Spring Backpacking

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By Adam on 04/12/2011  12:34

Well, it's that time of year again.  Time to get out and dust off that cabin fever.  The mountains call your name, but the access roads and trails are still under winters spell.  Finding a place to do some spring backpacking in the NW can be a bit of a challenge. 

Here is a chance to share your spring trails and discover some new ones to hike off the winter blues.  The trails need to be accessable sometime from March to early June and be in the NW (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and close boundry areas of those states).  List the trail, location, time of year it is accessable, and any other info that may be helpfull {mileage, scenery rating(1-5), difficulty rating(1-5)}.  Hopefully, it will help others(including myself) plan their spring backpacks.  Happy trails!




Adam



Total Posts: 114

By Forrest on 04/12/2011  12:47

Rogue River Trail
Mileage: 42 miles (one way)
Scenery: 4
Difficulty: 2
Southwest Oregon
A great spring trail following the Rogue River!  The scenery is great as it travels through the rugged and rocky canyon.  A shuttle is required, but if done right, you can even spend the night in a backcountry lodge along the way, or at least stop in for a bite to eat!
Link





Forrest



Total Posts: 328

By Forrest on 04/12/2011  14:49

Painted Canyon/Honeycombs Loop
Mileage: 20 miles loop (no trails involved, but the walking is pretty easy)
Scenery: 5
Difficulty: 4 (some fairly physical climbing and rock-hopping).
Southeast Oregon

This is one of my favorite trips in the northwest.  The scenery is very much like what you would see in Utah or Arizona.  More information on this hike can be found in the 'Backpacking Oregon' book.  Spring is a great time to do this one, since during the summer it's probably too hot!

My Pictures are Here




Forrest



Total Posts: 328

By Adam on 04/12/2011  17:52

I've always wanted to do the Rogue River Trail.  Unfortunately, I now live an addition 6 hours from it. 
Some friends and myself have tenatively planned a week long trip for next spring in the SE Oregon/ SW Idaho area.  There is a bunch of new wilderness in the Owyhee Canyon lands in Idaho.  We were also going to check out the Steens Mt. area.  I'll have to add the Painted Canyon/ Honeycomb loop on the agenda.
My favorite spring trip was in Hells Canyon.

Saddle Creek/ High Trail Loop(not an official name)
Mileage: 29 Mile Loop
Scenery: 5
Difficulty: 4
Northeast Oregon (Hells Canyon)
Hikable: Late May

This trail features the highest portion of the Oregon Rim,  the Snake River, desert and forest ecosystems, and an abundance of wildlife. 

www.trailsnw.com/index.php

The trail doesn't open supper early, but trails along the Imnaha River are usually open year round. Like Dug Bar.

www.trailsnw.com/index.php




Adam



Total Posts: 114

By PDXHiker on 04/12/2011  21:29

We've done the Wenaha River area in Northeast Oregon two springs in a row.  It's been very wet both times, but beautiful!

http://www.trailsnw.com/index.php?fuseaction=Trails.DisplayTrail&hike_num=47

http://www.trailsnw.com/index.php?fuseaction=Trails.DisplayTrail&hike_num=267




PDXHiker



Total Posts: 53

By Forrest on 04/16/2011  15:44

Enchanted Valley
Mileage: 19 miles (one way)
Scenery: 5
Difficulty: 3
Olympic Mountains
Enchanted Valley is at 2,250' in elevation.  We were able to do this trail in mid May several years ago.  The valley was clear of snow, and we didn't encounter any until passed the meadows.  It's likely that much of the trail is passable for much of the year, since it stays pretty low in elevation.  The great thing about this trail is you can get the mountain scenery very early in the season.




Forrest



Total Posts: 328

By Millsy on 04/26/2011  16:08

 Excellent post, I'm in the process of reviewing options for Memorial Day weekend.

Last year, we did the Olympic National Park Coastline (North). The hike was amazingly beautiful but it rained non stop. The terrain is rocky and poles are required. 


Has anyone done Chetco River Loop?





Millsy



Total Posts: 17

By Millsy on 04/26/2011  16:14

 Forest and PDXhiker,

I'm looking at the Wenaha River trail as an option. Did you make a loop out of it? Did you do an in and out?  Did you encounter snow? Where did you start?  When did you go?

I'm debating the Rogue River or Wenaha River for Memorial Day weekend and am in of some more info.

