Nov 19, 2019 at 4:47 pm #3619554
Son graduates in May, starts new job mid July. He and his buds want to do a backpacking trip, 5-7 days, points outward from Seattle sometime in June. For their age they are experienced. They want to avoid snow so maybe? this rules at the Cascades. They also have no interest in the coastal trek in the Olympic Wilderness. Glacier Peak Wilderness looks inviting but again will snow be an issue if WA has a typical snow year?Nov 19, 2019 at 7:06 pm #3619590
“They also have no interest in the coastal trek in the Olympic Wilderness.”
I’m not sure if this statement rules out the interior of ONP? i.e. there are some parts along the ocean, but most of it is not, and doesn’t feel especially coastal to me. That might be their best bet, though I have encountered snow there in June—and if they’re out for a week they’d probably be going over some of those higher elevations.
There are some options east of the Cascades. I did Umptanum (sp?) ridge several years ago, but it was too late in the season and I didn’t love that trip (and I’m not sure there’s a long enough stretch there).Nov 19, 2019 at 7:20 pm #3619591
No, it wouldn’t rule out ONP interior. I just read about the ONP Enchanted Valley trek but it’s only 37 miles out and back. A bit short for 5-7 days. Being coastal would this be snow free?Nov 19, 2019 at 7:56 pm #3619599
Any of the river valleys in ONP are likely to be a good bet….until you start gaining elevation.
Early June — a loop from the North Fork Trailhead (west of the Quinault River). There was snow from when we climbed out of Elip Creek to down around Three Prune.
Late June — Hoh River Valley. Snow-free, but we only went as far as Elk Lake (there were a lot of climbers going further up that way to summit Olympus)
4th of July — Enchanted Valley, snow free to the Valley (e.g. where the old Chalet stands), but I met folks who wanted to go further who had to turn back because they weren’t equipped for snow.
So, nothing is quite a sure bet. I’m in Portland. Driving distance might be the variable that has to give to make this work. If I were planning a weeklong trip in the mountains for June, I might research options in the Trinity Alps of Northern California.
You might also check out the Blue Mountains of Eastern Washington/Oregon…never been, and someone else here (Ian) didn’t have the best experience on the trip he planned there last spring (don’t do exactly what he did)…but there may be some viable options there too. It’s on my “early season” list.Nov 19, 2019 at 7:59 pm #3619602
Or, just sign them up for a winter skills class (self arrest) and buy/rent ice axes and micro spikes.?Nov 19, 2019 at 8:04 pm #3619603
here’s think link, if you haven’t already found it:
Are you willing to shuttle them from the start to the finish?
For myself and my son I’ve been looking at the South/North traverse from North Fort to Whiskey Bend (along the Elwha River) and have been trying to compare the max elevation to my past experience to see how early on the calendar I could fit this in. (We’ll probably do it out-and-back in two trips, and tag the midpoint each time)Nov 19, 2019 at 10:35 pm #3619623
Thanks Katherine. No I will not be their shuttle guy. A relative in Seattle has offered to do that.
My son has done Wind River and had the tools for snowfields. I think it his friends that are driving this “no snow” trip. More research is to be done. Thanks for the link.Nov 20, 2019 at 3:38 am #3619661jscottBPL Member
@bookLocale: Northern California
I think your initial idea of Glacier Peak wilderness is excellent. Truly stunning scenery and hiking; not to be missed. But yes in June, depending on the year, there will/may be snow on the ground. that’s not always a deal breaker tho.
Cascade Pass down into the Stehekin area, and then branching out from there is a possibility. Sahale Arm is worth much. Off trail treks are an option.
but again, some approaches to Glacier Peak may be accessible and worth looking into. Otherwise, yeah, Hoh river area is low elevation and very nice indeed.Nov 20, 2019 at 5:55 am #3619665Dave HeissBPL Member
@daveheissLocale: Pacific Northwest
If your route does not need to be an out-and-back or a loop, it may be possible in June to take the Enchanted Valley trail and then hike over O’Neil Pass and exit to the West via the Duckabush trail or to the South via the North Fork Skokomish trail. O’Neil Pass is not terribly high and may be clear in June, and if said conditions are good then you’ll want to tack on the LaCrosse Lake valley – which is a chain of lakes that includes Marmot Lake, Heart Lake (really nice), and up to the valley’s end at LaCrosse Lake. Lovely trails, but a lot of car shuttle time would be involved.Nov 20, 2019 at 7:53 pm #3619726David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
More of a drive, but Lassen NP has an interesting array of 1) volcanic features – dormant volcano, fumaroles, bubbling mud pots, lava-tube caves, etc and 2) backpacking trails in a forested high desert with lakes. Too hot for my tastes in the late summer, but ideal in the early summer.Dec 4, 2019 at 6:36 am #3621455Adam GBPL Member
June is tricky. Most of the Alpine Lakes and Glacier Peaks Wilderness are going to have too much snow, as would Mt. Rainier. Your best options would be a shorter trip along the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River or on the Olympic Peninsula.
A few years ago, I did a June trip along the Dosewallips River over Lacrosse Pass south to a primitive trail near Seven Stream. The primitive trail was a bit hard to find because the map had it listed on the wrong side of the river. However, once you found it, it was easy to follow with the exception of one meadow where the trail became quite faint and we ended up wandering around following game trails until we clearly saw the trail meandering through the meadow. We then went up to Wynoochee Pass Trail to Grave’s Creek campground. That was slow going and had a lot of blowdowns. I unfortunately twisted my ankle and had to bail at Grave’s Creek. The plan was to go back along the East Fork of the Quinault River to Ranger’s Pass and back out. I don’t have any beta on that last leg, but the first part had no snow and was spectacular. We saw no one.
Around 65 miles.Dec 5, 2019 at 5:37 pm #3621639
Thanks for all the good feedback. I’ve got some work to do.
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