June Backpacking Loop

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
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June Backpacking Loop

Post by natelowery » December 28th, 2017, 10:18 am

I'm looking to do a backpacking trip this summer, but unfortunately the only time off I can get for this trip is the first two weeks of June. I know the best time isn't until mid- to late-July, but I wanted to see if there were any options.

I haven't been backpacking before, but I'm a pretty experienced camper. An easier loop would still be a better idea. I was looking to do about 2 to 3 days somewhere in Oregon, where snow wouldn't have to be an issue. If you have any suggestions, please let me know! Thanks!

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Re: June Backpacking Loop

Post by pcg » December 28th, 2017, 11:12 am

I assume by your comments that you are looking for a trip that doesn't require travel over snow pack. Aside from the Willamette Valley, that means either the coast or the desert. The coast will likely be rainy. I would look into the lower elevation portions of the Oregon Desert Trail. You might still get snowed on, but you won't be traveling over snow pack like you would in the mountains, and there are some absolutely spectacular areas to visit, like Owyhee Canyon country.
Last edited by pcg on December 28th, 2017, 5:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: June Backpacking Loop

Post by adamschneider » December 28th, 2017, 11:16 am

There's a lot of Central and Southern Oregon that should be snow-free by June but isn't really "desert." Like the Ochoco Mountains, for example. Or the area between Klamath Falls and Ashland.

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Re: June Backpacking Loop

Post by bobcat » December 28th, 2017, 2:26 pm

Blue Mountains (excluding the Wallowas): there are multi-day river hikes, such as Wenaha River, North Fork John Day, Little Malheur, Black Canyon, etc. Higher hikes might have big snow patches but won't be totally snow-covered. Avoid the very highest trails in the Strawberry Mountains and Elkhorn Range.

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Re: June Backpacking Loop

Post by retired jerry » December 28th, 2017, 3:49 pm

Rogue River (but might be getting warm then)

Trinity Alps (but that's in northern California)

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Re: June Backpacking Loop

Post by VanMarmot » December 28th, 2017, 4:46 pm

To echo retired jerry, the Rogue River Trail would be absolutely snowfree in early June. Possibly a bit hot but not too bad since you're right next to a river most of the way. An out-and-back from Grave Creek would be a good intro to backpacking.

We did the shorter Wild Rogue Loop the third week in June this year and, while it was hot, it wasn't too hot. If you arrange your backpack to start early & camp early or take a mid-day siesta the heat is manageable.

BUT I wouldn't do either the Rogue River Trail or the Wild Rogue Loop between July and mid-September - then it is too hot.

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Re: June Backpacking Loop

Post by Tom of the Woods » January 8th, 2018, 11:50 am

Depending on how many days you want on the trail, I would look at the Illinois River Trail and parts of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness. Both are very dependent on weather and the Kalmiopsis will have very recent fire damage. Those can be pro or con depending on exactly what you want.

I would also think about Gearhart Mountain Wilderness ... it's probably a little high but being south and east, there's a better chance of drier weather than anywhere I can think of in Oregon.

If you don't mind going outside of Oregon, maybe the Jarbidge Wilderness in Nevada. I've never been there, so no specific advice other than I think it's worth investigating.

What I would do, given the time of year is likely to be a transition, is make a list of possible places, prepare some for each, and make your final decision at the last minute when you have the most up to date weather information.
- Tom

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Re: June Backpacking Loop

Post by CampinCarl » January 8th, 2018, 9:22 pm

Keep an eye on the Bull of the Woods / Opal Creek wilderness as well. Depending on snow it may be doable.

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