 mph on a familiar route, but I never do a first-time hike that fast. If you choose an out-and-back route, you can turn around early if you're falling behind schedule. I wouldn't want you to run out of daylight, or energy.

I'm from Iowa myself ... moved here 10 years ago and love it! I split my recreation time between hiking and biking, and in both cases, the landscape inspires a higher level of fitness than I had in the midwest. :D

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walrus
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Joined: July 9th, 2014, 7:24 am

Re: Newbie, looking for suggestions close to Vancouver, WA

Post by walrus » August 28th, 2018, 7:22 pm

The aforementioned. Plus - Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Hood have round-the-mountain trails, so you could do any number of entry hikes to the Loowit (MSH) or Timberline (Hood) and explore in one direction or another until you're ready to come back.

On a weekday, the Goat Rocks are hard to beat for scenery. You could do the loop in the trail guide and extend out up or down the PCT depending on if you're into scrambly peaks (head north to Old Snowy and the Knife) or cirques (mosey down to Cispus Basin).

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