November Backpack Location that Isn't Burned?

Trip recommendations, current conditions, and other trail related Q&A
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November Backpack Location that Isn't Burned?

Post by leiavoia » October 13th, 2020, 11:29 am

I'm looking to do a 2-3 day trip in November just to get out and move around.

Normally i can find a whole bunch of lower-elevation locations not threatened by snow, but this year has been a bit different.

Can you recommend a good location for a easy/moderate-difficulty backpack trip that isn't burned to a crisp or buried in snow by early November? I can handle <6" snow, but i'm not really equipped for long hikes in snow.

Last year i went up to Pansy Lake and the lookout in the Bull of the Woods at about the same time of year and had a good time. No snow, good weather.

Thanks for your input.

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Re: November Backpack Location that Isn't Burned?

Post by justpeachy » October 13th, 2020, 1:35 pm

This list might be a good place to start. Some of these spots are closed because of blowdown or wildfire, so check with the agency first. ... ackpacking

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Re: November Backpack Location that Isn't Burned?

Post by teachpdx » October 13th, 2020, 4:07 pm

Badger Creek, Salmon River, Mill Creek Wilderness, Deschutes River... maybe even some mid-elevation places like Indian Heaven will still be accessible (camped there early November 2019 with only a few inches of snow above 5000').

And be prepared to deal with some blowdown pretty much anywhere you go.
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Re: November Backpack Location that Isn't Burned?

Post by CyrusK. » October 21st, 2020, 12:36 pm

The enchantments are fun in November since you don't need permits after Oct 31st and it isn't crowded for once. Typically there's a few larches hanging in there, but it gets icy so avoid Aasgard pass and bring spikes.

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Re: November Backpack Location that Isn't Burned?

Post by Aimless » October 21st, 2020, 2:40 pm

Keep a close eye on the weather forecast if you are out in November. There can be big storms, including high wind, sideways rain, and snow in large amounts above 4000 ft. Or you could get lucky and be treated to something much nicer. Trails between 4000 ft and 5000 ft often melt out substantially in between November snowfalls. From the Portland area you are best off looking at Mt Hood NF or Gifford Pinchot for unburned trails. Badger Creek wilderness is a good bet and even seasonal creeks should be recharged a bit by November.

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