Looking for Overnight Beginner Backpacking Trip Recommendations

General discussions on hiking in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest
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pnwonder
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Joined: December 31st, 2019, 9:37 am

Looking for Overnight Beginner Backpacking Trip Recommendations

Post by pnwonder » December 31st, 2019, 9:55 am

Hello!

I have been interested in backpacking for several years and decided 2020 is the year I start. That being said, I am looking for some recommendations for overnight backpacking trips that are less than 3 hours from Portland with road conditions that my small sedan can handle. I am fairly fit, so I am okay with elevation gain, and I'm open to anything really.

Please share any routes, the best time of year to visit them, and any other tips that you think a new backpacker might need.

Thank you!


pnwonder
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Joined: December 31st, 2019, 9:37 am

Re: Looking for Overnight Beginner Backpacking Trip Recommendations

Post by pnwonder » December 31st, 2019, 11:33 am

Oh, perfect! Thanks for the book recommendation.

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retired jerry
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Re: Looking for Overnight Beginner Backpacking Trip Recommendations

Post by retired jerry » December 31st, 2019, 11:42 am

Another idea - Mt Hood

Like Timberline Lodge to Paradise Park or Top Spur to Cairn Basin.

In August when the snows melt

Click "field guide" at the top of the page, then "Mt Hood",...

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xrp
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Re: Looking for Overnight Beginner Backpacking Trip Recommendations

Post by xrp » January 7th, 2020, 6:05 am

The field guide that Jerry mentioned is an invaluable resource.

There are many low elevation hikes where you can start earlier rather than later.

Some that I enjoy include:

1) Salmon Huckleberry Wilderness, trail 742. Should be mostly snow free all year.
2) Siouxon Trail in SW WA. Low enough elevation that it is accessible except when it snows in the I-5 valley.
3) Ramona Falls Trail. Should be snow free almost all year.

This gives you a chance to break yourself and your gear in and get comfortable with all the nuances that come with backpacking.

Best of luck!

pnwonder
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Joined: December 31st, 2019, 9:37 am

Re: Looking for Overnight Beginner Backpacking Trip Recommendations

Post by pnwonder » January 7th, 2020, 8:23 am

Thanks for the advice!

leiavoia
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Re: Looking for Overnight Beginner Backpacking Trip Recommendations

Post by leiavoia » February 1st, 2020, 4:32 pm

+1 on One Night Wilderness.

Answer will vary depending on when you want to go, but for a good first-outing experience, i would recommend:

Salmon River (length varies, tons of campsite options, open most of the year, very gentle intro to backpacking)

Serene Lake Loop (Roaring River Wilderness, 12 miles RT, July+)

Big Slide Lake (Bull of the Woods Wilderness, 12 miles RT, June+)

Goat Mountain to Deadman Lake (Mt St Helens, 8 miles RT, June+, fantastic swimming lake in midsummer)

The Siouxon Trail road access is iffy for sedans, so i would not actually recommend that one.

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adamschneider
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Re: Looking for Overnight Beginner Backpacking Trip Recommendations

Post by adamschneider » February 1st, 2020, 5:22 pm

leiavoia wrote:
February 1st, 2020, 4:32 pm
The Siouxon Trail road access is iffy for sedans, so i would not actually recommend that one.
I went up there in my tiny car this past fall, and it was just fine.

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Blazersin7
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Joined: July 9th, 2019, 12:00 pm

Re: Looking for Overnight Beginner Backpacking Trip Recommendations

Post by Blazersin7 » February 7th, 2020, 2:14 pm

Mt Adams High Camp

Upper Twin Lake

Elk Meadows

Salmon River Trail -- lots of camping spots near the trailhead

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