Why is Buck Creek-Wicky Shelter Loop Hike listed as not backpackable?

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TodF
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Why is Buck Creek-Wicky Shelter Loop Hike listed as not backpackable?

Post by TodF » May 3rd, 2021, 8:51 am

Buck Creek-Wicky Shelter Loop Hike listed in the trail description as not backpackable. Does anyone know why? I am looking for a place to do some get-away-from-people camping this weekend that isn't under snow and doesn't involve a long enough backpacking route to make my wife angry at me :lol: This looks like a possibility, but I haven't been there and I'm wondering why the designation.

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drm
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Re: Why is Buck Creek-Wicky Shelter Loop Hike listed as not backpackable?

Post by drm » May 3rd, 2021, 9:54 am

Well, I've backpacked most of it (there are a lot of options), but it is not ideal as there are few if any places suitable to camp anywhere near water, or really anywhere not road accessible. The best chance would be if you are willing to cowboy camp and lay out your sleeping bags on the ground sans tent, then you don't need as much flat space. If you do try it, you can't be picky about finding the perfect site. Expect something marginal. You could detour to the Wicky Shelter, but there will be a lot of traffic on the weekend.

There is a dire shortage of early season backpacking options in the immediate area. Mostly you have the Herman Creek area and the Deschutes River. And Badger Creek. Others are closed due to past fires. This means that anything that is snow free is going to be packed when the weather is nice, especially on weekends.

The prize goes to those willing to put up with snow.

TodF
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Re: Why is Buck Creek-Wicky Shelter Loop Hike listed as not backpackable?

Post by TodF » May 3rd, 2021, 10:48 am

Thank you so much for the info! We hammock camp, so the ground condition isn't so important as long as we have trees. I (naively?) wouldn't expect water to be a big problem at this time of year.

Your thoughts about places to go mirror mine very closely. Badger Creek is on the list of possibilities, and we just hiked Herman Creek yesterday! (Poison oak city, by the way!) And I thought about Deschutes, but I hate ticks and poison oak with our dog, and I wonder about agri chemicals in the local water sources.

I have a lovely memory of snow camping up at Elk Cove in mid-May 2014. Great weather, no people. Again, hammocks open up possibilities. But that's more work than my wife is open to. Plus the current NFS description of the condition of the road to Laurence Lake sounds dubious.

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Re: Why is Buck Creek-Wicky Shelter Loop Hike listed as not backpackable?

Post by leiavoia » May 3rd, 2021, 11:21 am

Agree on point about hammock camping. If a route is hammockable, its backpackable. Perhaps "Backpackable" should be a spectrum instead of a binary option: "Yes", "No", "Marginal", "Designated Campsites Only", "Tent Only", "Hammock Only", etc.

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Re: Why is Buck Creek-Wicky Shelter Loop Hike listed as not backpackable?

Post by drm » May 3rd, 2021, 5:36 pm

I would say that you should be a go then. The trees are not big in that area, but there are plenty of them, especially near the creek crossings. Yes, they will be flowing nicely now, but they tend to be in heavily overgrown ravines.

I tried hammocking once, and once it was. I could never sleep in those things. But I sleep great on the ground (or on a cot when car camping).

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Re: Why is Buck Creek-Wicky Shelter Loop Hike listed as not backpackable?

Post by bobcat » May 3rd, 2021, 7:00 pm

I wouldn't get too hung up on semantics if you have a hammock and/or will carry water. The FG designation, just to be consistent (and traditional), refers to a route with established campsites, water nearby. Obviously, if you have a hammock and there are trees, you can set up for the night almost anywhere near a water source, meaning most trails.

So . . . you've got the lower crossing of Morrison Creek on the Buck Creek Trail (that would be my choice), Buck Creek, and Hole-in-the-Ground Creek - no established campsites, but all should have water and you should be able to string up a hammock.

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Re: Why is Buck Creek-Wicky Shelter Loop Hike listed as not backpackable?

Post by TodF » May 4th, 2021, 7:11 am

Thanks, everyone! Great info. I have the day off tomorrow, so I am going to go do some recon. Also to see where the snow is - the GaiaGPS snow depth overlay says that the upper part of the loop is under snow, as is the Wicky Creek Shelter, but that seems odd to me at below 3600 feet, given what I have been seeing on Mt. Hood.

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Re: Why is Buck Creek-Wicky Shelter Loop Hike listed as not backpackable?

Post by TodF » May 4th, 2021, 7:34 am

drm wrote:
May 3rd, 2021, 5:36 pm
I tried hammocking once, and once it was. I could never sleep in those things. But I sleep great on the ground (or on a cot when car camping).
I started hammock camping when I was in my 30's (20+ years ago). I started making my own hammocks about 10 years ago, and as I have aged I have been in constant pursuit of more comfort. I have a current design of my own making, which we find more comfortable than other styles. It is a "90 degree" hammock, so you lay perpendicular to a normal hammock, and it puts you in the "zero gravity" position that is popular in beds now (think La-Z-boy reclined position). Here is a picture of my wife & our dog in the "hammock lounger" version that we take on hikes. (An underquilt is vital for warmth in a hammock for sleeping, which many people are unaware of.)
IMG_5291.JPG

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Re: Why is Buck Creek-Wicky Shelter Loop Hike listed as not backpackable?

Post by drm » May 4th, 2021, 12:15 pm

The Forest Service says you can drive to within 5 miles of Cold Springs, so that's far above your loop. I don't think you will have any problems with snow, staying below the Wicky Shelter. There might be a few patches in sheltered areas, but I think the snowline on the south side of Adams is probably above 4000'.

That's certainly an interesting hammock setup. It might even work! (for me)

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Re: Why is Buck Creek-Wicky Shelter Loop Hike listed as not backpackable?

Post by AlpenGlowHiker » May 4th, 2021, 3:56 pm

TodF, try also using the "FreshSat - Cloud Free" layer. It's an updated satellite (low-res) image that can be used in conjunction with the Snow Depth layer.

It looks fairly clear, however who knows what it will be like in the trees. Let us know in the snow report thread!
TodF wrote:
May 4th, 2021, 7:34 am
drm wrote:
May 3rd, 2021, 5:36 pm
I tried hammocking once, and once it was. I could never sleep in those things. But I sleep great on the ground (or on a cot when car camping).
I started hammock camping when I was in my 30's (20+ years ago). I started making my own hammocks about 10 years ago, and as I have aged I have been in constant pursuit of more comfort. I have a current design of my own making, which we find more comfortable than other styles. It is a "90 degree" hammock, so you lay perpendicular to a normal hammock, and it puts you in the "zero gravity" position that is popular in beds now (think La-Z-boy reclined position). Here is a picture of my wife & our dog in the "hammock lounger" version that we take on hikes. (An underquilt is vital for warmth in a hammock for sleeping, which many people are unaware of.)
IMG_5291.JPG
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