Thanks,

Millsy




Millsy



Total Posts: 17

By Forrest on 04/26/2011  16:25

Quote by: 'Millsy'

I'm looking at the Wenaha River trail as an option. Did you make a loop out of it? Did you do an in and out?  Did you encounter snow? Where did you start?  When did you go?

I'm debating the Rogue River or Wenaha River for Memorial Day weekend and am in of some more info.

I believe I did it in May (it was quite a while ago), and only did it as an out and back, although I can imagine one of the numerous loop options would be great.  I would like to get back that direction.  We started at the Troy trailhead, and didn't encounter snow (although we stayed mostly in the valley bottoms).




Forrest



Total Posts: 328

By Adam on 04/26/2011  20:12

Quote by: 'Millsy'
 Forest and PDXhiker,

I'm looking at the Wenaha River trail as an option. Did you make a loop out of it? Did you do an in and out?  Did you encounter snow? Where did you start?  When did you go?

I'm debating the Rogue River or Wenaha River for Memorial Day weekend and am in of some more info.

Thanks,

Millsy


Some years you can access even the higher trails above 6000 feet around memorial day.  I don't think that will be the case this year.  You shouldn't have any issues doing a loop up Crooked creek and across Moore Flat.  It will be roughly 30 miles if you hike out of Troy. 

Pomeroy Ranger District
509-843-1891




Adam



Total Posts: 114

By PDXHiker on 04/26/2011  21:05

@Millsy -  We had planned to do a long out and back but found we couldn't safely cross many of the creeks, which prevented us from getting very far up-canyon.

We started at Troy, both times the first week in May.  We planned to go about six miles in to the confluence of the Wenaha and Crooked rivers, and that part of the trip went fine.  There was a great bridge there.  We found that due to the excessive rain that in both cases our trip worked better as a base camp from that point.  We spent one day going up the Wenaha, another going up the Crooked, and a third straight up a use trail from camp (and the last day back out, for a total of five days/four nights). 

We encountered no snow on the ground either time, and one of those years was a fairly high snow year.  But again, we didn't go very far up-canyon. 

We encountered lots of wildlife, but very few people.  The flowers the first week of May were fantastic, too!




PDXHiker



Total Posts: 53

By JAmm_on on 05/12/2011  19:24

 Thanks for this post. Very relevant as we all year for a bit of fresh air and sunshine quite the long winter and cold early spring.

Being from Idaho, I would reccommend the Selway River Canyon and Hells Canyon Wilderness Area as spring hikes. The elevation is low enough that both are clear at present, and even higher elevations were clear on south facing slopes in the Selway during March. 




JAmm_on



Total Posts: 1

By Adam on 05/15/2011  11:35

Quote by: 'JAmm_on'
 
Being from Idaho, I would reccommend the Selway River Canyon and Hells Canyon Wilderness Area as spring hikes. The elevation is low enough that both are clear at present, and even higher elevations were clear on south facing slopes in the Selway during March. 


Anywhere in the Hells canyon area is ideal for Spring backpacking.  I just did the Rapid River  http://www.trailsnw.com/index.php?fuseaction=Trails.DisplayTrail&hike_num=270  .   We were able to get above 6000 feet on the south face wthout much snow. I would think on a normal year 7000 feet by May would be doable.

I flew in to Moose creek about 16 years ago and hiked out the Selway trail.  I need to revisit it again.  The best fishing ever.  I have a buddy looking for ideas for around Memorial day.  How high on the south slope were you able to get in March?




Adam



Total Posts: 114

By Adam on 02/22/2012  19:22

We're getting closer to spring backpacking.  Time to bump this thread.  Bump.




Adam



Total Posts: 114

By Forrest on 02/23/2012  14:08

Quote by: 'Adam'
We're getting closer to spring backpacking.  Time to bump this thread.  Bump.

Have any good spring trips planned yet?   I need to start thinking of my spring backpacking -- the winter has been great weatherwise, hopefully spring will be too.




Forrest



Total Posts: 328

By Adam on 02/24/2012  09:34

Quote by: 'Forrest'

Quote by: 'Adam'
We're getting closer to spring backpacking.  Time to bump this thread.  Bump.

Have any good spring trips planned yet?   I need to start thinking of my spring backpacking -- the winter has been great weatherwise, hopefully spring will be too.


