Suggestions for backpacking end of May?

General discussions on hiking in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest
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redfishredfish
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Suggestions for backpacking end of May?

Post by redfishredfish » April 2nd, 2019, 1:45 pm

My friends and I are hoping to go on a 3/4 day backpacking trip at the end of May. Ideally, we'd like to be somewhere with medium elevation gain (some rookies in our group) with good scenery.

Coming from Portland, goal is to drive a max of 5.5 hours from Portland. We'd camp at the trailhead/sleep in the car on night 1 and then hike in from there.

We've looked at the Blue Mountains, Indian Heaven, Badger Creek, etc. Thought about the Wallowas, but assumed there was too much snow.

Any ideas!?

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adamschneider
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Re: Suggestions for backpacking end of May?

Post by adamschneider » April 2nd, 2019, 2:09 pm

Still too way much snow in Indian Heaven. Probably in the Blue Mountains too. At that time of year, I'd think about southwestern Oregon; maybe the Rogue River or Kalmiopsis Wilderness.

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retired jerry
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Re: Suggestions for backpacking end of May?

Post by retired jerry » April 2nd, 2019, 3:10 pm

Badger Creek probably okay, might be snow before you get to Badger Lake

Mill Creek north of Prineville probably okay

Rogue River would be good although it might be hot

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texasbb
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Re: Suggestions for backpacking end of May?

Post by texasbb » April 2nd, 2019, 3:40 pm

The Indian Corral area in the Blue Mountains is almost always perfect mid- to late-May. This winter was a fairly typical snow year up there. There will be some snow left, but a good chance of grass widows too! The snow can be pretty continuous if you head over to Oregon Butte, but it's easy enough to follow that trail if you know your way around a map or GPS. From the Panjab trailhead to the top is about 2400 feet. I can give links to lots of pictures if you're interested.

Image

Image

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drm
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Re: Suggestions for backpacking end of May?

Post by drm » April 2nd, 2019, 6:08 pm

Olympic National Park also. The high passes will still be snowed in but the long large "cathedral" valleys will be great. Most of the southern part of the park is within your driving distance.

redfishredfish
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Re: Suggestions for backpacking end of May?

Post by redfishredfish » April 3rd, 2019, 12:09 pm

Thank you everyone! These are great starting points.

justpeachy
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Re: Suggestions for backpacking end of May?

Post by justpeachy » April 5th, 2019, 6:39 am

More suggestions here: https://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guid ... ackpacking

Oregon's snowpack is crazy right now: https://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/da ... update.pdf

If the rest of spring is cold and wet, the mountains will still have quite a lot of snow well into June, maybe even July.

Washington's snowpack situation is very different: https://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/da ... update.pdf

Tom of the Woods
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Re: Suggestions for backpacking end of May?

Post by Tom of the Woods » April 5th, 2019, 8:53 am

I would watch out for any trails that have substantial creek crossings w/o bridges. Even at lower elevations, with so much snow up high to melt, stream crossings could be treacherous.

If you are considering SW Oregon, you might try contacting the Siskiyou Mountain Club (from Ashland) for trail information. They seem to have more real-time info than USFS and BLM do regarding trails in the Rogue, Illinois, Chetco, and some parts of the Klamath.
- Tom

hikinglover4life
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Re: Suggestions for backpacking end of May?

Post by hikinglover4life » April 8th, 2019, 8:42 am

justpeachy wrote:
April 5th, 2019, 6:39 am
More suggestions here: https://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guid ... ackpacking

Oregon's snowpack is crazy right now: https://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/da ... update.pdf

If the rest of spring is cold and wet, the mountains will still have quite a lot of snow well into June, maybe even July.

Washington's snowpack situation is very different: https://www.wcc.nrcs.usda.gov/ftpref/da ... update.pdf
The base at Timberline on Hood is showing below average. http://timberlinelodge.com/mountain/his ... -snow-data
Have other parts of the stats been hit with more this year?

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adamschneider
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Re: Suggestions for backpacking end of May?

Post by adamschneider » April 8th, 2019, 9:00 am

hikinglover4life wrote:
April 8th, 2019, 8:42 am
The base at Timberline on Hood is showing below average. http://timberlinelodge.com/mountain/his ... -snow-data
Have other parts of the stats been hit with more this year?
That graph looks pretty average to me.

I wouldn't say Oregon's snowpack is "crazy" this year, but most regions are running a bit above average. Washington's on the dry side.
April 8, 2019.jpg

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