By andrewclyde on 12/15/2012 17:38
My wife and I would like to do a multi-day backpacking trip the last week of June in Washington State. We are experienced backcountry campers but have no experience hiking above 3500 feet. We will fly in and out of Seattle. Our itinerary is fairly flexible; our only commitment is to be in Vancouver, BC, July 4-7. I need advice on trails and loops that will not be snow or ice-covered. I would also like to avoid heavy mosquito or blackfly activity. The trails along the coast of the Olympic Penninsula look interesting as does the PCT on Vancouver Island.
Advice or references are greatly appreciated.
By erlall on 12/16/2012 18:36
The West Coast Trail (WCT) is one of my favorite hikes (I have done it a few times) and always enjoy the trip. If you are going from North to South - the hike can easily be done in 5-6 days. If from the South to the North - better to be done in 6-7 days. Reason being, the first day (S to N) you will likely stop at Thrashers Cove. The due to tides, probably not get around Owens Point until the next day - not to mention it takes about 4 hours to hike the 4km. Slow, but fun.
In Washington, well most places have mosquitos. Black flies are not plentiful here. Bring some rain gear just in case you get caught in a storm (fair warning, they can last for a day or two before they blow through). The PCT runs north to south and with a little planning, there are countless loops. I love the Goat Rocks area and hike through there almost every year. Northern Cascades is probably some of the most beautiful parts of Washington and again, there are many loops. If you have enough time, you can hike from one side of the Cascades to the other side on the Pacific NW Trail. This is a hike I am planning on for next summer, but you will find snow in June. Spider Gap is a 40 mile loop that is beautiful in the Central Cascades (near lake Winatchee). Might be snow there as well....
Countless miles to be wandered along the Northern Coast from La Push down to Cape Alava.
Good luck and enjoy!