Jan 1, 2011 at 7:03 pm #1267173
Every year I take a group of friends from work on a backpacking trip somewhere in the US. Some are avid hikers, but for others this is the only backpacking trip of the year. Need some suggestions for this year.
– Havasu falls
– Mt Whitney
– Yosemite(Half Dome, Cloud Rest, etc)
– Thousand island lake
– Smoky Mountains
One of the team members we added a few years ago has trouble with higher elevations, so we try to stay below 9k and sleep below 7k. This limits our options somewhat, so some of the classics are off the list.
– May 2011. 4 days, 3 nights
– Mileage. Avg around 8 miles a day from campsite to campsite. Some like more miles and we just explore from base camp and let the others just hang around camp.
– No snow or need from extra gear
– Bears are fine, but would like to stay away from grizzly country.
– Off trail and heavy navigation is fine.
– Solitude/less crowded is better
– Group size 5-8
– Prefer mountain/west region
Some things were are batting around:
– Northern CA. Maybe around the coast
– Idaho. Hells canyon, etc
– South Dakota. Black Hills, Mt Rushmore, Centennial trail,
– New Mexico
– South/South Central Wyoming
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
Brad FisherJan 1, 2011 at 8:58 pm #1679658
@elf773Locale: Vancouver, BC
– I'm going to do the Escalante Route, Grand Canyon in April.
– The areas around Sedona, Az are really really nice and you can get easy to access mountain biking in (rent $50/day w/shop 50 yards from trail). Not sure about trails, but the scenery is pretty stunning/unique.
– My home town of Vancouver, British Columbia is pretty nice to visit in of itself in the spring/summer. There's the Howe Crest Sound Trail 30 minutes outside of town, Stein Traverse (see Dan Thurston's trip reports), Garibaldi Provincial Park (not exactly hardcore, but an easy and very pretty 45 min. drive from town) etc etc.
Things I'm thinking of doing local..ish, but haven't been yet:
– Enchantments in Washington, Cathedral Provincial Park, Sawtooths, Winds.Jan 3, 2011 at 3:48 pm #1680195
BumpJan 3, 2011 at 5:03 pm #1680210
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
Some of the higher desert areas stand out. High enough to not be super hot, low enough to be snow-free. For instance:
The Royal Arch route in the Grand Canyon.
-this might be too technical and physically demanding for your crew.
Down New Hance-Up Grandview in the Grand Canyon.
-might be a better fit.
Various routes in Escalante country.
-easy to find solitude. Get Steve's Allen guidebook.
-lots of dayhiking/exploring options.
The Needles district in Canyonlands NP.
Under the Rim in Bryce.
[edited for detail]Jan 3, 2011 at 9:25 pm #1680285
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
"South/South Central Wyoming" May in Wyoming is still winter!
The mountains in the Pacific Northwest will also be too snowy in May–last May they were still having warnings of extreme avalanche danger! Of course there are the long low elevation valleys in the Olympics (Hoh River, Enchantment Valley) and the Olympic NP wilderness coast, which are excellent hiking possibilities in May. So is Hell's Canyon. California's Lost Coast is another good one.Jan 4, 2011 at 11:50 am #1680431
Buckskin Gulch / Paria Canyon is pretty interesting.Jan 4, 2011 at 12:40 pm #1680448
@bookLocale: Northern California
How about Lake Merced in Yosemite. It's at 7200 feet, should easily be accessible in May. (Happy Isles trailhead.) Also, those who wish to go higher can day hike/overnight up towards Vogelsang. Then there's the high route for a return. Nice hike at this time of year.Jan 4, 2011 at 1:50 pm #1680472
Good suggestions. Thanks everybody for the help.
BradJan 4, 2011 at 2:23 pm #1680482
@halfturboLocale: Northernish California
If you're considering the Sierra Nevada, here's a place to watch the snowpack.
Early snow this year has been quite heavy, but there's a lot of winter yet to go and every year has some surprises, including long dry spells. The coast and coast ranges are open in May and there's still plenty of water that time of year.
RickJan 4, 2011 at 3:45 pm #1680508
W I S N E R !Participant
I'm with David C. on recommending southwest Utah, it sounds like you've done a good deal in the Sierra already.Jan 5, 2011 at 8:05 am #1680690
@vaporjourneyLocale: Greater Gila
hitch a ride and start hiking at the southern end of Coyote Gulch at it's confluence with the Escalante River. Hike up Coyote Gulch, then up Dry Gulch. Hitch further north up road and explore the slot canyons of Zebra and Peekaboo/Spooky. Non-technical, loads of slots around, and greener than you'd ever imagine in Coyote Gulch.Jan 5, 2011 at 10:23 am #1680719
@cooldripLocale: "Grand Canyon of the East"
Hi Brad, I have to agree with everyone on the Utah suggestions. I would stay in Torrey; it's close to Capitol Reef, Bryce Canyon, Escalante; the Swell, Henrys, and Dirty Devil aren't far. Not to mention, Cafe Diablo is one of my favorite restaurants.
PS: Completely off-topic, but … GO WOLFPACK!!! Here's hoping Russell comes back next year and the hoops team wakes up!Jan 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm #1680773
Ok Utah is bubbling to the top. Thanks again for all the information.
Scott, your right. GO WOLFPACK!! I have watched Russell Wilson for the past several years and he sure is a great player. I was in Orlando for the bowl game and he was a highlight reel. I'm also hoping he comes back.
BradJan 7, 2011 at 5:34 pm #1681611
I'd love to invite you and your friends to Montana, but May is not the time to come- much too unpredictable (even June is sadly) and there is that grizzly thing :)
Last May my wife and I went to New Mexico (Gila Wilderness)- was a great trip and our five day trip only scratched the surface. I'd highly recommend looking into SW NM for that time frame.
Utah also sounds very good, good enough we are planning on a trip to Zion in April :)Jan 7, 2011 at 5:58 pm #1681623
@davecLocale: Crown of the Continent
I can't wait!
I'm going back for more: http://vimeo.com/11957531Jan 7, 2011 at 6:43 pm #1681637
New Mexico sounds interesting.
The Black Elk wilderness in south Dakota is something that I'm also looking into.
Thanks again for suggestionsJan 7, 2011 at 6:58 pm #1681643
Dave- he said no snow :)Jan 7, 2011 at 7:04 pm #1681645
@rglessLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
The Grand Canyon of the Toluomne River in Yosemite can be pretty spectacular. The 4000 ft climb out of the canyon (if you go downstream is a grind, but you might consider going up stream.Jan 7, 2011 at 7:13 pm #1681650
A good friend of mine is always talking up the Black Hills areas of South Dakota. Trout, great climbing, peaks, etc… Not sure what the multi-night backpacking opportunities are but the area sounds awesome.
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