2-night Backpack in late-July

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
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nate7488
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Joined: June 24th, 2019, 8:10 pm

2-night Backpack in late-July

Post by nate7488 » June 24th, 2019, 8:15 pm

Hi All,

I'm an experienced hiker, but inexperienced backpacker, looking for some recommendations for a 2-night backpack within 5-ish hours of Portland for the last weekend of July. Would love something alpine, but I know mosquitoes could be a real challenge that time of year. Any and all recs are appreciated!

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drm
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Re: 2-night Backpack in late-July

Post by drm » June 25th, 2019, 6:32 am

This year most of the Cascades will be melted out by late July and a 5 hour drive gets you most of Oregon and a lot of Washington. So vast alpine areas to choose from. Who knows, maybe mosquitoes will be on the wane by then, hard to be sure since they usually peak in August in the alpine areas. Hard to know what to recommend with so many choices. Sisters, Hood, Adams, Washington's alpine lakes, Rainier, even the southern Olympics, and some of the Wallowas. If you're going on a weekend, then solitude could be your challenge.

If you're up for 15 miles/day with EG, then do the Timberline Loop. Adams has fewer people, Rainier is spectacular but fees and permits can be a challenge.

nate7488
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Joined: June 24th, 2019, 8:10 pm

Re: 2-night Backpack in late-July

Post by nate7488 » June 25th, 2019, 7:57 am

Thanks for the reply - let me be more specific, as I realize "within 5 hours of Portland" leaves a lot on the table!

- We'll be leaving on Friday am, so should beat some of the weekend crowds.
- 10 miles per day is probably the upper limit of what we'd like to do
- Would love to incorporate some swimming into the trip
- Will need to head out on Sunday, so I think the ideal trip would be to hike in around 6-10 miles on Friday, set up camp, have options for some day hikes from our camp on Saturday, and hike out on Sunday. This being our first time backpacking, I'd prefer to only have to set up camp once.
- I know we will have to reckon with some mosquitoes in late-July, but don't want to go somewhere that's known to be a mosquito-packed area

I'm definitely interested in the Adams area, so any recs over there are appreciated!

Thanks again.

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teachpdx
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Re: 2-night Backpack in late-July

Post by teachpdx » June 25th, 2019, 8:07 am

It doesn't have a lake, but it fits all of your remaining criteria.

https://www.oregonhikers.org/field_guid ... _Flat_Hike

This alpine area above Foggy Flat is my favorite area on Mt. Adams, and great for a day hike exploration. You might be early enough to miss the onslaught of mosquitoes... I seem to remember mid-August being the worst for them in this area.

And if you really wanna swim, hit up Takhlakh Lake on the drive home.

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drm
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Re: 2-night Backpack in late-July

Post by drm » June 25th, 2019, 8:29 am

Foggy Flats does have a great Saturday option of hiking up to Devils Garden, but Killen Creek area has some shallow ponds - shallow means that they will warm up nicely, and you can hike up the trail above. Both areas have terrible mosquitoes if you get the timing bad.

You might also consider looking up Waptus Lake in the Teanaway area (Cle Elum). Large lake (miles long), spectacular towering mountains above it, nearly flat 9 mile hike in. That would be more like your 5 hour drive though, but you will get your swimming. And I think you can have a fire there to keep the bugs away. You could hike up to Spade Lake on your free day, described in many guidebooks as one of the best alpine granite-ringed lakes in Washington.

nate7488
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Re: 2-night Backpack in late-July

Post by nate7488 » June 25th, 2019, 1:39 pm

Thanks to both of you for the replies! Both look like great potential options...

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