My fiance, dog & I hiked some of the IRT on a loop we did last summer at this time. It was some amazing, rugged, hiking with sweet canyon views=}. The trail does travel away from the river at times, but there are a few creeks to wade in, and get water from. We did see & hear quit a few rattle snakes, so that is something to keep in mind. There's tons of berries throughout the Kalmiopsis Wilderness, many of them right on the trail. YUM! Where there is snacks, there's bears; so i would definetly bear bag my food, for that little piece of mind. We did, and still heard crashing through the vegatation all night. There was also were a ton of skat piles, usually near the berries; go figure=} We beat the afternnon heat, by playing and floating down little sections of the Illinois River; it was a blast! Gardner snakes also joined in the fun, and soaked up the heat near the rivers edge. Highly Recommend the IRT and the whole wilderness area for that matter, but im not sure if im fealin it. Sorry for rambling and hijacking the thread, just wanted to share a couple of my thoughts on the subject. Im always looking for a hiking partner for when my fiance doesn't join me, so you should hit me up. I live in Bend, and spend alot of time in the wilderness near home; like the Three Sisters, Jefferson, Sky Lakes Wilderness. I enjoy big mile days, and love to push myself on the trail. I got a overnight loop around the Three Sisters i wanna do the starting on 8-1(40 + miles) that i don't think my lady is gonna join me on, if your interested?