I'm working on some plans for the end of March.  A couple friends and myself are heading down to Southestern Oregon.  We may do a combination of backpacking, dayhiking and car camping.  We're looking at the Painted Canyon, that you have suggested and/or packing into the Owyhee River Wilderness out of Three Forks.  We may also explore around Steens mountain.

Question:  Is the painted canyon area day hikable or is it a must as a backpack?  Any other sugestions?   Do you have any plans?

Adam




Adam



Total Posts: 114

By Adam on 03/28/2012  20:00

I just got back from the Leslie Gulch area.  All I can say is, "WOW!"  It is like someone took a chunk of Utah and placed it in Oregon.  We had a bit of a disaster, so we didn't get to backpack Painted canyon and the Honeycombs, but I'll be returning.




Adam



Total Posts: 114

By Forrest on 03/29/2012  07:46

That sounds like my first impression of the Leslie Gulch/Honeycombs area.  It's been a long time since I've been down there....I need to get back.  My recollection is that I was even more impressed with Painted Canyon/Honeycombs than I was with Leslie Gulch -- but it may be that the "adventure" of getting to them contributed to that feeling.




Forrest



Total Posts: 328

By faerie704 on 04/01/2012  15:23

Hey,
I just joined this website so I have a blank slate on my profile so far of trips that I'll have to fill, hopefully, this summer!  Heading down to the 42 mile Rogue Trail mid-April.  Were there any places on the trail where you'd be able to throw in a fishing line, or is access poor from the trail?  I wondered also if there might be fishing spot in the vicinity with car access before or after we actually backpack the trail.  Do you have to have a boat to fish in the Rogue?

After that we are heading down to the Redwoods and were going to car camp for a few days there.  Any suggestions on localities along the coast that are fun to visit down there?

We hiked the Washington Park/Arboretum trail to the wildwood trail of forest park, up to Pittock Mansion.  6 miles round trip and a good uphill for about half of it; good one for an afternoon in Portland.
-Holly




faerie704



Total Posts: 1

By Forrest on 04/01/2012  19:45

Hi Holly, welcome to the site.  I'm not a fisherman, but access to the river is pretty frequent along the trail and I would think you would have plenty of places to drop a line in.  It's a great trip -- I'm sure you'll enjoy it. 




Forrest



Total Posts: 328

By Adam on 04/02/2012  14:37

Some of my shots from Leslie Gulch.  I wish I had better lighting.
adamgulickphotography.smugmug.com/Other/Newer-Gallery/20776930_wnfdDT#!i=1773036535&k=XxH6pCC




Adam



Total Posts: 114

By Forrest on 04/02/2012  15:05

Wow.  Those are awesome.




Forrest



Total Posts: 328

By Millsy on 05/10/2012  11:18

 I'm back! It's May and I have the itch again. Last years trip to Wenaha River was a success. What a beautiful area.  The guy that went with me was so pumped up..he ended up quitting his job and doing the PCT this year.

What is everyone considering for Memorial Day weekend this year? 




Millsy



Total Posts: 17

By Adam on 05/11/2012  03:29

Hey Millsy, I was just on the Wenaha river last weekend.  I love that area.  You should check out some of the higher trails.
No plans for Memorial day weekend.  Being in the service industry, means no time off on the holidays, but I never complain about missing the crowds.
I am getting ready to head over to the Lost River and Lemhi Ranges here in Idaho.  There are a few trails that climb to around 8000-9000 feet that are supposedly accessible this time of year.  If it works out I'll be adding them to this thread.




Adam



Total Posts: 114

By Millsy on 05/16/2012  07:28

 Interesting, I'm not familiar with any of the trails in Idaho. Please do add them with the wonderful photos and details you typically provide.  I think we are headed to the Opal Creek/Bull of the Woods area. 





Millsy



Total Posts: 17

By Forrest on 05/21/2012  20:46

Just visiting family this time around, but I'm looking forward to hearing what everyone else did :)




Forrest



Total Posts: 328

By Kansagonian on 05/25/2012  15:33

 New to the board and looking for a good hike in Southern Oregon this weekend. I live in Klamath Falls and a lot of the trails around here (Sky Lakes Wilderness, Mt. McLoughlin etc) are still snowed in. 

I'd like to avoid Crater Lake and Lava Beds on the holiday weekend, but hope to stay in the Southern Oregon area. Any suggestions?

I've heard Pilot Rock is cool. Anyone know if its worth climbing this time of year? tia





Kansagonian



Total Posts: 1

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Total Posts: 46